AVATAR TRANSLATORS COMING
New members of the translation world will advance themselves in a three dimensional virtual world in the internet. Students who wish to provide translation services will be in a virtual environment, translating bilateral talks of members of parliament or statements of foreign guests in a court. The TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) project is carried out by IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting in collaboration with the Department of Computer Engineering. With the project, students will be able to translate in a virtual campus (Second Life) through the scenarios created, and academicians will be able to evaluate the students in this virtual campus.
In the project led by Mehmet Şahin, Associate Professor of Translation and Interpreting at IUE, Gazihan Alankuş, Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering at IUE, Şeyda Eraslan, Assistant Professor of Translation and Interpreting at Dokuz Eylül University are part of the research team. Ebru Diriker, Professor of Translation and Interpreting at Boğaziçi University, is the advisor of the project, titled “Interpreting and Teaching Interpreting in Virtual Worlds”. Damla Kaleş and Özge Altıntaş, PhD students in translation studies; Yasin Sinan Kayacan and Yiğit Can Parıltı, undergraduate students of software engineering; and Mert Künan, a recent graduate of computer engineering have worked as assistants in the project.
“Practice makes perfect”
Speaking about the project, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şahin said that students’ translation practice is limited to laboratory settings during classroom hours only. With this project, he emphasized, the students will be able to practice anywhere there is an internet access. Dr. Şahin added: “Despite the flexibility provided by technological advances, students with different learning styles and pace are subjected to the same program and methods. We thought of creating an environment for learning and practicing with the use of Second Life program and ÇEV-VİR App developed by our team and created a space in this virtual world. Each user will represent himself or herself through an ‘avatar’ and translate in changing environments. Users will find themselves translating in a courtroom or between political leaders and will be able to practice translation in many different subjects. Students will be able to send the data saved in the system to their instructors, who then will be able to evaluate their work.”
‘Three levels of difficulty in ten different subjects’
Dr. Şahin said the project, which will enable trainee interpreters and professionals gain practice, will offer practice material on ten different subjects with three levels of difficulty.
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