Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Teaching Translation at the Age of Google Translate

Servanne Woodward, University of Western Ontario (Canada)


For a variety of reasons, our students have been used to multiple choice training for exercises, and many count on a future of oral and written automatic translations—killing the perceived need for learning translation and sometimes foreign languages altogether with. On the other hand, translation courses are often very popular because translation is perceived as a scientific word for word equivalence obtainable mechanically, leading the students to expect that “apps” such as the excellent “Google Translate” will assist them in writing term papers as well as translation coursework, while remaining monolingual or theoretically bi-lingual. In the worse-case scenario, the student perspective is based on a paradox: they are good enough at this point and need no further training but to go through the motions of a language course without content to accommodate credit points; they are not able to write in the target langue and too unsecure to trust their translation on their own. The paper examines how to benefit the students by introducing language as communication and artefact.

Keywords: translation, literature, linguistics, French, English.


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