| Tomasz Grząślewicz |
The position of a university is largely determined by its visibility in the international arena. Translators from the Centre of Translation Services and the Media Communication Centre take care of making the University of Silesia in Katowice is visible around the world.
Centre for Translation Services
The Centre for Translation Services (CUT) was established in March 2019. The first real challenge for the new unit was the translation of SWOT analysis and grant application for the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” call for proposals into English.
“The team of 5 translators translated about 300 pages within two weeks, thanks to which at the end of June 2019 it was possible to submit a complete application that successfully passed the formal verification process. Although the University of Silesia was not included in the group of research universities, the participation in the call for proposals resulted in obtaining additional funds for the coming years,“says Adam Wojtaszek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor, the Head of CUT.
CUT provides, e.g., the English counterparts of agreements concluded between UŚ and its international partners. Documentation of the course of studies (i.e. learning outcomes, curriculums, and programme catalogues) is also translated.
An important part of CUT’s activity is work for the dissemination of scientific research. Within its scope of activity, the Centre translates research papers, summaries and abstracts, reviews, and websites of journals published by the University of Silesia. The proofreading of translated articles is often done by English native speakers. The Head of CUT recognises the generally positive aspect of the Centre’s operation, as the University’s employees are becoming aware of the necessity to allocate funds for this type of activity in the budget. Thanks to that, the chances for our publications to be more recognised in the international arena increases.
Media Communication Centre
More translated content published on the University’s websites contributes to its increased international exposure, which is a strategic goal of the University of Silesia. In the past, that was the job of the International Relations Department, but since October 2020, these tasks have been executed by the Media Communication Centre (CKM).
“We translate news on the UŚ homepage, articles in the University of Silesia Research series, news about the University initiatives, etc. Every week, 40 employees and 48 students (status as of 11 March 2021) receive the English version of the Newsletter and Student News. We provide translations for events such as Silesian Science Festival and Scientific Premiere Stage. We also make English subtitles for scientific webinars. Although it takes a lot of time, the opportunity to get familiar with the history of the Apollo programme or the secrets of the human brain compensates for it,” says Tomasz Grząślewicz, MA.
The scope of CKM activities gradually expands. Currently, the employees are working on creating bilingual websites for research centres of the University of Silesia. The websites of individual faculties will also be translated through the Media Communication Centre soon.
In conversation with representatives of CUT and CKM, words such as ‘cohesion’ and ‘uniformity’ often come up. How to ensure that different translators translate texts in a similar way? How can they know that Wydział Nauk Ścisłych i Technicznych should be translated as Faculty of Science and Technology? The answer to this problem is the Polish-English Glossary of Academic Terms and Names.
The idea of creating such a document was born in the International Relations Department. The Glossary was compiled by Giga Gogosashvili, MA. The team responsible for translations was led by Adam Wojtaszek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor, and composed of: Arkadiusz Badziński, PhD; Marta Barciak, MA; Prof. Magdalena Bartłomiejczyk; Giga Gogosashvili, MA; Tomasz Grząślewicz, MA; Dariusz Jakubowski, MA; Joanna Laskowska, MA; Ewa Myrczek-Kadłubicka, PhD; Kajetan Pawliszyn, MA; Joanna Sycz-Opoń, PhD; and GROY Translations Agency.
The Glossary is regularly updated and contains Polish and English names of academic titles; scientific fields and disciplines; units, institutes, and faculties of the University of Silesia; degree programmes; and initiatives carried out at the University of Silesia. The obligation to use the Glossary is to be soon regulated by an applicable regulation of the Rector.
The contact person for any questions about the Glossary is Tomasz Grząślewicz, MA, from the Media Communication Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another initiative for uniformity is the University of Silesia’s cooperation with the Hungarian company MemoQ, one of the leading companies in the field of computer-aided translation (CAT) software for the translation industry. The pioneer in this field was the Institute of Romance Languages and Translation (currently the Romance Studies programme) over a decade ago. Recently, memoQ has also attracted the attention of English translation teams operating at the University of Silesia. In February 2020, the International Relations Department bought the licence for memoQ. Currently, both the Centre for Translation Services and the Media Communication Centre use memoQ in their work. The software allows for the creation of glossaries, development of translation memories, and network cooperation between translators.
“Thanks to the licences for the memoQ. We currently translate texts on an ongoing basis and create the base of previously translated documents. As a result, we expand the translation memories and corpora of parallel texts, which can be used in the future as memoQ tools facilitating and accelerating the translation process of subsequent texts,” says Adam Wojtaszek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor.
“Using CAT tools is particularly relevant when it comes to updated or periodic information. It often turns out that the software remembers up to several dozen percent of the content. This applies, for example, to Information for the Academic Community,” says Tomasz Grząślewicz, MA, from the Media Communication Centre.
However, it turns out that the cooperation benefits are much bigger. In January 2021, the University of Silesia was included in the list of memoQ partner universities.
“We want translation programme students to enter the market prepared and equipped not only with the technical expertise regarding translation but also with the practical skills regarding tools that support this process,” says Dominika Olszewska, Head of Hub, CEE&Nordics at memoQ.
From November 2020 to March 2021, the Centre for Translation Services and the Media Communication Centre carried out a student pilot internship scheme under which third-year and fifth-year students of English Studies with translation programmes used free memoQ licences.
“The internship was a big success. We managed to create a sizeable corpus of parallel texts that had been translated without the support of CAT software and rich translation memory, which will be used in future translations. Starting next academic year, we are planning to provide the one-year licences to all students of final years in English Studies with a translation programme. We would like to introduce the basics of this CAT tool in the study curriculum and some students will get the opportunity to complete their mandatory internship at the Centre for Translation Services,” explains Adam Wojtaszek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor.
“The internship allowed me to develop my skills. I was able to get insight into a translator’s work and work with the full version of memoQ software. I have learnt how to translate under time pressure and with the glossary. At first, memoQ seemed tricky and intricate but after literally two translated texts I started to play with it and explore its functions,” says Radosław Hojka, fifth-year student of English Studies.
The scope of educational activities of the Centre for Translation Services is not limited to student internships. The Centre also organises English classes for teaching and management staff under the POWER project.
“Fore me, as the Head of the Centre for Translation Services, it was a great challenge to pair up teachers with students. I had to consider many variables: the location of the classes, class dates, scientific interests of students, their preferences regarding the teacher, finally, the switch into distance learning system due to the pandemic,” says Adam Wojtaszek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor.
As you can see, the scope of tasks carried out by the Centre for Translation Services and the Media Communication Centre is constantly growing. We wish our translators and teachers further development of cooperation with other university units and external entities, progress in internationalisation the University of Silesia, successes in training staff and students, and… perfect uniformity.