ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY
CENTRAL TEHRAN BRANCH
Faculty of Foreign Languages- Department of English
A THESIS SUBMITED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIRMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE EFFECTS OF CRITICAL THINKING ON TRANSLATION
THE EFFECT OF CRITICAL THINKING ON TRANSLATION PERFORMANCE OF TRANSLATIONS STUDENTS
ADVISOR: BEHDOKHT MALL -AMIRI Ph.D.
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Table of contents
This study was conducted to investigate whether critical thinking had any significant effect on translation performance of translations students. To this end, 75 male and female English translation students at the 7th semester at BA level were chosen from Azad University, Shahr-e-Ghods branch. The participants were non-randomly selected on the basis of the scores they obtained on a pre-piloted Preliminarily English Test (PET) and a translation test before conducting the study. The division of the participants to the experimental and control groups was done randomly..Both experimental and control groups were taught using the same material in translation classes and they received the same amount of instruction .The only difference was some techniques of critical thinking that were taught to the experimental group to be used in their translation. A posttest of translation was given to the participants after the treatment, and the results of the data analyses showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of their posttest performance
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Newmark(1998)asserts: “As a means of communication, translation is used for multilingual notices, for tourist publicity; for official documents such as treaties and contracts; for reports, papers, articles, correspondence, and textbooks to convey information, advice and recommendation for every branch of knowledge”(P.7). According to Newmark(1998)“translation is rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended in the text”(p.5). In other words “translation consists of transferring the meaning of the source language (SL) into the receptor language” (RL) (Larson, 1984, p.3). A translator faces some difficulties during translation and may not convey the meaning of the SL to RLappropriately.AsNewmark(1988) puts it“when there is no such thing as a law of translation”(p.113), tohelpconvey the meaning from SL to RL in different texts in different languages what should a translator do? Is it possible to find a way to lesson unpredictable difficulties during a translation?
Scriven and Paul ( 1987), indicatethatcritical thinking(CT) is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
Facion (2010) also believes that CT includes the following cognitive skills: interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and self-regulation. So a critical thinker should have especial skills in order to make a good judgment. Critical thinkers observe carefully, rely on evidence, ask right questions, and identify problems based on reasons. These thinkers are opposite to unreflective people who are biased, jump to conclusion and delay too long in making a good decision. These definitions of CT indicate the importance of thinking especially in the production of new ideas and problem solving. . On the other hand Paul and Elder (2004) think making an inference is an essential part of comprehension. Writers can’t make all the information explicit in a text. It is relied on reader to make necessary inferences in each case.
Schafersman(1991) believes that children are not born with the power to think critically, nor do they develop this ability naturally beyond survival-level thinking. Critical thinking is a learned ability that must be taught. Most individuals never learn it. Critical thinking cannot be taught reliably to students by peers or by most parents. Trained and knowledgeable instructors are necessary to impart the proper information and skills.. Regarding the teachability of critical thinking Wright (2002) proposes three main ways for teaching critical thinking in the class, teacher modeling, classroom activities, and teaching the tools of critical thinking.Wright (2002) proposes several ways of organizing for instruction in critical thinking: teach a separate course or unit, infuse critical thinking into what we teach, or we can use a mixed approach.Wright (2002) as well believes that in teaching critical thinking mastering the following concepts is crucial: a) cause and effect b) premise and conclusion c) point of viewd) evidence e) reason f) assumption
Bailin (2002) holds firmly to the idea that becoming proficient at critical thinking involves, among other things, takes the acquisition of certain kinds of knowledge. Knowledge of critical concepts such as ‘premise’, ‘conclusion’, ‘cause and effect’, ‘necessary and sufficient condition’; knowledge of methodological principles; and knowledge of the criteria for critical judgment.
There is not an appropriate and sufficient theory of CT for application in translation and education but as Robinson (2003 as cited in Kelly.2005) mentions, translation is an intelligent activity involving complex processes of conscious and unconscious learning.
According to the above-mentioned forerunners of CT Critical thinking and learning how to think critically may have a crucial role in translation.
The quality of translation is different from person to person. When a text is given to a number of translators with the same age, social, and educational background to be translated the products are not the same. According to Shahvali (cited in Razmjou 2004), theoretical knowledge and practical skills alone are not adequate to prepare students to have the developments in the field. There is a need for the ability to develop; therefore, it is necessary to focus on students’ self- updating and to develop their relevant mental, communicative, and planning skills.
Moreover, there are many factors that influence the quality of translation. The question is that what happens in the mind of a translator that translates differently from the others at the same age and level of knowledge. To provide the answer, one needstolook at the job with a critical perspective to delve into the differences.
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