"The hard thing about soft skills: Educating for today's language industry"
Wszystkich zainteresowanych tematem kompetencji miękkich tłumacza zapraszamy do sali seminaryjnej A Auditorium Maximum przy ulicy Krupniczej w czwartek 16 marca o godzinie 12.00.
ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland (ret.)
A dynamic, diversifying language industry is quite evidently placing a rising premium on so-called “soft” transferable or transversal skills (Angelone, 2023; Bernardini Ferraresi, & Petrovic, 2022; Risku et al., 2022). Under umbrella terms like “service provision,” “interpersonal and personal,” “consulting” or “risk assessment” competence (EMT Board and Competence Task-Force, 2022; Nitzke & Hansen-Schirra, 2021), soft skills have come to occupy a visible position in competence modelling and curricular outlines – alongside those traditionally perceived as hard. But both inside and outside translation studies and translator education, “soft skills” seem to represent a “phrase in search of meaning” (Matteson, Anderson, & Boyden, 2016). Largely ill-defined and vaguely described, they remain notoriously hard to operationalise, track and evaluate (Cimatti, 2016). This talk explores some confusions, contradictions and caveats in how soft skill sets have been viewed until now. It seeks to explain the fuzziness in distinguishing the soft from the hard as the inevitable outcome of trying to model expert performance in the intrinsically embodied social enaction of language mediation. It then tentatively outlines a basic, practicable framework for identifying, mentoring and assessing how students develop the soft – or better, transferable – skills that add tangible, much-needed human value to the processes and practices of today’s language industry.
Angelone, E. (2023). Weaving adaptive expertise into translator training. In G. Massey, E. Huertas Barros, & D. Katan (Eds.), The human translator in the 2020s (pp. 60–73). Routledge.
Bernadini, S., Ferraresi, A., & Petrovic, M. M. (2022, June 24). A curious mindset and love of experimentation: A corpus perspective on emerging language industry jobs. [Paper presentation]. 10th EST Congress: Advancing Translation Studies, Oslo, Norway.
Cimatti, B. (2016). Definition, development, assessment of soft skills and their role for the quality of organizations and enterprises. International Journal for Quality Research, 10(1), 97-130. https://doi.org/10.18421/IJQR10.01-05
EMT Board and Competence Task-Force. (2022). European master’s in translation. Competence framework 2022. European Commission. https://commission.europa.eu/system/files/2022-11/emt_competence_fwk_2022_en.pdf
Matteson, M. L., Anderson, L., & Boyden, C. (2016). “Soft skills”: A phrase in search of meaning. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(1), 71–88. https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2016.0009.
Nitzke, J., & Hansen-Schirra, S. (2021). A short guide to post-editing (Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing 16). Language Science Press. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5646896
Risku, H., Schlager, D., Milosevic, J., & Rogl, R. (2022, June 24). The social construction of translation expertise in the language industry. [Paper presentation]. 10th EST Congress: Advancing Translation Studies, Oslo, Norway.