One of these games is based on the development of CAN/CGSB-131.10-2008, the Canadian standard for translation. With roles for up to 29 students (though if necessary, the game could accommodate about 50 students if each role were played by partners instead of individuals), the game involves students representing the three types of organizations that sat on the drafting committee: general interest groups (e.g. academic institutions, professional associations and language technology companies), Translation Service Providers of varying sizes, and government and corporate users of translation services. Players need to present proposals for four of the six issues that were covered by the standard: Human resources, technical resources, quality management systems and the translation process. The game is organized to be played over 5 weeks, with 1.5 hours of gameplay each week for the first four weeks, and 30-40 minutes in the final week as the game is wrapped up. Descriptions of two written assignments related to the game are also provided. The goals are threefold: 1) To help students reflect on the standards for professional translations, the qualifications of professional translators, and the effects of these kinds of standards on those who work within the language industry and those who purchase language services, 2) To encourage students to critically apply arguments offered by various approaches to translation (functional theories, discourse, register analysis, etc.), in line with the position(s) of the organizations they represent, and 3) To provide a forum for students to use various argumentation techniques to debate with opponents.
I’ve just finished writing the instructions for the game, which consist of a 7-page overview of the game for students, a 16-page list of objectives for the various groups and individual players involved in the game, and a 3-page guide for instructors. To help encourage others to try out the Reacting to the Past model in a translation class, I thought I would offer to make these materials available to anyone who’s interested. Just email me or leave a comment below, and I’ll share PDFs with you, under an Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons license, which allows you to tweak and build upon this work non-commercially, provided you acknowledge me as the source of the materials. In keeping with the spirit of this license, I should mention again that I’ve based the format of this game largely on the Reacting to the Past session offered by University of Alberta law professors James Muir and Peter Carver at Congress 2012 in Waterloo two months ago. The session was designed to recreate (to a certain extent) the Quebec Conference of 1864, and participants were assigned roles from one of the delegations at the conference (Tories, bleus, Reformers, Nova Scotians, New Brunswickers, etc.). Muir and Carver were generous enough to provide all the documentation they’d prepared for the game, so although the context of the two games is completely different, the formats are very similar. I expect the planning would have taken longer if I had not had their material as a guide, so I’m very grateful for the experience these two professors had to offer.
I’d love to get feedback from others and/or to find someone else interested in adapting the Reacting to the Past model for Translation Studies, so please get in touch if you’d like to collaborate with me on this or other possible games. After I finish the documentation for the next game (involving
Luther’s William Tyndale’s translation of the bible), I’ll write another post about it and make the materials available to anyone who’s interested.