n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - L'enseignement de la traduction à vue à des apprenants de FLE : teaching of sight translation to French Foreign Language learners

Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



Contrary to the communication process in their first and second languages, students who try to speak a foreign language such as French tend to attempt a literal transfer of their various languages to compensate for insufficient language knowledge and intuition. This is a highly inefficient communication strategy which can be detrimental to language performance, resulting in an imperfect reflection of students' actual knowledge of language. The problem does not lie in the fact that they translate mentally before speaking, but that they tend to translate literally. Whereas the pedagogical or linguistic translation generally practised in the language class encourages literal transcoding, an interpretive translation approach enables to re-express the meaning of the original text. Such a professional translation approach should be applied to translation in the language class, notably through the technique of sight translation, in order to teach students to avoid a literal reproduction of their reference languages, whether they translate verbally or mentally.

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