Building up a generation of Gender Sensitive Translators

NLEAP Mission Trip to the University of Jaffna Translation Department

The NLEAP team along with Ms. Veena Verma (Project Director-Canada Based/Human Rights, Gender and Governance Advisor – Alinea) and Mr. Hilaire Lemoine (Language Policy Advisor-NLEAP),  met with representatives of the Translation Department of the University of Jaffna. Joining in the meeting were Dr Kannathas (Senior Lecturer and Head of Department – Department of Translation Studies) and graduates of the Degree programme who now serve as resource persons on the degree programme.  The University of Jaffna is one of four universities to offer a four year Bachelor of Arts Translation Special Degree program (the others being Kelaniya, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern universities). The mission was an opportunity to mark the milestones achieved by the University of Jaffna as well as to brainstorm on future plans to build up translation and interpretation studies. As Ms Verma highlighted in her opening remarks ‘Universities play a critical role in developing competent translators’.

Mr. Lemoine and Ms. Verma were very appreciative of integration of Gender in the Translation Degree curriculum as a 3 credit course titled ‘Gender and Language’. Dr Kannathas was equally appreciative of the learning and insights gained in the Training in Translation Pedagogy Program (TTPP) conducted by the School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa. Some of the future plans discussed were initiating a 1 year Diploma Program in Interpretation, standardizing the Internship Programme for the Translation Degree across all four universities, the need for trained Sinhala/Tamil Translators and the possibilities for exchange programmes with the other universities.

NLEAP, in collaboration with the University Grants Commission provides all four universities with Technical Assistance from the University of Ottawa to mentor the academics and develop and revise existing syllabi.