September 8th will mark International Literacy Day. This event has got the team at Albion Languages thinking about why cross-border communication plays such an important part in modern literacy. In this blog about education translation, we will discuss why research has its own set of rules for the written word, plus how languages influence literacy around the world.

Research translation

Research translation poses its own challenges. Research papers are often complex and use a wide variety of language. This means translators need to understand the complexities of academic research. Research translation includes a range of different content types, including essays and theses.

The aim of much research work is to share ground-breaking, insightful information. This could be a study on something specific within a field, or to question an established theory. Much of the work can involve critiquing or presenting arguments. To ensure original research and similar documents are translated correctly, the translator must have an in-depth understanding of the nature of writing in research. Failure to interpret texts precisely could alter the emphasis of the research entirely. Research continues to share information globally, especially in healthcare during the current Covid-19 pandemic, which makes translations of pioneering information so crucial in the age of globalisation.

Influences of language and contact linguistics

When considering global literacy, it is important to consider how languages influence each other. Casual language use such as slang can be derived from one language and influence many others. Contact linguistics is the term used to describe the situation when multiple languages or different variations of the same language mix and take influences from one another. This can happen when communities migrate to a country with a different language. People bought up with cultural and language influences from multiple countries can also help to influence language literacy. Multilingual speakers may notice words from one language becoming the norm in another.

English and Spanish, for example, have derivatives from Latin, while Irish derived from the Celtic language. It is also worth considering that it is not just words that languages borrow from one another; it can be sentence formation and grammatical practices too.

Education translation – how are languages taught?

An article from 2019 suggested that UK language teaching lags behind that of its peers. Much of the teaching of foreign languages in UK schools focuses on specific, widely-used phrases and sentences. Some language experts believe that teaching the foundations of grammar and sentence formation when learning languages is key to encouraging fluency.

Some argue that there has been an over-reliance on English as a widely-used language worldwide, resulting in less importance being given to teaching a second language in the UK. In truth, the benefits of being bi- or multilingual are plentiful; not least the potential to earn a higher salary and enjoy enhanced experiences abroad.
Want to find out more about research and education translation? Speak to our experts today!