Amongst the world-famous alumni of the Jagiellonian University, Poland’s oldest university are: Nicolaus Copernicus, father of modern astronomy, Bronisław Malinowski, anthropologist, ethnographer and explorer, Stanisław Lem, fiction writer, futurologist and philosopher and Wisława Szymborska, poetess, essayist, translator and Nobel Prize winner. The Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication at the Faculty of Philology is based in the very heart of Kraków, Poland’s second largest city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Lesser Poland region, which prides itself on a combination of historic and postmodern architecture, including an old castle, ancient churches and state-of-the-art campus and business infrastructure. The lively city is a business centre, a cultural hub and a tourist attraction which receives over 7 million visitors a year and features: dozens of museums and galleries, about 40 parks, the Vistula river, winding its way through the area, and 5 picturesque nature reserves. At the same time, with a population of about 200,000 students, and over 10 university level institutions, Kraków is a leading educational centre, complete with modern laboratory, library and student accommodation facilities.
The Chair’s beginnings reach back to 1995 as it is one of the first translator training institutions in Poland. Its mission is to promote intercultural understanding by educating translators and interpreters prepared to function effectively on the contemporary professional market. In addition to second-cycle M.A. day study programmes with a practical profile, the Chair offers postgraduate studies for specialized translators, as well as conference interpreters, and also preparatory courses for certified translator candidates. Translator competence and intercultural competence, developed through hands-on experience, lie at the core of the language-specific translator and interpreter education programmes which are provided. The learning experience is rich and covers a wide range of courses and activities, including CAT workshops in computer labs, conference interpreting practice in booths, internships in local translation agencies and international corporations, authentic telecollaborative translation projects and intercultural online exchanges with universities from all over the world. The Chair offers translation and interpreting training in several languages B and C (Polish, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and others).
Our interviewees from The Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication at the Faculty of Philology of the Jagiellonian University are Prof. Maria Piotrowska, Aleksander Gomola, PhD and Mariusz Marczak, PhD.
- What is the date of your School foundation?
Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication was established in 2002.
- Who are the School founders?
The Chair was founded under the auspices of UNESCO by Prof. Elżbieta Tabakowska, as part of the network of such institutions in Poland. Informal guidance was provided by Prof. Norman Davies.
- Define your School’s mission?
The mission of the Chair is:
- to teach translation/interpreting between three languages;
- to develop practical skills in translating specialist texts (economic, legal, medical, academic, etc.);
- to teach the specifics of the translation process: from commission to payment;
- to teach how to effectively search for information on the Internet, in language corpora and in terminology databases;
- to teach the principles of professional text edition;
- to foster the acquisition of qualifications that will give students a great start in the labour market: not only as translators/interpreters, but also as language specialists, communication experts, technical writers, copywriters, and many others– both in international corporations and publishing houses, translation agencies, the media, etc.;
- to provide plenty of opportunity to develop various professional skills.
- What are the School’s study programs?
MA in Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Communication prepares students for work as professional translators, dealing with different types of specialised texts with the use of CAT tools, as audiovisual translators (including audiodescription) and as interpreters (consecutive and simultaneous). The aim of the programme is to train highly qualified multilingual specialists in the field of translation, interpreting, AVT and software localisation. The curriculum offers practical translation workshops in specialised translation, audiovisual translation, CAT tools, telecollaboration and video-conferencing classes, Polish language grammar and editing, and lectures in translation research methodology, Intercultural Communication and Translation Studies. The study programme also covers placements in translation agencies and other Language Services Providers.
Postgraduate Studies for LSP Translators is a course in specialised translation for applicants who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any field of study. It places particular emphasis on hands-on practice and provides professional training in the translation of a wide range of marketing, economic, legal, medical and academic texts, as well as audiovisual materials.
Postgraduate Studies for Conference Interpreters is a course for students considering a career in conference interpreting. Since intensive practical translation work lies at the heart of the programme, it guarantees comprehensive training in consecutive and simultaneous (in-booth) interpreting.
- What language pairs specialists are produced at School?
English - Polish
German - Polish
French - Polish
Italian - Polish
Russian - Polish
Spanish - Polish
Ukrainian - Polish
- What is the period of training at School?
MA in Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Communication a four-semester programme.
Postgraduate Studies for LSP Translators is a two-semester programme.
Postgraduate Studies for Conference Interpreters is a three-semester programme.
- What is the amount of time planned for classroom training and self-study per each program?
MA: 815 h per 4 semesters for classroom training
Postgraduate Studies for LSP Translators: 284 h per 2 semesters for classroom training
Postgraduate Studies for Conference Interpreters: 300 h per 3 semesters for classroom training
The number of self-study hours per each programme is course-specific and lies at the teacher’s discretion.
- What is the number of graduates produced by School every year?
Between 30 and 35
- Can you provide statistics (if any) of your graduates’ employment?
Information concerning job careers of our graduates comes from the general survey conducted at the university level. Out of 35 graduates who graduated in the academic year 2015/2016 68 % (20 people) provided information concerning their employment. 65 % of them were working and 20 % were working and continuing their studies.
Besides that, the Chair is using the Claroline e-learning platform in order to provide expanded accessibility to (the) classes and introduce modern learning technologies. Many conferences dedicated to audiovisual translation, interpreting, accessibility and translating etc. are hosted by the Chair in cooperation with Polish and international associations and organizations, e.g. the European Commission, the European Society for Translation Studies, and other events regarding intercultural studies and communication.