Issues in Using Twitter in Interactive Translation Practice

Session Description
I used my Twitter account to tweet meanings of technical terms, translation tips and short texts to be translated by followers interested in translation. Images of longer texts, examples and explanations were also tweeted. My followers translated the texts, tweeted and re-tweeted their corrections and translations for feedback. Some asked questions about words and phrases that they have difficulty translating. I did not provide direct corrections. Rather, I gave feedback on the location and types of errors, tweeted prompts, tips and gave resources while followers were thinking and working on their answers. Each translation was subjected to several revisions and re-tweets before it reached an acceptable level. Words of encouragement, likes and smileys were given when a correct answer was reached. Responses to a questionnaire-survey showed that followers benefited from the variety of dictionaries tweeted, translations of technical terms given, the variety of feedback and translation tips given. They found the hashtags I used helpful in locating the tweets. Although the process was fun, it was also tedious and time consuming. It was difficult to keep up with the speed and amount of tweets and retweets on the part of the followers, especially when they were involved in correcting translation errors. Some students were hesitant and shy to participate. Some asked for help in homework. Followers suggested the integration of other technologies to help make up for the limitation in tweet length. Further issues, reflections and recommendations on translation practice via Twitter will be given.
  • Reima Al-Jarf, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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