A Calendar for Aldea Laura

Can real-life translation projects be combined with charity? According to students in Don Kiraly's translation course at the FASK (School of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies) in Germersheim, the question can be answered with a clear "yes." Not only do the students have to deal with tight deadlines, translate a large amount of text and produce a final product, they also experience the translator's reality by getting paid. But what should be done with the hard-earned money?

Some of the earnings were donated to "Aldea Laura", a foundation that has built and now runs a school in a rural area of Guatemala. When the foundation planned to give away a calendar to donators and asked the FASK to do the necessary translation work, Don and his students decided to translate that calendar for free in their translation course.

The class was organised like an authentic translation project. The students split up into groups, each of which translated a part of the whole project. After the translation was completed, the students proofread each other's work. The class was characterized by a high level of participation (usually, more than half the students drop out of a translation class before the end of the semester). According to Don, a reason for this may be that the students felt obliged to finish the work they promised to do.

Finally, it can be said that the authentic project "Zukunft für Kinder - Aldea Laura" (a future for children) was a success and everybody benefited from it. Not only did the students do a good deed by translating the calendar for the "Aldea Laura" foundation, they also gained some professional experience. For most of them it was the first time they were able to see the concrete result of their translation work.

Here you can find more pictures of the Mayan children from Chocruz in Guatemala. More information about "Zukunft für Kinder - Aldea Laura" is available on the foundation's homepage.

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