So, do we translate or adapt?

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What’s the best way to teach online? Do we try to replicate the face-to-face experience, or do we try to benefit from the new medium? I suppose many of us started out by ‘translating’ our real classroom practices into Zoom, and yet we quickly found those ‘untranslatable’ elements. As a former literary translator of many years, I can tell you that it’s perfectly normal: in any book, nothing is really translatable if you want to find 100% equivalents. Languages are different after all. And yet everything can be translated in one way or another: you come across a pun – you make another pun in your own language, or you add an endnote, or you add a joke in another place… there are lots of possibilities, all depending on the context, audience and so on. So, we can try to replicate our classroom experience in the virtual world, things will work differently, and it’s ok. Perhaps this is what we should set out to do from the start – create a new experience, adapt our teaching and stop trying to translate it? This is what today’s link is about, among other things.

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