Consideration of East-Kazakhstan region’s needs in translators’ training

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Gersonskaya Valentina, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Kameneva Natalia, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

Consideration of East-Kazakhstan region’s needs in translators’ training is an issue problem while designing teaching material for undergraduate students. At present there is a State Obligatory Educational Standard (SOES) of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) dd. 2006 for an undergraduate program in Translation Studies. Regulations of this Standard are obligatory to apply and obey by higher education institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan that train students in a Bachelor's program in the indicated profession. The SOES demands much of graduate students with Translation Studies Major. According to the SOES, graduate students of this Major are not to only translate texts of a certain subject area but are to understand the basic concepts of cross-cultural communication, social, natural sciences, and special linguistic disciplines; are to know the ways of state development, main points of economic laws, historical variety of cultures, history, culture, language, and religion of the country studied [1]. We are coming to the conclusion that that Department of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan sets goals aimed not only at training human resources who know foreign languages but it also focuses on obtaining background knowledge helping to get full information about the country of the language studied and the language itself. This strategy helps the translator realize completely the process of translation itself and its peculiarities.

Undoubtedly, the SOES of the Republic of Kazakhstan also demands good knowledge of the main regulations of translation theory and practice, mentality, traditions and customs of certain countries, and also knowledge regarding translation techniques. It is quite obvious that having this knowledge, graduate students with Translation Studies Major have a possibility to accomplish in their profession and to become highly qualified specialists. The following regulations are indicated in the SOES: the graduate should have the following skills - proficiency in the state language and in two foreign languages, in translation techniques [1].

According to the SOES, the graduate should be able to speak foreign languages fluently, to work with given information, to translate written or oral texts. The above-mentioned regulations make us come to the conclusion that graduate students with Translation Studies Major should have relevant information of stylistic and language peculiarities of translated texts as well as about the scientific sphere of the subject matter of the text to perform their professional activity. It is necessary to be a competent person in the following issues: political and socio-economic development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, constitutional legislation of RK, its administration system, functioning of educational and cultural institutions; the sphere of cross-cultural communication, the sphere of linguistic and professional capacity, the sphere of human resources management, and in the sphere of Translation Studies [1].

This SOES, in a certain measure, must give an opportunity to train specialists according to goals and objectives set by the Republic of Kazakhstan. As we know, the main priorities regarding development of our Republic are given in the Address of the President, Nazarbayev N.A., dd. 2011: “Industrialization forms a new paradigm for regional policy”; “Quality education should be the basis of industrialization and innovative development of Kazakhstan” (Nazarbayev N.A., 2011) [2].

Obviously, on the basis of the strategies mentioned above, great attention is being paid to the industrial development of Kazakhstan, because there is a great supply of minerals in our country that gives a possibility to develop different branches of industry. Therefore, we can see need in training and involvement of specialists, graduate students with Translation Studies Major to work in this sphere.

The analysis of the SOES shows it that graduate students with Translation Studies Major are trained to work in different spheres such as: administrative and managerial, educational and scientific, cultural and cross-cultural communication, international relationships, publishing, mass media, information-analytical and many others [1]. However, one can note that among the indicated spheres there is no mention of the industrial production sphere, which is a serious problem in human resource development for the region with the developed industrial production field.

In this work we are focusing on training translators and interpreters for the East Kazakhstan region as it is is one of the three major industrial centers of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which produces over 20% of industrial products 65% of energy and 5% of the country’s export. 48% of processing industry enterprises is concentrated in the region [2].

In East Kazakhstan nonferrous metallurgy is the basic branch of the oblast economy. It comprises 52.0% of the industrial potential of the East Kazakhstan oblast (EKO). The leading enterprises of the branch are: the “Kazzink” LLP (“Ust-Kamenogorsk and Tekely Lead and Zinc Combinates”, "Leninogorsk Polymetallic Combinate" and "Zyrianovsk Lead Combinate", “Bukhtarma and Tekely Energy Complexes”) which comprised 26.0% total oblast income in 2000; the “Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium and Magnesium Plant” JSC - 1.8%; the “VostokKazmed” merger – 6.5% (includes Zhezkent Ore-Dressing and Processing Combinate and is a part of the “Kazakhmys” Public Company [3].

Rapid industrial development makes the region increasingly attractive for foreign investors. It leads to designing joint industrial projects and construction of huge enterprises. Therefore, East Kazakhstan needs highly qualified specialists who know the specifics of non-ferrous industry, translators among them.

For the region it is unreasonable to train 90% of translators who are skilled in the field of tourism, science, international relations and only 10% in the field of nonferrous metallurgy. In connection with the development of the country and industry this region needs translators who will get a job and be ready to work in field conditions because industrial plants and their subdivisions, as a rule, offer jobs at a site, in shops, which are close to the process of production. At present, when for training of interpreters and translators books, recommended by the SOES are used, managers of East Kazakhstan industrial enterprises are often disappointed with the work of University graduates. According to T.A. Alimbekov, head of the “Kazzink” LLP Translators’ department: “Graduate students with Translation Studies Major do not have enough experience to work at the industrial enterprises because of their lack of knowledge of terminology and the process of production which complicates translation process, slows it down and worsens its quality”.

Therefore, there is a serious problem which has not been solved yet and which is topical now as consideration of the region’s needs can improve the quality of interpreters’ training for their future successful work at the East Kazakhstan enterprises.

According to the facts mentioned above one can make a conclusion that it is necessary to consider region needs in the training of undergraduate with the Translation Studies major. The result of studying always depends not only on the observance of SOES’ regulations but also on its compliance with the curricula. The quality of a curriculum is defined by means of distribution of hours for each course but it is necessary to remember that only Major disciplines help develop and master skills for future translation process.

The curriculum for training translators/ interpreters includes core courses (990 hours) and basic courses (1980 hours) [1].

Among the major courses are General-Professional Foreign Language (225 hours); Specially-Professional Foreign Language (225 hours); Literary Translation Techniques (135 hours); Written Translation (135 hours); Practice of Informative Translation (135 hours); [1]. The general amount of hours in major courses is 855 hours.

Table 1. “Translation Studies” Curriculum

1 Courses Total, hours %
1 Core 990 25,9
2 Basic 1980 51,8
3 Major 855 22,3
4 Total: 3825 100

According to Table 1, it is obvious that the least amount of hours is given to the most important set of disciplines – major courses which, undoubtedly, affects negatively the quality of specialists’ training.

Let us stress, that duration of most essential major courses – Translation Theory and Practice of Informative Translation – is not sufficient. Thus, Translation Theory only lasts 180 hours, though the main notions of translation, style classification, main aims of informative translation and its types, studied in this course, give a possibility to obtain theoretical knowledge to do translation. “Practice of Informative Translation” is given only 135 hours. The course includes the following themes: functional and stylistic differentiation of texts and the problem of translation; scientific and technical style and its characteristics; the structure of scientific and technical texts; principles of scientific and technical translation; the problems of the term; multiple meaning of the terms; translation of term-neologisms; false “friends” of a translator and the problem of scientific and technical terminology; internationalization terms’ system in a scientific paradigm and a peculiarity of a translation process; principles of technical translation and translation of materials regarding economics and trade business; peculiarities of a media prose; principles of text translation that belong to journalism: reports, a political comment, a theme article, journalistic story, interview; peculiarities of newspaper headlines [1, 4]. We can make a conclusion that if we are intended to design a course with consideration of regional needs as it is required by the Country’s development strategy, the books by V.S. Slepovich “Course of Translation” [5] and A.L. Pumpyansky “Reading and Translation of English scientific and technical literature” [6], recommended for the course by the SOES [1], cannot be used much in the course as they give training in theory and practice of translation (general, lexical and grammatical) in the field of economy, international business, banking, finances, but there are no specific texts suitable for our region.

We are coming to the conclusion that this course gives a very general idea of informative translation not training them in themes which may be essential for them in their future professional activity. Not underestimating the importance of theoretical themes of the course, we would like to propose the “Practice of Informative Translation” course, developed with consideration of needs of the East Kazakhstan region and mainly focused on nonferrous metallurgy, energy sector or oil and gas industry. First of all, these texts should contain information regarding East-Kazakhstan industrial field. Graduate students with Translation Studies Major must obtain experience not by means of translating separate disconnected sentences, but by means of translating full, connected texts about a certain branch of industry. Such an approach will help them realize their future professional activity, possible difficulties in translation, and study specific vocabulary typical for the industrial production in East-Kazakhstan. It is reasonable to reconsider the structure of the “Practice of Informative Translation” course and to design an integrative course to cope with all the problems described in the paper. One of the possible solutions to the problem is increasing the amount of hours for studying “Translation of Scientific and Technical Texts”. According to SOES, the duration of the “Practice of Informative Translation” course is 135 hours [1].We can redistribute these hours between units of this course and to change priorities. We suggest 20 hours for translation of media texts, popular science texts and official documents because in our region translators do not often work with them; 30 hours are dedicated to translation of trade business texts as such texts are also not so often translated but they are of great importance for some huge trade companies in the East-Kazakhstan region which are cooperating with foreign countries in delivery of household appliances. Consideration of the East Kazakhstan industrial development made us give the largest amount of hours, 45, for translation of scientific and technical texts. Thus, we offer the following distribution of hours:

- Translation of media texts – 20 hours;

- Translation of popular science texts – 20 hours;

- Translation of official documents – 20 hours;

- Translation of texts regarding a trade business – 30 hours;

- Translation of scientific and technical texts – 45 hours;

Considering the needs of the region we suggest the following main themes to study in the “Translation of scientific and technical texts” unit:

- Nonferrous Metallurgy;

- Energy Policy of Kazakhstan [7];

- Oil and Gas.

We also think that each of the main sections should include specific themes. The first theme “Nonferrous Metallurgy” should contain the following themes to study: “Nonferrous Metals”, “Production of Zink Concentrate”, “Anode Furnaces”, “Copper Smelting”. The theme section should contain: “Energy Complex of East Kazakhstan Region”, “Primary Energy Sources”, and “Hydropower Station [7], and the last theme, “Oil and Gas”, should contain the following themes: “Petroleum”, “Natural Gas” [8]. In other words we suggest the following distribution of hours:

- Nonferrous Metallurgy: Nonferrous Metals. Production of Zinc Concentrate. Anode Furnaces. Copper Smelting. (25 hours).

- Energy Policy of Kazakhstan. [7]: Energy Complex of East Kazakhstan Region. Primary Energy Sources. Hydropower Station [7] (10 hours).

- Oil and Gas: Petroleum. Natural Gas [7] (10 hours)

The suggested texts can help students obtain practical skills to work with technical texts, to learn about industrial branches which are developing in the region and in Kazakhstan in general. Besides, students will obtain experience how to use technical dictionaries.

We are sure that the region-oriented approach in training translator and interpreters will help improve the quality of East Kazakhstan translators’ training and enable them to efficiently work at the enterprises of the region.


1. Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2006). State Obligatory Educational Standard (SOES) of the Republic of Kazakhstan dd. 2006 for profession 050207 – Translation Studies. Astana: Ìinistry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. Official site of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, from http://www.

3. SD International Department of East Kazakhstan oblast (2009). East Kazakhstan: heading for the future. Astana: Astana DAMU-21.

4. East-Kazakhstan oblast: short description, from http://

5. Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2007). Standard Program for profession 050207 – Translation Studies. Almaty: Ìinistry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

6. Slepovich V.S. (2002). Course of translation. Minsk: TetraSystems.

7. Pumpyansky A.L. (1997). Reading and translation of English scientific and technical literature. Minsk: Popurri.

8. Novitskaya U.V. (2007) Technical translation for students of profession 050207 – Translation Studies and Foreign Language. Ust-Kamenogorsk: KAFU.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

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