The potential of role-playing as a translator training tool: Students' performance and reflections

Ting Ting Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Limited correspondence between university training curricula and translation labour market demands has long been noted by researchers. Aiming to reduce this gap and equip students to better adapt to the varying market demands, the researcher carried out an experiment involving role-playing with a group of Hong Kong beginner students of translation, in which simulated translator-client relations were introduced. This paper reports on the subject groups' translation performance and reflections on the role-playing exercises. According to my findings, the creative renditions of names by student translators generally won the simulated clients' approval; however, only three of the six translation projects on the whole satisfied the clients' expectations. This pinpoints the importance of students' acquiring some experience of translator-client interaction before they serve real clients in the future. The paper suggests that role-playing can be a useful pedagogical tool in addressing this gap in translator training: it gives learners an opportunity to learn about what is at stake in the translation transaction, helping them construct their own knowledge based on prior knowledge and achieve autonomy to follow a path of lifelong learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalNew Voices in Translation Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Role-playing simulation
  • Translator training
  • Translator-client relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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