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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2014

Boundaries and Bridges: a French Translation of the CDIO Syllabus


This paper aims to provide a contribution to the discussion of the inclusion of different voices in the diffusion and implementation of the CDIO syllabus. Since 2001, the syllabus has been constantly updated and enriched, to include global social issues and the specifications of different national accreditation bodies. It is presented as a reference which can be adapted to the program requirements from different national cultures. However, without a critical examination of the terms adopted in the original version in English, some elements may be misunderstood, whereas others could be lost in translation. As Intercultural researchers from two French Engineering schools, we analysed the issues involved in the translation of the framework into French by interdisciplinary teams from Telecom-Bretagne, a CDIO collaborator. Our data includes first-hand experience of the translation, mediation and transformation process and interviews with the other participants. Based on the premise that different languages can relay different sociocultural realities, we first explore the boundaries or faultlines, (Kramsch 1993), between the semantic fields of English and French. These differences are first felt in the translation of the title CDIO, where conceive becomes imaginer and design concevoir. Other issues were terms which appear similar but have different connotations or a totally different meaning, or which do not exist in French, are unacceptable in France or remain embedded in American culture. Our analysis of the underlying cultural differences and dimensions which emerged highlights the importance of the act of translation and transformation into different languages in the appropriation and implementation of the CDIO framework. We stress the need for interdisciplinary translation teams of policy makers, Top Management, the Academy and intercultural and linguistic mediators. Further exploration of the boundaries and bridges between the CDIO syllabus in English and in other languages by members of the CDIO community is also recommended.


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hal-01016400 , version 1 (30-06-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-01016400 , version 1


Alison Gourvès-Hayward, Christophe Morace. Boundaries and Bridges: a French Translation of the CDIO Syllabus. CDIO 2014. 10th International Conceive Design Implement Operate Initiative annual conference, Jun 2014, Barcelone, Spain. ⟨hal-01016400⟩
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