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Using Talanoa to develop bilingual word lists of technical vocabulary in the trades
It is important for anyone entering a profession to learn their profession’s specialised language. This is also true of those learning trades such as automotive technology or plumbing. Knowledge of specialised language allows trades professionals to speak to other professionals and read technical material. Although this technical language is new to all students, learning it is harder for students learning in a second language. In this article we provide support for this learning for students from the Pacific Island nation of Tonga, who are studying a trade in English either in Tonga or abroad. In prior work we developed technical word lists in four trades, identifying the technical vocabulary in a 1.6 million-word corpus of course material. In this article, we extend that research by developing bilingual English-Tongan word lists, using culturally appropriate Talanoa methodology to draw on the specialist knowledge of Tongan-speaking trades’ professionals. Translation revealed that numerous technical words do not have a direction translation in Tongan, particularly infrequent English words. It also revealed words with a clear Tongan equivalent, and Tonganised English words. The bilingual word lists will benefit Tongan trades’ trainees in Tonga and those who are migrants to English countries. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in 'International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism' on 2017-09-17, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13670050.2017.1374329.