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LN913: Translation, Technology and Automation

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Making efficient use of translation technologies is increasingly important for professionals working in the language and localisation industries. This module introduces key concepts related to computer-assisted translation and machine translation, explores how these technological advancements are changing the professional landscape and provide students with the knowledge, tools, and practical skills to make proficient use of technologies to develop their professional careers in the dynamic translation and localisation market. The module explores translation technologies within a broader assessment of the impact of automation on the work of translators and the future of work.

The module follows a strong hands-on and applied approach to translation technologies. Students will engage with a wide array of technological tools to translate texts, but also process and manipulate translation-related data. Through practical exercises mirroring real-life scenarios, students will acquire an understanding of the technologies and how they can be successfully integrated into translation workflows, thus allowing them to design and critically evaluate their implementation.

This module will feature state-of-the-art translation tools (such as translation memories, machine translation systems, speech recognition, work management, and terminology management applications) to allow students to plan, coordinate, and develop different types of translation tasks.

The module will combine lectures, seminars, and two mandatory translation-technology clinics. Students will engage and process different text types to complete translation, revision, and post-editing tasks. The students will also learn about how to plan and set up projects, define a translation workflow, assign different tasks, manage translation-data resources (translation memories, terminology databases, glossaries), conduct quality assurance evaluations, and communicate with different agents in the translation project.

Students will also learn about the different roles and stages involved in translation projects, allowing them to sharpen their skills to undertake different types of roles in their careers, while also equipping them with the transferrable skills that will allow them to face new and always-changing technological tools

Additionally, the module will provide students with opportunities (workplace visits or volunteering) to engage with Language Service Providers or organisations through an optional work-experience component. This exercise will allow students to apply and expand their translation technologies skills and knowledge.

Module aims

This module aims to equip students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to efficiently use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and to evaluate the benefits of their implementation in professional settings. Through the practical use of CAT resources and drawing on cutting-edge research, students will be able to engage with different translation scenarios and complete tasks that will help them understand the role of technologies and automation in the day-to-day lives of language professionals.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The module relies on a strong hands-on approach, with weekly tasks and exercises: it will integrate video tutorials, reading instructions and independent research tasks. The focus on practical expertise demands a significant amount of guided independent work. To support this, the module offers a variety of forums, group discussions and exercises that encourage collaborative work and formative peer assessment.

Classes will take the form of workshops and lectures, including the review of independent work and additional feedback. The classes will be supported by two mandatory 1-hour translation technology clinics. These clinics are student-led and geared towards individual consultation and consolidation.

Indicative module syllabus*

The module consists of 12 teaching hours.

Session 1: Introduction to translation technologies and translation projects
Session 2: Databases and translation memories
Session 3: Student-led translation technology clinic (1 hour)
Session 4: Machine translation and post-editing
Session 5: Terminology, quality assurance and risk management
Session 6: Student-led translation technology clinic (1 hour)
Session 7: Translation technology and industry roles

The module might include extracurricular guest lectures by experts in translation and localisation organised as part of the yearly Translation and Transcultural Studies events. Drop-in sessions and office and consultation hours are encouraged.

Optional work-experience component: the module provides students with the opportunity to complete an optional work-experience activity. Students could participate in a workplace visit to a Language Service Provider or engage in volunteer translation activities so that they can apply their newly acquired skills in a real-life situation.

*This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.


100% Portfolio of tasks

The portfolio will include four tasks based on activities in class that students will develop throughout the term: two short reflections (around 600 words), a software tutorial, and a final reflection (around 1200 words). In these tasks, the students will reflect on their practice using CAT tools, make informed decisions about the suitability of CAT and localisation tools and assess how technology shapes the work of language professionals. Students will receive formative feedback for their short reflections in preparation for the submission of their portfolio. The topics will be a combination of tutor-proposed and student-defined topics. should relate to one or more theoretical concepts explored in the module.


  • Students will need to bring their own laptops to the class.


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