The Translation Profession (SMLM153)

StaffDr Richard Mansell - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 5 weeks;

Module aims

Professional translators are now expected to be familiar with a lot more than just translation in the traditional sense, which is the representation of natural language strings. This module aims to familiarise you with the role of IT tools in translation, in particular the use and suitability of translation memory systems. You will develop a detailed understanding of how to evaluate and apply such systems to a variety of text types.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the translation and localisation industry and components of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. Show your ability to evaluate and apply software tools useful to translators and to edit and prepare documentation for professional purposes.
  • 3. Be able to identify and analyse complex issues and present them orally and in writing.
  • 4. Demonstrate independent critical approaches to the material and an understanding of a range of translational concepts and terminology

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Show your ability to produce, to deadline, a complex written argument of an advanced academic nature.
  • 6. Demonstrate ability to evaluate a software product and to present the results of this evaluation to a professional standard.

Syllabus plan

This module includes ten hours of seminars delivered in the first five weeks of term.


Topics covered in this module may include:

The modern profession. CAT tools, MT vs. TM, tools available, localisation

Workflow with CAT tools and dealing with different file types

Using simple and open-source CAT tools

Translating single documents with advanced CAT tools

Creating, translating and managing projects with complex CAT tools

Terminological databases and proprietary features of complex CAT tools

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities10Seminars
Guident Independent Study140Private Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentations10-15 minutesMS 1 DS 2, 3, 4 PK 5, 6Oral from peers, oral from tutor.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of essays and practical tasks on the translation profession1003,000 words in totalMS 1 DS 2, 3, 4 PK 5, 6Written (on proforma)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of essays and practical tasks on the translation profession, 3,000 words in totalPortfolio of essays and practical tasks on the translation profession, 3,000 words in totalMS 1 DS 2, 3, 4 PK 5, 6Referred/Deferred

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Austermuhl, Frank, Electronic Tools for Translators, Manchester, St Jerome, 2001
Gouadec, Daniel, Translation as a profession. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, John Benjamins, 2007
Robinson, Douglas, Becoming a Translator, 3rd edition, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012

Samuelsson-Brown, Geoffrey, A Practical Guide for Translators, 5th edition, Bristol, Multilingual Matters, 2010
Somers, Harold (ed.) Computers and Translation. A Translator's Guide. Amsterdam, John Benjamins,

Manuals for Trados, OmegaT, Wordfast Anywhere and other software

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Key words search

Translation profession, CAT tools, localisation