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. Evaluate and apply software tools useful to translators and to edit and prepare documentation for professional purposes
  • 3. 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. Produce, to deadline, a complex written argument of an advanced academic nature
  • 6. Evaluate a software product and present the results of this evaluation to a professional standard

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • 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 Teaching10Seminars
Guident Independent Study140Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation of CAT tool tasks10-15 minutes1-6Oral 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 profession1003000 words in total1-6Written (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 professionPortfolio of essays and practical tasks on the translation profession1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment. 

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

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,2003
  • Manuals for Trados, OmegaT, Wordfast Anywhere and other software

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Translation profession, CAT tools, localisation