The Translation Profession (SMLM143)

StaffDr Richard Mansell - Convenor
Dr Richard Mansell - Lecturer
Dr Ting Guo - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Professional translators are now expected to be familiar with a lot more than just translation in thetraditional sense, which is the representation of natural language strings. This module aims to familiarisestudents with the structure of the translation industry, and the role of IT tools in translation, in particularthe use and suitability of translation memory systems. They 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 industry and components of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. Show their ability to evaluate and apply software tools useful to translators and to edit and prepare text documentation for professional purposes.
  • 3. Be able to identify possible sources for work, and 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 their ability to produce, to deadline, a complex written argument of an advanced academic nature.
  • 6. Demonstrate their ability to evaluate a software product and to present the results of this evaluation to a professional standard

Syllabus plan

The following topics are indicative of the syllabus, although the week numbers depend on the number of
students enrolled:
Week 1: Introduction. The nature of the translation industry.
Week 2: Professional translation services. In-house translation, agencies, freelancers.
Week 3: The reach and responsibility of the professional translator. The translator's community.
Week 4: Localisation: the new translation
Week 5: The concept of CAT tools: CAT tools available to translators
Week 6: Translation memory systems: Proprietary vs. open source, Local vs. cloud. Wordfast (I).
Week 7: Open-source systems: OmegaT (I)
Week 8: Open-source systems: OmegaT (II). Conclusion and revision
Week 9: Proprietary systems: Trados (I)
Week 10: Proprietary systems: Trados (II)

Week 11: Proprietary systems: Trados (III)



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 activities11Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Seminars
Guided independent study278Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation on seminar topics. 10-15 minutesMS 1 DS 3,4 PK 5Oral; Peer criticism

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 profession, CAT tools, including the evaluation of single translation memory systems and the comparison of various systems1007,500 wordsMS 1,2; DS 3,4,5; PK 6Written (on proforma)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Austermuhl, Frank, Electronic Tools for Translators, Manchester, St Jerome, 2001

Gouadec, Daniel, Translation as a profession. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, Benjamins, 2007

Samuelsson-Brown, Geoffrey, A Practical Guide for Translators, Toronto, Multilingual Matters, 2010.

Somers, Harold (ed.) Computers and Translation. A Translator's Guide. Amsterdam, John Benjamins,

Manuals for TRADOS, OmegaT, and other software

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?