Integrating Language Technology into a Postgraduate Translation Programme

Robert Clark, Andrew Rothwell, Mark Shuttleworth

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

Abstract

No one-year Masters programme in technical or specialised translation is now complete without a significant component devoted to the ttheory and use of translation technology. If syllabus developers are to take seriously the recommendations of bodies such as LETRAC, such a programme should aim to develop expertise in the use of the internet and of industry-standard terminology management, machine translation and translation memory systems. Ideally, students studying for an MA or MSc programme geared to the needs of the translation industry should acquire competence in using a variety of systems and approaches and should complete their training programme fully equipped to take on a number of different roles within the industry. In addition to providing an overview of suggested current good practice, this paper also aims to consider a number of issues which need to be addressed by anyone planning to offer training in the use of this vital new technology. 1) The decision needs to be taken as to what proportion of the programme needs to be devoted to translation tools, and how this will balance the other course emphases. Indeed, the problem of integration with the rest of the programme is a serious one, the danger being that the translation technology component can develop into a kind of "bolt-on" unless time is taken to disseminate expertise and serious thought given to the problems of producing a fully co-ordinated syllabus. 2) As well as taking students through some of the standard packages, ways need to be found to include some coverage of "cutting edge" practices such as advanced WWW-based terminology mining, automatic terminology extraction, manipulating glossaries and other files between different proprietary formats, and working with a range of different technologies in tandem (e.g. MT and CAT). 3) With a range of tools having gained widespread acceptance in the translation industry serious thought needs to be given to which packages should be included in the training, and what order they will be covered in. The aim should be to present packages as even-handedly and impartially as possible, while still encouraging students to draw their own conclusions regarding their relative strengths and weaknesses. 4) The need to produce courseware with carefully-constructed source texts for students to work on means that, in a multilingual group, some participants may find themselves translating out of their native language. Every effort needs to be taken to ensure that this is for practice purposes only. 5) The significant problems associated with some target language scripts need to be solved. This is particularly the case where facilities for using double-byting languages (i.e. Chinese, Hapanese and Korean) need to be provided uder a Western operating system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraining the Language Services Provider for the New Millennium
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the III Encontros de Tradução de Astra-FLUP
EditorsBelinda Maia, Johann Haller, Margherita Ulyrch
PublisherUniversidade do Porto - Faculdade de Letras
Pages63-70
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9729350639
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002

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