module specification

TR4003 - Practical Resources for Translators (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Practical Resources for Translators
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Compiling a glossary and writing a commentary
In-Course Test 50%   Problem-solving questions on editing/proofreading
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module focuses on developing consultation and documentation skills crucial to work as a translator. The focus of the module is on two aspects of translation:
1) Translation as a process. Students will be exposed to the use of monolingual/bilingual dictionaries and glossaries and to a variety of other internet-based translation resources. As translation trainees, they are expected to be working actively with these resources from the beginning of their course and learn to understand the limitations that such resources present as well as the advantages they offer.
2) Translation as a product. Students are expected to use the above-mentioned skills developed to check the accuracy of the final product. In view of this, they will be trained to edit their own and the others’ translations in terms of style, structure, content and accuracy.
The module is practice-based and this is reflected in section 12.


The module content is split in two parts.
The first block (Week 1-15) is focused on the development of the students’ documentation and research skills. The focus of the first section is on acquiring knowledge of:
1. linguistic concepts necessary to correctly interpret the information of dictionaries (word classes, cross-references, collocations, homographs-homonyms-homophones, idioms, etc.),
2. differences between dictionaries, glossaries, encyclopaedias and other translation resources (portals, forums, databases, corpora),
3. use of Internet search syntaxes for terminological and professional purposes. LO1

The second block (Week 16-30) is focused on the development of the students’ capacity to check their partners’ and own translations. This section will cover basic content and stylistic editing; consistency; computer aids to checking; revision parameters and procedures and quality assessment. LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This is an in-class taught module although a few sessions are delivered online for the purpose of familiarising students with a variety of interaction modes (face-to-face and distance learning). The teaching sessions are very practical. The lectures – aimed at providing comprehensive understanding of the documentation and revision procedures – are complemented with brainstorming activities, problem-oriented and text-based exercises relating to the principles and concepts being introduced. Use of WebLearn is made regularly in order to share experiences and submit tasks and assignments. The rationale behind the use of WebLearn is that it has become common practice within the translation professional environment to submit/exchange work electronically and within specific deadlines.
Independent study: Students are expected to sediment and develop the content covered during the teaching sessions through pieces of homework which are provided at the end of each teaching session and then discussed the following week.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Identify and retrieve translation tools and resources in terms of their usability and reliability for a specific task.
2. Apply the tools and resources with a view to improving their final translation to professional standards.

Assessment strategy

Assessment component 1:
Coursework: A glossary and a 2000-word commentary on the use of paper and online resources implemented during the translation exercises. To be submitted through WebLearn.

Assessment component 2:
Written Exam (2 hours): An exercise on editing/proofreading to be performed in class.

The content of these two assessments has been informed by knowledge of, and reflection on, the requirements of the translation profession. Employers look for candidates with IT skills, familiarity with online resources and the capacity to produce high-standard translations. The first component allows students to demonstrate that they have achieved LO1 – and therefore that they can comply with the first two requirements – whereas the second component enables students to demonstrate that they have achieved LO2, i.e. that they meet the third requirement.
Throughout the 30 teaching weeks students are given tasks which develop their understanding of the skills they need in order to meet the professional expectations. Formative assessment on their homework is given each week. This prepares them for the assessment on which they also receive extensive feedback in due time. The two assessments are spread homogenously, i.e. at the end of each block.



Core Text:
Mossop, B. (2006) Revising and editing for translators. 2nd edn. Manchester, UK and Kinderhook (NY), USA: St Jerome Publishing.

Other Texts:
Calishain, T. (2004) Web search garage. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall PTR.
Calishain, T. Dornfest, R. and Adams, D.J. (2003), Google pocket guide. Cambridge: O’Reilly UK.
Chowdhury, G. (2001) Information sources and searching on the world wide web. London: Library Association.
−− (2003) Introduction to modern information retrieval. London: Facet.
Kemble, I. (2004) Using corpora and databases in translation. Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth.
O’Dochartaigh, N. (2007) Internet research skills: how to do your literature search and find research information online. London: Sage Publications.
Samuelsson-Brown, G. (2004) A practical guide for translators. Bristol: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Somers, H. (2003) Computers and translation: a translator’s guide. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission (2002, 2004 eds.) Translating for a multilingual community. Available at: