module specification

TR4003 - Practical Resources for Translators (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
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
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 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 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on developing research and documentation skills as well as evaluative competencies 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 of a variety of other (paper and 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 research 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 the teaching method.

Module aims

The module aims are the following:
1. to familiarise students with a wide range of resources and tools and their application in the translation process
2. to provide students with opportunities to critically approach suitability and reliability of resources for a given task
3. to provide students with opportunities to revise and edit their product  by means of the tools/resources  practised in class.


The module content is split in two parts.
The first section (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;
3) how to discriminate between different meanings; 4) a variety of other translation resources (portals, forums, databases, corpora);
5) use of Internet search syntaxes for terminological and professional purposes;
6) how to evaluate the reliability of the resources.

The second section (Week 16-30) is focused on the development of the students’ capacity to check their partners’ and own translations. This section will cover:
1) structural, content and stylistic editing;
2) consistency;
3) computer aids to checking;
4) revision parameters;
5) revision procedures;
6) quality assessment.

Learning and teaching

This is an in-class taught module. The teaching sessions (2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab) are very practical. The lectures – aimed at providing comprehensive understanding of the documentation, research 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 also made in order to share experiences and to submit 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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. identify and use translation tools and resources required for a specific task
2. critically assess tools and resources in terms of their usability and reliability for a specific task
3. apply the tools and resources with a view to improving their final translation to professional standards.

Assessment strategy

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

Assessment component 2:
Written Exam: An exercise on Editing/Proofreading to be performed in class.


Austermühl, Frank (2001) Electronic Tools for the Translator, Manchester: St Jerome.

Calishain T. (2004), Web Search Garage, Prentice Hall PTR.

Calishain T. Dornfest R. and Adams DJ (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.

Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission (2002, 2004 eds), Translating for a Multilingual Community, available at:

Kemble, Ian (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.