module specification

TR5051 - Electronic Tools for Translation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Electronic Tools for Translation
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
120 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 65%   Translation Environment Tools
Practical Examination 35%   Machine Translation Post-Editing
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module develops students’ knowledge of the range of electronic tools available for translation. It familiarises them with the principles and methods of Automatic / Computer / Human-assisted translation systems and compares and evaluates these in terms of their relevance for the practice of translating. The focus is on machine translation (MT), post-editing and translation environment tools (TEnTs); students will work closely with a variety of packages, both theoretically and practically, and will compare their features. As well as receiving theoretical instruction, students will develop their skills through "hands-on" sessions that emphasise the "real world" translation environment.

Prior learning requirements

TR4003 Practical Resources for Translators

Module aims

1. To give students the opportunity to develop more confidence in their IT skills in translation and to explore new areas and extend the knowledge of IT that they already have.
2. To equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge of electronic tools used in translation.
3. To improve students’ efficiency in the translation process and their marketability by being able to use translation tools professionally.
4. To provide students with theoretical instruction as well as hands-on practice of relevant translation tools.
5. To prepare students for the fast-changing world of translation technology by encouraging them to evaluate relevant first-hand sources for further self-development.


This module will cover the following aspects:

  • Introduction to CAT tools
  • Introduction to Machine Translation and post-editing
  • Introduction to Translation Environment Tools
  • Comparing Translation Environment Tools interfaces

Learning and teaching

The sessions for each individual topic or area are broken down into 3 parts:

  • Introduction and demonstration of new material by the lecturer
  • Hands-on practice by students
  • Evaluative discussion of relevant issues

As this is a course on electronic tools, course materials will be delivered electronically and posted on WebLearn. Students are also encouraged to make use of the online instruction manuals and tutorials provided by manufacturers for their software. For example, SDL provides a comprehensive, easy-to-understand manual on using SDL Trados that can be downloaded from its website and which is also made available on Weblearn. A willingness to explore such resources is an integral part of learning how to use software.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Use a wide range of electronic tools available for translation.
2. Compare and evaluate principles and methods of Automatic / Computer / Human-assisted translation systems in terms of their relevance for the practice of translation.
3.  Use for professional purposes one package of translation memory software and recognise other translation memory system interfaces, thus enabling them to evaluate the relevant pros and cons and incorporate the tools in their professional life.
4. Utilise post-editing skills which are an integral part of Automatic Translation training.

Assessment strategy

100% Practical Exams organised as follows:
Exam 1: Translation Environment Tools
This will be a timed translation to be performed using TEnTs and following the relevant workflow to produce a timely translated product and deal with any ensuing troubleshooting.  The students will also discuss any troubleshooting solutions in a report.

Exam 2: Machine Translation Post-Editing
Students run a text through two different machine translation systems, then post-edit both texts and produce a report evaluating the outputs.


  • Austermühl, F. (2001) Electronic Tools for Translators (Chapters 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 in particular), Manchester: St. Jerome.
  • Chan, Sin-Wai (2004) A dictionary of translation technology, Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
  • Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission (2012) Translation and multilingualism [online]. Available at:
  • Quah, C.K. (2006) Translation and Technology, Palgrave: Macmillan.
  • Somers, H. (2003) Computers and translation: a translators guide, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. [e-book available via Library Services]
  • Zetzsche, J. (2003) A Translators Tool Box for the 21st Century. A Computer Primer for Translators, International Writers Group [online]. Available from


  • eMpTy Pages: (on translation technology, localization and collaboration)
  • Multilingual Computing [online]. Available at (as e-resource via Library Services).
  • TC World [online]. Available at:
  • Translation Journal [online]. Available at: