module specification

TR7042 - Translation Tools and the Translator (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Translation Tools and the Translator
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
176 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 100%   Practical exercise in the use of Translation Environment Tools & troubleshooting report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Evening
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module concentrates on translation environment tools (TEnTs) the translator is likely to use in practice. It introduces students to resources on the Internet and concentrates on their evaluation, as well as on the use of proprietary software for professional terminology management, both as standalone tools and as integrated in TEnTs.

Semester: Autumn for full-time cohort; Spring year 1 for Part-time cohort

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  1. To provide training on the use of Information Technology for information storage and retrieval, which will allow students to compete in today’s translation industry.
  2. To enable students to acquire the ability to critically evaluate online resources for use in translation, and to make sound judgements in the absence of complete data.
  3. To enable students to develop an awareness of the typology and classification of resources and documentation relevant to translators (eg. terminology databases, glossaries, parallel texts and multilingual web sites), and to critically examine their appropriateness according to specific needs.
  4. To enable students to develop an understanding of the principles and methods of Automatic /Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools and to critically appraise them in order to validate their use in translation.
  5. To enable students to acquire relevant professional and instrumental skills with regards to the use of CAT tools (especially Terminology Management systems and Translation Environment tools), and to act autonomously in implementing tasks requiring the use of these tools and their relevant troubleshooting.


This module is the third of the 8 modules of the MA Translation. It involves an introduction to the electronic tools the translator is likely to make use of in actual practice. The module presupposes computer literacy and the ability to work with word processing at an intermediate level (see the general prerequisites for admission).

The module builds on this knowledge and elaborates on the use and evaluation of Internet resources, the interface between translator and terminology, and general/proprietary tools such as terminology databases, glossaries, parallel texts and multilingual web sites published by reputable multinational organisations and companies.  It introduces a critical appraisal of Automatic / Computer-Assisted Translation systems, such as Translation Environment Tools, and stresses that this area is subject to rapid development as many of the current limitations are overcome.

Learning and teaching

The module involves theoretical instruction in basic principles of the various issues coupled with written and oral, problem-oriented, text-based exercises relating to these principles also offering a practical outlook on translating skills.

Blended learning is integrated in the curriculum through the use of online quizzes and discussions. The latter are used to promote reflective thinking, and to give students the opportunity to reflect on controversial aspects, such as the role of technology in the translation industry. Weblearn quizzes are used to give students the opportunity to review key concepts in a more interactive and attractive way.

Assignments are submitted via Weblearn in order to mirror professional practice, as nowadays translation work is submitted electronically and within specific deadlines.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Work autonomously and efficiently with information technology applications using appropriate language locales according to their needs.
  2. Select appropriate resources and methods for retrieving, managing and storing information for translation purposes, taking into consideration specific contexts and needs.
  3. Use a wide range of resources in their work as translators, and cogently evaluate and judge their appropriateness and reliability.
  4. Efficiently use widely available Automatic and/or Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools such as Terminology Management and Translation Environment Tools, with awareness of transferable skills applicable to all such systems.
  5. Deal with the practicalities of the daily work of translators in the context of meeting deadlines and software troubleshooting.

Assessment strategy

Assessment method: Timed translation (100%)


  • 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 at