[New publication] The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 12 (4)

The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 12 (4)

An integrated curricular design for computer-assisted translation tools: developing technical expertise

Mónica Rodríguez-Castro

Abstract: Increasing project complexity and a high level of specialization in the language industry have resulted in a demand for translation professionals with sophisticated technical skills. This has made computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools indispensable for translators in order to meet project requirements. With a rapidly changing industry environment, the traditional translation curriculum needs to be refined so as to incorporate additional translator competences that bridge the gap between the classroom and emerging industry practices. This article presents an introductory graduate-level course with the following highlights: (a) a curricular design with modules on project setup, terminology management, translation memory systems, post-editing, and software localisation; (b) refined learning outcomes for the CAT classroom in order to accelerate the acquisition of technical skills; (c) implementation of virtual reality simulation (VRS) and task-based learning as teaching methodologies; and (d) a portfolio assessment that enhances critical thinking. The learning outcomes for the course have been assessed in a pilot graduate class that was taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, USA). The results from direct assessment of the outcomes are discussed in this article, and the overall rationale for the approach adopted for curriculum design is justified.

What to expect from Neural Machine Translation: a practical in-class translation evaluation exercise

Joss Moorkens

Abstract: Machine translation is currently undergoing a paradigm shift from statistical to neural network models. Neural machine translation (NMT) is difficult to conceptualise for translation students, especially without context. This article describes a short in-class evaluation exercise to compare statistical and neural MT, including details of student results and follow-on discussions. As part of this exercise, students carry out evaluations of two types of MT output using three translation quality assurance (TQA) metrics: adequacy, post-editing productivity, and a simple error taxonomy. In this way, the exercise introduces NMT, TQA, and post-editing. In our module, a more detailed explanation of NMT followed the evaluation.

The rise of NMT has been accompanied by a good deal of media hyperbole about neural networks and machine learning, some of which has suggested that several professions, including translation, may be under threat. This evaluation exercise is intended to empower the students, and help them understand the strengths and weaknesses of this new technology. Students’ findings using several language pairs mirror those from published research, such as improved fluency and word order in NMT output, with some unpredictable problems of omission and mistranslation.

Embedding reflection throughout the postgraduate translation curriculum: using Communities of Practice to enhance training

Sarah Berthaud and Sarah Mason

Abstract: The translation industry, as well as Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and translator training, have undergone numerous changes in the last two decades. These changes might explain why there is often a gap between translator training and professional translation practice. In this paper, we argue that situated learning through the development of a community of practice (CoP) ensures cohesion in individual, group and larger professional contexts. We further argue that reflection elements integrated within the CoP provide a way to narrow the gap between translator training and professional translation practice. Unlike previous studies, in this paper we explore how reflection can be embedded during participation and learning throughout the translation postgraduate curriculum to create a CoP. We detail a case-study of the MA in Translation Studies (MATS) at the University of Portsmouth, UK. On the MATS, reflection – for all participants involved – influences all aspects of the course, thereby developing an adaptable CoP that sets both learners and trainers up with the tools for successful adaptation for their professional life.

English Stylistics in a Chinese-English literary translation classroom

Zuqiong Ma

Abstract: This study describes a stylistics-based pedagogical approach to literary translation. Such a stylistic approach was conceived in an attempt to resolve what might be seen as a paradox in today’s classroom: that despite style being persistently invoked as a top priority in literary translation, it is seldom examined in systematic detail or dissected into operable parts. It is proposed here that a set of tools can be defined, taught and explored through the discipline of stylistics to assist in the accomplishment of the style imperative. The study examines first the theoretical background to the approach and pedagogical motivations underpinning it. It then details the design and implementation of a semester-long course entitled ‘Translating Chinese Literature’ that engages third-year translation majors in inverse literary translation at a Chinese university, zooming in on a module of linguistic foregrounding. In conclusion, outcomes of the approach are shown with reference to questionnaire responses.

Effects of three tasks on interpreting fluency

Liuyan Yang

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of three fluency-enhancing activities on interpreting learners’ performance. Four groups of students took part in the experiment. They were assigned to one of the four task conditions: pre-task planning, task repetition, formulae acquisition, and a control group. A temporal approach was adopted to measure fluency, which was divided into three dimensions: speed fluency, breakdown fluency and repair fluency. Nine temporal measures were used to measure these three aspects as well as overall fluency. Results supported a clear fluency effect of task repetition while effects of pre-task planning and formulaic sequences were not decisive. Levelt’s speech production model was used to account for effects of fluency-enhancing tasks.

Why not go online?: A case study of blended mode business interpreting and translation certificate

Jieun Lee and Jiun Huh

Abstract: Because of the globalisation of business transactions and trade, the demand for translation and interpreting (T&I) services has continued to grow in South Korea. A 20-week-long Business Interpreting and Translation (BIT) Certificate Program was designed to teach basic T&I skills to people who were interested in acquiring such skills for their work or those who wanted to improve their language skills through T&I training. This paper discusses the course design of the online classes that the BIT programme offered in the first half of 2015, with a focus on the instructional design, advantages, and challenges perceived by trainees and trainers. This paper presents findings from surveys and interviews with trainees and trainers, offering insight into the effectiveness of the online T&I training course. The results indicate that trainees were generally satisfied with their online learning experiences and positively evaluated the efficacy of online translation training, whereas trainers had mixed views on online teaching and learning. Despite some limitations, this paper points to promising aspects of delivering online T&I training for specific purposes.