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Industry-based curriculum design & evolution Dr Joanna Drugan University of Leeds Centre for Translation Studies

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1 Industry-based curriculum design & evolution Dr Joanna Drugan University of Leeds Centre for Translation Studies

2 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Background MA in Applied Translation Studies Programme designed & delivered in conjunction with industry Average student numbers: 50 Range of languages: 11+ (including Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Russian) Minimum range of tools: Catalyst, Déjà Vu, Passolo, Transit, Translator’s Workbench, Wordfast

3 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Talk map Evolution of industry & training provision Training gaps Recent research-led positive developments: Questionnaire-based research into industry & alumni expectations EU-funded eCoLoRe project Conclusion: negatives & positives

4 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Recent changes in the translation industry Global communication Increased volumes of multilingual documentation Multiple file types Translation and localisation Time constraints CAT tools

5 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds LETRAC summary LETRAC: Language Engineering for Translators’ Curricula, EU-funded study of European translator training provision, 1999 In most European countries, the job profile of translators has changed or is about to change

6 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds LETRAC conclusions Translators do not feel well prepared by their institutions for the real world of work All training institutions have more or less failed to prepare translators for the real market situation by not providing them with the required [computer] skills Training in IT should be obligatory

7 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Not just LETRAC… Lambert (1996: 291): ‘The bureaucratic protection offered by the institutionalization of diplomas, curricula and institutes will not survive the globalization and the worldwide competition process unless it will be open to continuous revision, adaptation, tests, research and discussion.’

8 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds LETRAC Conclusions: A ‘translator profile’ Suggested curriculum content Problem: Rapid and ongoing evolution of industry Simply adopting LETRAC’s proposed curriculum would mean we trained translators fit for work in 1999, not necessarily 2004, far less 2030

9 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Questions How far are we already responding to industry needs? How can we continue to provide professionally relevant and academically rigorous training as the language industries evolve?

10 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Training provision ‘LE/IT in translator curricula vary from nothing but basics in word processing to a broad range of sophisticated software tools (terminology management, translation memory, machine translation, Telecommunications/Internet, CD-ROM- based information systems...).’ – LETRAC Better awareness and range of courses

11 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Training provision New courses Introduction of technical training to existing courses Increased range/breadth of technical training where it already existed More tools covered

12 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Training gaps Language pairs Uneven development Technical support Difficulty of recreating real-world scenarios in the classroom Optional No technical training at all…

13 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Positive developments Unicode New tools – Wordfast TMX format & LISA standards Academics sharing materials and methods Employers’ awareness

14 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds The way forward – industry research Wright (1998: NP): ‘Close cooperation between industry and academia is essential in order to meet market needs.’ Research into continuing evolution of the industry One example: ongoing questionnaire-based investigations of what Language Service Providers want from graduates Available at

15 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Research findings LETRAC ‘translator profile’ comparison Advanced word-processing skills: 100% essential or desirable DTP skills: 60% Translation Memories and Terminology Management: 87% Machine Translation: 40% Practical problem solving techniques

16 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Research findings Reliability Flexibility Technical and linguistic accuracy Speed General computer skills – ‘not a technophobe’

17 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Academics too Wilss (1999: 236): ‘What is required today are practical knowhow, mental agility and a balance of rationality and imagination, routine and creativity.’ Need for trainers to develop graduates’ self- reliance and confidence when faced with new technologies in future

18 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds The way forward (2) - Alumni research Wagner (ND: 401): ‘There never seems to be any formal follow-up, to see if a student’s academic training was appropriate to the world of work. Professional translators are rarely invited to give feedback to their former teachers.’ Matching questionnaire for graduates, over 10 nationalities (incl. speakers of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese)

19 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Alumni research findings Graduates believe even more developed technical skills are essential Agreement on advanced word-processing skills, DTP skills Translation Memory tools: 100% Terminology Management tools: 95% Machine Translation systems: >80%

20 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Alumni research findings Practical skills Website authoring & design Individual comments confirming industry preferences: ‘Employers prefer universities which offer practical courses (i.e. less theory, less literature)’.

21 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions 1. Monitor the industry closely by ongoing research 2. Involve the industry in design and delivery of training 3. Train in transferable skills; ongoing monitoring of graduates

22 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions - negatives Potential drawbacks: Practical Curriculum content: ‘Academia to turn curricular interests away from outmoded concentrations in areas where there is no market demand’ (Wright, ibid.: NP) – consequences? Lack of competent teaching personnel Need for ongoing training

23 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions - negatives Potential drawbacks: Poor quality of training materials, time implications of designing materials Uneven development? Continuing and speedy evolution of industry requirements

24 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions - positives Positive aspects: Recruitment Relevance Skills Recent developments: eCoLoRe

25 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions - positives New sharing of relevant training materials : Source files Translation memories in over 20 languages Glossaries Definitions of key terms Reports on evolution in conjunction with industry (SAP, Atril)

26 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Conclusions - positives Excitement? Kingscott (1996: 296): ‘If taught properly, this can become quite exciting. Teaching the technical translator of the future could really open up New Horizons. The translator becomes proactive rather than reactive’.

27 Curriculum design, Limerick, May 2004 Joanna Drugan, CTS, University of Leeds Summary Research into our industry Communication with partners Evidence-based knowledge to plan training Flexibility, openness to new ideas, approaches and working methods Ongoing commitment to learning and change


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