LANC403-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Translation in the digital era: tools and practices

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


The recent revolutionary upheaval in the field of technology has brought far-reaching changes within the discipline of translation in today's digital world. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of contemporary translation technology and its varied applications, including the basics of audio-visual translation (AVT) and the use of Computer-Assisted Translation Tools, especially SDL Trados Studio.

The recent revolutionary upheaval in the field of technology has brought far-reaching changes within the discipline of translation in the present era. In fact, the ongoing convergence of communication and information and computer technologies (ICTs) has given rise to an accelerated pace at which institutions these days function. The surge of translation Apps, automatic online translation, subtitling, online terminological databases, to name but a few, has allowed for digital and audio-visual materials (html, videos, video games…) to be localized for different types of audiences. In line with the latter, the workplace of the translator has evolved in an attempt to accommodate and benefit from the latest technology-driven tools and deliver best quality translations within a time-efficient manner adapting to the rise of multiple different types of language projects requiring not only translation, but revision, and oftentimes layout for publication.

This course introduces students to a wide range of Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools through an overview of modern electronic translation environments and advice on how those translation tools can best be integrated into the translation process.

Large translation projects are these days commonly monitored by translation agencies which help companies localise their products and establish an ongoing business relationship where project managers become the cornerstone. This will help students identify different types of assignments and their preferred processing in the industry. An initial in-depth mapping of the current translator´s workplace is given with a view to understanding the different processes at hand for any translation assignment, from the customer to the translator, through the translation agency and the translation project manager.  

Additionally, the basics of audio-visual translation (AVT) and the recent boom and proliferation of AV texts and software localization will be explained so as to gain an insight into this ever-more-demanding and interdisciplinary field of translation. Consequently, and by way of practical illustration, an introduction into the world of subtitling will be given so that students can safely undertake their own future subtitling assignments.  

Last but not least, the central practical side of this course will enable students to become familiar and utilize their own Computer-Assisted Translation Tool, SDL Trados Studio. This particular CAT platform lets users approach their own translation assignments more efficiently within a variety of digital formats. As a result, students taking this course will be provided with the necessary skills to manage files, set up their own working station, edit their own work (word processing) and most importantly, benefit from the advantages of using a translation memory and a terminology management tool within this practical study block.

*Students will be translating into English, for most of their assignments, but some work will be translating out of English, with all students tackling the same text whenever possible.

Learning Outcomes

  • As a student in this course, you will acquire a conceptual and practical framework for thinking and talking about computer-assisted translation tools that can help fulfil the functions expected in the original text in a time-efficient manner. You will also develop appropriate strategies for achieving such a goal. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the key concepts of a translation assignment, the localization industry and the evolution of translation tools over the last three decades.
  • Apply critical thinking and an informed use of translation tools for translating texts or subtitling.
  • Create glossaries and analyse a translation memory (TM).
  • Implement appropriate strategies to produce a subtitled translation from source-language audio-visual materials.
  • Make and justify subtitling choices based on specific requirements.
  • Demonstrate some theoretical and practical knowledge of subtitling in Te Reo Māori and appreciate its significance in the specific context of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Have engaged successfully in online translators´ forums and use translators´ online terminological databases.  
  • Gain a heightened understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s connectedness to the global communities of translators in regards of promoting individuals’ rights of gaining language access to publicly shared information.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to the approval of the Head of Department.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00 James Logie 517
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Computer Lab B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 16:00 - 17:00 James Logie 517
19 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Wladimir Padilla Silva


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Theory test 25% Held week 6
Presentation - Subtitling 15% Due week 7
Presentation - Dubbing 15% Due week 8
Presentation - Trados 15% Due week 11
Final Translation Test 30% Held week 12

Textbooks / Resources

Textbook: The instructor will be providing you with the necessary materials on a weekly basis.

Software: The required software for this course is SDL/RWS Trados Studio, which the University of Canterbury will be providing under an education license to the students of LANC403.

Additional topic-related materials will be given in class as photocopies. These will include theoretical explanations and practical exercises for each topic discussed. Course materials will also include PowerPoint presentations and other digital materials uploaded onto LEARN.

An in-depth analysis of the bibliography for this course includes the following reading:

• Austermuhl, F. (2014). Electronic tools for translators. Routledge.
• Craciunescu, O., Gerding-Salas, C., & Stringer-O'Keeffe, S. (2004). Machine translation and computer-assisted translation. Machine Translation and Computer-Assisted Translation.
• Folaron, D. (2010). Translation tools. Handbook of Translation Studies, 1, 429-436.
• Garrett, N. (2009). Computer‐assisted language learning trends and issues revisited - integrating innovation. The modern language journal, 93, 719-740.
• Malmjaer, Kirsten and Windle, Kevin. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $2,046.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All LANC403 Occurrences

  • LANC403-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024