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Beyond the margins of academic education: finding out translation industry training practices through action research

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Digital technologies in the translation profession have given rise to the use of automated Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools and Machine Translation (MT), and Translation Service Providers are embracing these innovations as part of their workflows. Higher Education Institutions are also transforming their curricula to adapt to the changes brought about by technology (Doherty, Kenny, and Way 2012; Doherty and Moorkens, 2013; Austermühl 2006, 2013; O’Hagan 2013; Gaspari, Almaghout and Doherty 2015; Moorkens 2017; Rothwell and Svoboda 2017; Mellinger 2017). This research takes a phenomenological and ethnographical approach using action research as the methodology to see how the new digital skill-sets are taught and used in the translation industry. As a trainer-researcher, I stay at translation companies to immerse myself in the training given to new employees. The results of this qualitative-type research derive from observations typically involving the trainer spending a full working week at the employers’ premises. The data set is hence collected based on workplace observations within the companies and semi-structured interviews with translation company managers. This approach permits a very full understanding of the skills needed in the translation profession. What has been learned in the workplace can be applied at university in the training of future translators. Preliminary work suggests that MT and Artificial Intelligence (AI), while transforming the profession in many ways, are not yet overriding the need of sophisticated linguistic skills from trainee translators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages11
JournalTranslation and Interpreting
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020

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