Module code: TRAM449

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the principles and practical implications of using technologies in the interpreting profession. It addresses the impact of technology on the interpreting process and product, and on the delivery of interpreting services in the 21st century. The module explores the use of technological tools for background research and preparation, the role of communication technologies such as videoconferencing to support different modalities of distance interpreting, and the implications of emerging trends in machine-based speech-to-speech translation.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

WANG Fang (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 88

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 40

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Who is afraid of technology? Overview of the evolution of interpreting technologies and reasons for the often difficult relationship between interpreters and technology

  • Interpreting in the 21st Century: new tools and resources

  • Tools for the preparation of interpreting assignments: Electronic glossaries and corpora; terminology exctraction techniques; hands-on practice

  • Keep your distance? Telephone, videoconference, webconference and remote interpreting: comparing the different modalities in terms of e.g. interpreting quality and interaction; implications for the interpreting professions; hands-on practice

  • Other technologies: portable and mobile devices for interpreting; interpreting apps;

  • The changing landscape of the interpreting industry: on-demand interpreting, interpreting in the cloud and perceptions of interpreters;

  • Speech-to-speech translation as an emerging reality; current uses, limitations, future directions.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 2000 WORDS 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they understand the main issues involved in the use of translation technology and are able to use computer-assisted translation tools in their professional lives.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         An individual practical project and report (50%)

·         An essay (50%)

Formative assessment and feedback: The students will receive continuous verbal feedback during the hands-on sessions as well as formal written feedback on their tests and group assignments.

Module aims

  • Enable students to describe and discuss how technology impacts the interpreting profession and the delivery of interprting services today;
  • Provide hands-on training on the use of information and communication technologies in interpreting practice and enable students to use technologies confidently at all stages of engaging with an interpreting assignment;
  • Encourage students to develop an initial understanding of the basic processes and implications of ‘automatic interpreting', i.e. machine-based speech-to-speech transation, its current limitations and future prospects.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Appreciate how technology can impact the interpreting process, the interaction between the participants in an interpreter-mediated event, the interpreting product and the delivery of interpreting services; KCT
2 Apply IT skills such as locating World-Wide Web resources, consulting on-line databases, compiling subject-specific electronic corpora and extracting terminology from them to support the preparation of an interpreting assignment; PT
3 Distinguish between different configurations of distance/remote interpreting for the delivery of interpreting services, appreciate their different motivations and specific challenges; CP
4 Use communication technologies such as videoconferencing, webconferencing and webcasting confidently to deliver interpreting assignments in different interpreting situations; PT
5 Recognize the principles of speech-to-speech translation, and the advantages and disadvantages of using it as an emerging alternative to human interpreting. KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide students with a good understanding of, and opportunities for practice using technologies related to interpreting

  • Stimulate critical thinking and debate

  • Raise awareness of professional ethics and standards

  • Provide opportunities for developing interpersonal skills

  • Encourage student participation

  • Develop enterpreneurial skills

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures will be interspersed with hands-on activities in class and opportunities for group and whole class discussions (22 hours)

  • Contact hours will be complemented with materials and activities for guided study posted on SurreyLearn (8 hours)

  • Self-study: reading and practising using interpreting technologies outside the classroom (120 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRAM449

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Interpreting MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting Studies MRes 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.