Module code: TRAM449

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the principles and practical implications of using different 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 and resources such as electronic corpora and databases for background research and preparation, the role of communication technologies such as videoconferencing to support different modalities of remote interpreting (distance interpreting), the use of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools and techniques such as natural language processing (NLP), automatic speech recognition (ASR) and machine translation (MT) to support interpreters before and during assignments. The module also discusses the implications of machine interpreting (speech-to-speech translation).

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DAVITTI Elena (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: 90

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 30

Captured Content: 8

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 complex relationship between interpreters and technology

  • Interpreting in the 21st Century: new tools and resources; from communication technologies to artificial intelligence (AI)

  • Classic tools for the preparation of interpreting assignments: Electronic glossaries and corpora; terminology extraction techniques; hands-on practice

  • Keep your distance? Telephone and video-mediated interpreting in different settings (e.g. court, healthcare): comparing different modalities of distance interpreting in terms of interpreting quality, interaction and user experience; implications for the interpreting profession; hands-on practice

  • Simultaneous interpreting delivery platforms for remote simultaneous interpreting

  • Other technologies: portable and mobile devices for interpreting

  • AI-powered tools and technologies to support interpreters in the preparation of assignments and during assignments: automatic speech recognition (ASR), automatic summarisation, ChatGPT; machine translation (MT); hands-on practice

  • The changing landscape of the interpreting industry; market trends, perceptions of interpreters;

  • Machine interpreting (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 (1500 words) (50%)

  • An Essay (2000 words) (50%)

    The first assessment will use tailor-made content for students to critically comment on the use of selected interpreting technologies. The second assessment will invite students to provide an independent evaluation of the use of interpreting technologies by applying a range of skills developed at post-graduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments and presentation.

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

  • ¿ The module aims to provide students with detailed knowledge of the status-quo and emerging market trends in relation to technologies applied in typical interpreting workflows, from technology-supported terminological preparation, to computer-assisted/AI-assisted interpreting, remote/distance interpreting using videoconferencing tools and/or bespoke interpreting delivery platforms, live speech-to-text and speech-to-speech translation, emphasizing the importance of technological and digital capabilities in the future interpreting profession.
  • provide hands-on training on the use of different technologies in interpreting practice and enable students to use different tools and technologies confidently at all stages of engaging with an interpreting assignment, equipping students with professional skills needed to be employment-ready
  • encourage students to develop an initial understanding of the basic processes and implications of machine interpreting, i.e. live speech-to-text and speech-to-speech translation, its current limitations and future prospects
  • enable students to describe and discuss how technology impacts the interpreting profession and the delivery of interpreting services today through independent thinking and reflective evaluation based on in-class hands-on training in using the above-mentioned interpreting technologies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: understand 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
002 Apply digital 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
003 Distinguish between different configurations of distance/remote interpreting for the delivery of interpreting services, appreciate their different motivations and specific challenges in both present and future professional contexts CP
004 Use communication technologies such as videoconferencing, webconferencing, webcasting and different types of interpreting platforms confidently to deliver interpreting assignments in different interpreting situations PT
005 Recognize the principles of semi-automated and fully automated speech-to-text and 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 through hands-on and scaffolding learning
* stimulate critical thinking and debate encouraging students’ reflection, adaptability, and creativity
* raise awareness of professional ethics and standards in global contexts
* provide opportunities for developing interpersonal and professional skills needed to progress and be employment ready
* encourage student participation in both simulations and in-class discussions on the use of interpreting technologies, enabling them to develop as informed, confident and engaged independent learners
* develop enterpreneurial skills beyond the lectures and make use of additional materials and resources provided by the School to support their future employment.


The learning and teaching methods include:

This module is co-taught by a number of staff who have expertise in the fields of remote/video-conference interpreting, respeaking, automatic interpreting, as well as corpus linguistics. Contact hours are shaped in the form of both lecturing and seminars. Hand-on sessions are organized to enable students’ active learning. Contact hours will be complemented with materials and activities for guided study posted on SurreyLearn.  

Lectures will be interspersed with hands-on activities in class and opportunities for group and whole class discussions (22 hours). Students are invited to contribute to discussions from their own background and experiences and are encouraged to be actively involved in problem solving, thus developing their own judgement and opinions. 

Independent study during which students are expected to carry out research and read around the subject areas. To this end, students are encouraged to work individually as well as in groups, explore the history and current landscape of interpreting technologies being applied in different countries. This will enable students to develop increased global and cultural capabilities as well as resourcefulness and to enhance their knowledge base and competence on relevant and topical issues for interpreters.

 Students are encouraged to be active participants throughout the course, and in doing so, develop as informed, confident, collaborative and independent learners.  

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

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in a range of areas.

This module provides a detailed picture of the emerging technologies used in interpreting workflows. By actively engaging in simulations and discussions, students will explore the challenges and opportunities of using technologies and will exchange information and opinions on the impact that technologies bring for interpreting profession. As such, the module allows students to demonstrate awareness, understanding and respect for using technologies in different stages of interpreting. Furthermore, it helps students develop competences in using cutting-edge technologies through simulations of interpreting in healthcare, legal and business settings. Students have opportunities to develop their critical thinking, their responsiveness to different views and, more crucially, their resourcefulness in identifying and capturing information on interpreting technologies-related issues with a view to contributing to knowledge and/or understanding of the root causes and evolution of specific challenges. Students are also encouraged to explore the impact that the use of technologies has on the interpreting profession. By exploring a wider range of resources, beyond purely academic ones, students will also finetune their research and digital skills, while learning how to identify different nuances in an argument and develop their own views.  The teaching materials used in simulations in this module cover a range of socially- and culturally-relevant domains (e.g. healthcare, social services, legal and business settings). In this way, students become educated professionals who can actively contribute to the professionalisation of a field and thus develop their global and cultural capabilities.

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
Translation and Interpreting 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 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 2025/6 academic year.