Language Engineering for Translator Curricula



Background and Market Situation

LETRAC (Language Engineering for Translators' Curricula) addresses a gap that exists between the training of translators at universities and polytechnics and the requirements of professional life.

Industrial companies use sophisticated software and tools in all areas of document production including translation. All kinds of text production whether monolingual, or multilingual are highly computerized.Changes in the working environments so far have not yet been fully reflected in the training of translators and technical writers. Increasing demand for staff with skills in information technology and language engineering cannot be satisfied. Translator training and education is one of the areas where curricula must be aligned with employers' requirements.

LETRAC's major goals are:

  • to determine fully which these labour market requirements are
  • to provide an overview on how universities have reacted already
  • to provide model curricula addressing perceived needs
  • to investigate the feasibility of implementation and realization
  • to promote and disseminate the ideas and goals of LETRAC

General Results and Benefits

The results of the LETRAC project will be on two levels. The first will be a well-defined set of LE curriculum elements which can be integrated into a university course for translators. Secondly, various activities carried out within the project will result in an increasing awareness of the impact of LE technologies in the translators working environment for target groups representing teachers, students, employers, and translators. This will lead to a more open-minded and proactive attitude to the deployment of LE technology in the field of translation. The impact and uptake of the project's findings and recommendations will depend to some extent on local environments and the different educational contexts in which the results must be fitted.

European industries will benefit from employing translators with the appropriate skills and knowledge of language technology tools supporting multilingual document creation. University courses and training will become more oriented to commercial best practice so that graduates have better opportunities in the labour market and so that existing reputations of universities will be reinforced. Translator curricula will reach a higher degree of compatibility throughout European universities which will contribute to equality of opportunity and mobility of all students who decide to start a career in the field of multilingual document creation.

Project duration:

January 1998 - March 1999