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SML8026 : Localisation 1

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Dariush Robertson
  • Lecturer: Dr Ya-Yun Chen
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims to give students:
• A solid understanding of fundamental academic theory and professional views of the practice of localisation.
• The fundamental IT skills required for the translation stage of a localisation project, including opening documents in a CAT tool, translating documents, TMs and TBs, creating a simple project, and exporting the documents.
• Fundamental practical skills required to deal with key challenges in the localisation of interactive digital products (such as apps, videogames, and websites), and non-digital products (such as advertisements, brochures, and technical documents) that require various levels of localisation.
• The practical MT skills required to conduct both pre-editing (looking at negative translatability items: NTIs), and post editing machine translation PEMT, in relation to how these can fit into the localisation process.
• An understanding of how and where traditional translation studies theories intersect with the practice of localisation, as well as the theoretical implications of decisions made during the production stage of localisation. This covers the application of skopos theory, foreignization and domestication, and concepts of cultural specificity.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is divided into lectures and seminars.

The lectures cover the application of MT skills relating to both pre-editing and posting editing, as well as foundational CAT tool functions in the localisation of interactive digital products (such as apps, video games, and websites), as well as non-digital products (such as advertisements, brochures, and technical documents). This includes the introduction of these skills, and then feedback on related practical tasks set as short homework tasks, which will involve consolidation via group work and class discussion. The existing and new skills will be integrated, demonstrated, and assessed in the practical component of the final assignment (localisation report).

The lectures will also cover theories and concepts which explore where translation studies theories intersect with localisation. This includes the application of skopos theory, the application of foreignization and domestication, and cultural specificity. The theories will be connected to classic and current industry-relevant examples and will be used to theoretically frame both the practical homework tasks, as well as group activities, and discussion. This knowledge will be assessed in the theoretical component of the final assignment (essay).

The seminar will involve team presentations, where teams of students present PPTs on a group localisation task. The seminars will be broken into smaller groups, so each team has around 20 mins to present and then receive feedback from the lecturer and other students. This activity will enhance group learning and further develop team localisation skills.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:3013:30Present-in-person. Delivery of theory, knowledge, and feedback on practical homework tasks.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation for the final project and essay.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:301:30Present-in-person. Presentations of group localisation task.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity133:3033:30Reading, reflection, practice.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00Preparation for group presentations.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:301:30Present-in-person.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In the lectures, students will:

1. Gain skills and knowledge of MT, in terms of both pre-editing and post-editing. This includes the use MT pre-editing as part of the localisation process (looking at factors such as negative translatability items (NTIs), and post-editing machine translation PEMT.
2. Gain fundamental knowledge and skills of how CAT tools are utilised in localisation. This includes creating TMs, TBs, and a basic project.
3. Gain fundamental knowledge of localisation from the perspectives of academia and the industry. This will be delivered by the presentation of various case studies. This knowledge will be further consolidated through small group activities and class discussions.
4. Receive feedback on the practical homework tasks, which present various scenarios designed to contextualise the knowledge gained from the lectures, and develop the skills required to tackle foundational localisation challenges in individual and group activities. These activities will simulate the localisation of various interactive digital products (such as apps, video games, and websites), and non-digital products (such as advertisements, brochures, and technical documents).

In the seminars, students will:
1. Give a group presentation on the localisation of an interactive digital, or non-digital product, using foundational CAT tools skills. The presentations will focus on industry-relevant skills and knowledge, and relevant academic theory (for instance, skopos theory, foreignization and domestication, and cultural specificity).
2. The opportunity to observe other group presentations and participate in the feedback of each presentation, and the resulting discussions - thereby enhancing group learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A501200-word essay
Computer assessment1A50Text localisation using CAT tool
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MGroup presentation based on team localisation.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The (fundamental) assessment has two components: 1. The localisation project report (reflecting practice) and 2. the essay (reflecting theory).

Part 1

For the localisation, students use a CAT tool (or CAT tools) to localise a document reflecting industry practice, which could be relating to interactive digital product, or a non-digital product. The focus is on (i) the steps and procedures taken before, during, and after the translation stage (in a CAT tool environment), and (ii) the demonstration of foundational CAT tool skills as covered in the module. Translation quality is not considered; therefore, the translation is not marked for this component. However, the translations can be discussed in the essay, where relevant, with back translations into English.

Part 2

For the 1200-word essay, students can select topics relating to either:

a) The strengths and weaknesses of MT based on its application in the localisation project and documented in the project report

b) The strengths and weaknesses of CAT tool functions (fundamentals) both covered in the module, and documented in the project report

c) A comparison of two CAT tools – this would involve using two CAT tools to localise the same project, and this would be evident in the project report

d) The application of skopos theory, foreignization and domestication, or cultural specificity, in relation to the localisation project.

If there is to be any resits, they will be in the same format as the original assessments.

Reading Lists