Skip to main content


SML8026 : Localisation: Practice and Theory

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • 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:
•       An advanced understanding of both current academic theory and professional views of the practice of
•       The IT skills required for the translation stage of a localisation project, including opening a document
in a CAT tool, translating and editing the document, creating TMs and TBs, running a QA, and then
exporting the document.
•       The practical skills required to deal with key challenges (including availability of resources, team
translation, different work models, cultural considerations, and legal implications) in the localisation
of various digital products including apps, video games, and websites that require some form of
•       An advanced understanding of how and where translation studies theories intersect with the practice of
localisation, as well as the theoretical implications of decisions made during the production stage of
localisation, which includes TEP (translation, editing, and proofreading) and machine translation post-

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is divided into lectures and seminars.

The lectures discuss the application of CAT tools in localisation and introduce various challenges of localisation projects including availability of resources, team translation, work models (in-house, outsourcing), non-textual features (audio and visual elements), cultural considerations and legal implications specific to a range of products including video games, apps, websites, advertisements, and other products. The lectures will integrate academic theories (translation studies) and industry knowledge via relevant case studies. These will be led by the lecturers but will involve consolidation via group work and class discussion. The existing and new knowledge will be integrated, demonstrated, and assessed in the final assignment.

The lectures will also include feedback on the application of knowledge and skills that have been developed via practice of CAT tool functions from homework. This includes practical exercises, where students develop skills and experience working in different modes (individually, in teams, in-house model and outsourcing model), with different levels of resources (just ST, localisation kit, and full access), to tackle a range of cultural and legal challenges of simulated localisation projects for specific products (video games, apps, websites, and other products). The existing and new knowledge will serve as a foundation upon which new skills will be forged and demonstrated in formative group work.

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 ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00Present-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 teaching12:002:00Present-in-person. Presentations of group localisation task.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Information and Q&A workshop on summative module assessment
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity128:0028:00Reading, reflection, practice.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity18:008:00Preparation for group presentations.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk12:002:00Present-in-person.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In the lectures, students will:

1. Gain knowledge of how CAT tools are utilised in localisation.
2. Gain knowledge on 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.
3. Receive feedback on the practical homework tasks (which present various scenarios designed to contextualise the knowledge gained from the lectures and develop the skills to tackle key localisation challenges in individual and group activities that simulate the localisation of various digital products including apps, video games, and websites that require some form of localisation).

In the seminars, students will:
1. Have the opportunity to give a group presentation based on a group presentation task (covering various aspects of module content).
2. The opportunity to watch 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 assessment1M50Text localisation using CAT tool
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MGroup presentation based on team localisation.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

Part 1

For the text localisation, students use a CAT tool to localise a document reflecting industry practice, which could be relating to a video game, app, or a website. 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 CAT tool skills required by translators in the industry. Translation quality is not considered; therefore, the translation is not marked for this component.

Part 2

For the 1200-word essay, students either:

a)       Select one of several provided essay topics particular to localisation. Students can use the topics as a starting point to discuss the challenges and considerations of the localisation of products such as (video games, websites, apps, or other products). This will demonstrate an understanding of how translation studies knowledge and industry knowledge intersect. Or:

b)       Write a commentary based on challenges encountered and the strategies and approached employed in part 1 (text localisation). This should demonstrate how translation studies knowledge and industry practices intersect.

Reading Lists