Mark Shuttleworth

Bionote of Prof. Mark Shuttleworth






Mark Shuttleworth has been involved in training translators since 1996, first at the University of Leeds, then at Imperial College London and currently at University College London, and has launched and run two successful Masters programmes in the UK. He has spoken at industry events in the UK, Italy and Brazil and has published numerous academic papers on translation technology and translator training. His other publications include the Dictionary of Translation Studies, which appeared in 1997 and which was translated into Chinese in 2005. His current research interests include Wikipedia translation and metaphor in translation, and he is also in the process of preparing the second edition of the Dictionary.




Plenary Speech by Prof. Mark Shuttleworth


Title: Training students to become tomorrow’s translators: Problems and challenges                              


Abstract: Translation technology is covered on the UCL MA in Translation Theory and Practice in two modules. These are the result of nearly twenty years’ experience teaching translation memory (TM) and machine translation (MT), and are based on the following principles: focusing on both theory and practice; preparing students for the realities of work in the translation industry; encouraging the use of the software in practical translation work elsewhere in the programme; fostering a sense of teamwork; developing a task-based approach to learning; collaborating within the College where possible.

Over the course of twenty weeks, these modules – ‘Understanding and usingTranslation Technology’ I and II ( and – have aimed to expose students to the full range of translation technology and technology-related topics. In practice, this entails the following main elements:  

·        terminology work on the web

·        three translation memory tools  

·        machine translation

·        term extraction

·        evaluating TM and MT

·        acquiring parallel text

·        building a statistical MT engine from scratch

This year the modules were extended by the inclusion of an e-learning project ( which aimed to design a mobile terminology app.

In each case, the underlying theory is also covered to some extent, although the emphasis usually tends to be on practical matters. The learning curve is steep:over the course of the modules most students will move from being complete beginners to the point where they can set up and train their own customised MTsystem.  

Newly learnt skills are put to work in practical projects where in order to recreate real working conditions students assume specific roles in teams that work against astrict deadline.  

Finally, my presentation ends with a consideration of some of the current issues facing translator trainers working in this area.