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How to Achieve Innovative, Inclusive and Fit-for-Market Specialised Translator Training? - A Transferable Model for Training Institutions
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

In today’s translation industry, both quantitative and qualitative changes provide a challenge for higher education institutions that offer specialised translator training. These changes include an estimated annual market growth of 10 %, radical technological advancement and the dramatic change of the job profile ‘specialised translator’. However, a number of studies show that HE translator training institutions are unable to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the translation market. In other words, translator graduates are most often not prepared for an efficient transition to work life. Against this background, e-TransFair aims to bridge the gap between educational outcomes and the actual needs of the translation market, with a focus on specialised translators. With the active involvement of market players, the project intends to equip translator trainees with the skills that are necessary for employability and provide trainers with ICT-based innovative teaching and assessment tools that help develop these skills. Furthermore, the project also aims to provide collaborative platforms and a set of manuals to make the results transferable to other higher education institutions and sustainable in the long run. In line with these objectives, the project is implemented by an inter-sectoral (higher education – market) partner consortium. The Centre for Translation Studies of the University of Vienna and the Centre for Translation and Interpretation of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics are both leading institutions in translator training while Hermes Traducciones, the Spanish translation agency has a leading reputation with well-established links to the academic world. This will ensure that the employer side (the market) is represented throughout the project.To achieve the objectives, the project follows a series of activities leading to the production of seven intellectual outputs. First, the project will define, in form of learning outcomes, the Set of Skills that specialised translators must possess. Special focus is laid on transversal skills and their relevance to employability (Output 1). This activity will also include the setting up of a virtual Skills Laboratory with hardware and software tools that replicates the real-life environment of a professional translation agency. Based on the Skills Set, a transferable Training Scheme (Output 2) designed both for trainees and trainers, will be developed to make it a model for other institutions. The scheme will be piloted in ‘train the trainees’ and ‘train the trainer’ courses, and result in the production of ICT-based educational contents (Common e-Modules – Output 3). Drawing on the previous activities, a Pool of Assessment Techniques (Output 4) will be set up, designed for specialised translation and the needs of the market, providing innovative tools and a set of exam questions. To boost the motivation of both trainers and trainees, a set of manuals will also be developed for the Moodle-based e-modules, the Skills Lab and further quality requirements (Stimuli Provided for UseRs – Output 5). Both the Pool and SPUR will feed into a virtual collaborative space, the Methodology Portal (Output 6). Finally, to reach out to users in a broader EU context and facilitate networking, a Central European Translation Centre (CEC-ICT-Output 7) will be set up.The activities will follow a clear methodology: all three players of the knowledge triangle (trainers, trainees, employers) will be involved in all activities; both primary and secondary resources will be used to identify training and learning needs, meaning a series of questionnaires to be developed throughout the project; to meet quality requirements, project outputs will be piloted, finalised and then regularly monitored, even in the period following the project. These activities will bring a series of results and long-term benefits. At project level, the performance of both trainees and trainers will be improved and brought closer to the market. Moreover, flexible learning modes (Common e-Modules) will ensure the participation of less advantageous groups. At European level, transferable project outputs (Skills Set, Training Scheme, SPUR) will serve as a model for a wider, transnational ‘market – higher education collaboration’ scheme. Furthermore, as trainers will have access to innovative educational resources (PAT, Methodology Portal) and to a network of experts and peer trainers (CEC-ICT), open and innovative pedagogies will be spread throughout Europe – all this contributing to the bottom-up modernisation of higher education, in this specific context.

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