How to Achieve Innovative, Inclusive and Fit-for-Market Specialised Translator Training? - A Transferable Model for Training Institutions - eTransFair

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Project duration

September 2016 until August 2019

Project description

To meet the market needs in the field of specialised translation, higher education training programmes have to prepare students for the working life. The aim of modernising the higher education programmes in the field of specialised translation will be met by improving transversal skills that prepare translation students for the language industry market and by providing ICT-based innovative teaching material and assessment tools to teachers. We pay special attention to inclusiveness and to disadvantaged groups when fostering digital skills.

The main aims of the project are to:

  • improve the employability of translators, by developing their transversal skills through ICT-based education contents and in line with market needs;
  • integrate innovative methods in translator training and improve the digital skills of teachers by offering open educational resources, with a special focus on self- and peer assessment
  • make education more inclusive and involve groups with disadvantaged background, by integrating a greater variety of flexible learning modes into our curricula
  • spread innovative education pedagogies and guidelines and offer a market-driven training model for other institutions by creating a European platform

Project outputs

Other higher education institutions can use the project outputs for the training of specialised translators. They include the following:

  • virtual Skills Laboratory that simulates work in a real-life translation agency
  • transferable Training Scheme including 'train the trainees' and 'train the trainer' courses
  • ICT-based educational contents (Common e-Modules) to ensure the participation of less advantageous groups
  • Pool of Assessment Techniques designed for specialised translation and the needs of the market, providing innovative tools and a set of exam questions
  • Stimuli Provided for UseRs (SPUR): manuals for the Moodle-based e-modules, the Skills Lab and further quality requirements
  • Methodology Portal: virtual collaborative space to exchange training methods
  • Central European Translation Centre to allow for exchange on a European level

Project consortium

The project consortium consists of two universities that offer specialised translator training in Europe and a translation agency that provides an employer's perspective.

Specialised translator training programmes

The resulting programmes should be characterised by flexibility (combination of on-site and on-line courses), employability and inclusiveness. The programmes are developed together with trainers, trainees, employers and stakeholders. It also means to identify training and learning needs and to meet quality requirements. Collaborative platforms allow other higher education institutions to access the project outputs.

Intellectual Output 1: 


The major objective of Output 1, the first intellectual product of eTransFair, was to identify a set of skills ­– a sort of competence profile – for specialised translators, on the basis of the reviews of competence models already outlined for general translators; and recommend a set of teaching modules to be introduced at university curricula to meet the changing requirements of the translation market.

As a first step, we put the investigation into the relevant context by looking at current statistical figures concerning global and European translation and interpreting (T/I) industry trends (EUATC report, 2016). Based on the report, and after exploring a number of relevant international T/I quality standards, we attempted to highlight the most essential requirements for professional competence posed by T/I companies.  

As the next step, we looked at the existing European initiatives regarding the issue of translation competence first in a general context then individually, and examined the major models and projects of the past few years (EMT, Optimale, Agora, Transcert, CIUTI, BME-Proford) in greater detail. After comparing the individual skills set and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each model or project, the paper  discussed the elusiveness and translatability of the term ‘specialised translation’ and offered a selection of the terminological problems we identified in these projects.

Based on the above investigation, comparison and a careful literature review of the issue, we proposed a set of competences (in the form of learning outcomes) to be acquired by specialised translators on the basis of which a group of modules have been selected to become part of a potential training scheme. Additionally, we have identified various roles that translators may take on in translation bureaus.

The modules proposed in IO1 will be the major building blocks of a newly proposed transferable training scheme under Output 2, while the content for each module shall be elaborated in the framework of Output 3. The skills set indentified for specialised translators in the framework of Output 1 will be monitored during and after the term of the project, based on continual feedback from other project activities.


Funding body: Erasmus+
Project leader
: Centre for Modern Languages (INYK), Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Cooperation partners
  • Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna,
  • Hermes Traducciones y Servicios Linguisticos SL