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Technical and Medical Translation at Imperial College

This exciting programme is offered by Imperial College London. The course is designed in order to provide training for those intending to get into the field of specialized translation. The programme offers students an opportunity to develop their language and translation skills and deepen their understanding of the workings of language. Language is an essential tool of communication and to achieve vital experience in the rapidly developing areas of audiovisual translation and translation technology.

As a graduate of the programme, students shall be equipped with the practical competence required for professional work in the field of localization, translation and research work in translation studies. The course focuses upon technical, scientific and medical translation together with the emphasis upon specialized translation practice and computational tools in specific language pairs.

The programme duration is twelve months, which ends with the submission of a dissertation in the middle of September.

Technical, Specialist Translation Training

Some of the professional translators work on the widest variety of material ranging from research papers and medical reports, through patents, parliamentary proceedings, product documentation to subtitles, publicity material, software and web pages. The college lays emphasis upon preparing students for professional reality. With the help of a fine combination of optional, theoretical and language-specific modules, the college aims at introducing students to the wide spectrum of skills, knowledge and methodologies required for producing and researching high standard translations of a technical, specialist nature.

The college works together with the specialist software providers and other industry partners to make sure that the course possesses the greatest professional relevance. The MSc's curriculum conforms closely to the recommendations produced by the European Commission-funded LETRAC project. The college also corporate members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting have a good working relationship with this professional body's London regional group.

Working Languages

Apart from English, the working language shall be Chinese, Arabic, Danish, French, Dutch, Greek, German, Italian, Hungarian, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, Russian and Turkish. These languages shall be available any particular year, subject to demand. On the MSc, students shall be exposed to the computer-based translation aids that have changed the way in which professional translators work. Texts used for translation practice shall relate to many technical areas. The aim of the practice is to develop skills in a wide range of subjects apart from students' own specialization.

Bursaries and Studentships

The college has limited number of funding possibilities available through the AHRC Professional Preparation Master's scheme. Students aspiring to study a language combination that incorporates Japanese may be eligible for some support from the Gen Foundation.

Course Structure

Students ought to take the core modules and three of the seven optional ones.

Core Modules

Translation technology
Language and translation
Practical translation modules

Optional Modules

  • History of translation
  • Translation theories
  • Language and automation
  • Publishing skills
  • Dubbing and voiceover
  • Subtitling
  • Accessibility to the media

Some of the modules are evaluated through a combination of essays and some other course work. There are two formal examinations as well. Students need to write a dissertation over the summer.

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