Department of English, Culture and Communication seminar


From CAT to CATT: Computer-aided translator training and its design, implementation and efficacy


Chunshen Zhu, professor in translation at City University of Hong Kong


The development of software technology has provided translation professionals with powerful computer-aided tools which, drawing on large-scale parallel data mining, help to increase the degree of automation and convenience in translation memory management in professional operations. How can this mode of human-machine synergy be applied to teaching and self-learning of translation to benefit human learners by equipping them, for instance, with discernment and confidence that will enable them to make informed decisions when facing sometimes a daunting selection of plausible versions thrown up by a CAT data mining operation?

To address the question, this presentation will report on an online platform, ClinkNotes, designed and developed at CityU for computer-aided teaching and self-learning of translation with a view to increasing teaching efficiency without compromising its academic quality. It will begin with a review of the rationale and feasibility of human-machine synergy in the creation of such an online teaching/learning environment, looking into the application of theories of text production and translation to ensure the rigour and validity of data annotation and module interconnection.

Based on our experience of using the platform as the main instrument for teaching practical translation courses, the talk will also discuss human-machine synergy in a pedagogical sense, exploring the guiding and facilitating role a teacher can play in a training environment where organized bilingual data, instructions, explanations and exercises have been automatically and systematically made available by the machine, seemingly at the click of a mouse.

Speaker bio

Chunshen Zhu received his PhD from the University of Nottingham, UK in 1993, and is currently a professor at the Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong. He also serves on the editorial boards of The Interpreter and Translator Trainer and《中国翻译》Chinese Translators Journal, and the National Board of Translators' Association of China. His research interests include translation studies, poetics, applied linguistics, stylistics, and machine-aided teaching of translation. Apart from a monograph and a variety of literary translations, his research has been published in journals such as British Journal of Aesthetics, META, Target, Multilingua, TTR, Journal of Pragmatics, and ITT, and has won the Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Award for three times (2000, 2001, and 2006).