With the development of computer software, translation is no longer the exclusive domain of humans.
Chinese University has started the world's first master of arts programme in computer-aided translation. Programme director Chan Sin-wai says the aim is to promote the use of translation technology and to increase productivity and cost-effectiveness. "The translation industry is no longer what [it used to be]," he says.
The programme consists of computer-aided translation, translation studies, practical translation and computer translation. Chan says the course attracts administrators, translators and educators.
"The programme aims to train professional translators and bilingual executives. Anyone interested in using translation software to facilitate their translation work [will find this programme useful]," he says.
Candidates should hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a recognised university and be able to meet English proficiency requirements. Academic records, work experience, references and language abilities will also be considered.
About 60 students enrol each year. It usually takes two years for part-time students and one year for full-time students to complete the programme. Classes are offered on weekday evenings and Saturdays.
Peter Fan Chi-wai, a graduate of the course, has worked as a translator for more than 25 years. "I was looking for [ways] to enable me to deliver translations that were speedy, accurate and consistent in terminology. As a commercial translator, I believe there is a need to keep my competitive edge with the help of modern technology," he says.
"We were introduced to a wide array of computer technologies that serve to enhance translators' efficiency and inspired us to create our own range of words and phrases."