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Teaching XLIFF to translators and localisers

Presented at 5th International XLIFF Symposium - FEISGILTT 2014. Dublin - 3-4 juin - . 2014
Abstract The XML Localisation Interchange File Format (XLIFF) is the main standard for the interchange of localisation data during the localisation process and the most popular and used Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools already support its current version 1.2. However, the potential final users of the format, i.e. is translators, still have limited or no knowledge about the standard and the possible advantages of its adoption (Anastasiou 2010). With a view to breaching this knowledge gap, we have been introducing XLIFF as a topic of study in the translation and localisation studies curricula for the last four years in four different European universities, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, thus satisfying one of the missions of the Promotion and Liaison OASIS XLIFF subcommittee. In this paper, we aim at sharing our experience in teaching XLIFF to translation and localisation students: the curricula design, the topics covered, the labs undertaken and the areas that we improved and modified based on our experience over this period of time. We always ground the design of our XLIFF module on two main axes: the previous technical background of the students, and the level of specialised knowledge that we want them to acquire. On the first axis, we gather information about the students’ experience in technical aspects of text formats, mainly of markup languages. On the first iterations of the XLIFF module, we realised that most of the problems that students faced were not directly related to XLIFF itself but to the lack of knowledge on XML basic concepts. Therefore, we opted to tackle that constraint by adding extra tutorials and labs on XML prior to the introduction of XLIFF. The second axis is determined by the maturity of the students and the grade of specialisation of their degree. We take these factors into account because students pursuing an undergraduate diploma in translation might not need or are not prepare to assimilate in-depth technical concepts, while this might be not be the case for postgraduate students in localisation or translation technologies Master degrees. The main topics covered in our XLIFF modules are the following: history and development of XLIFF, extraction-merge paradigm, benefits, relevance for the translator and localiser, support in CAT tools, and main structural elements and attributes. We combine lectures with hands-on sessions and practical labs. In some of them we try to recreate real life situations presenting students with corrupted XLIFF files that they need to test, analyse, and eventually fix. After each module we collect students’ feedback, which has also helped us to shape and redesign our contents. The module always has a positive acceptance and students emphasize the idea that it helps them to better understand the internal working mechanisms of CAT tools, as well as to lose their reluctance towards inspecting the code and modifying it. All the aforementioned topics will be presented both from our didactic point of view, and from the perspective of our students learning experience.
Keywords XLIFFTeachingStandardsLocalisation
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Research group Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en Localisation - Cod.eX
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MORADO VAZQUEZ, Lucia, RODRIGUEZ VAZQUEZ, Silvia. Teaching XLIFF to translators and localisers. In: 5th International XLIFF Symposium - FEISGILTT 2014. Dublin. 2014. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:39601

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Deposited on : 2014-08-20

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