Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student knows and is able to use effectively the main digital tools for file management and Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) technologies; s/he is able to use effectively one or more machine translation engines and to post-edit (or revise) automatically translated texts belonging to a variety of sublanguages; s/he is able to devise, manage and evaluate complex projects involving computer-assisted translation and post-editing, involving several professionals and a variety of skills and competences, in a way that is consistent with professional ethics; s/he is able to acquire higher-level knowledge and competences in the areas of CAT technology and post-editing autonomously, and to apply them to novel fields.

Course contents

The "Computer-Assisted Translation and Post-editing" (CatPed) module is delivered in the second semester and is one of the two modules that make up the "Technologies for Translation" course, together with "Information Mining and Terminology", which is delivered in the first semester.

The CatPed module itself has two components, one dealing with computer assisted translation and the other with post-editing, 20 hours each.

The first part offers a theoretical introduction to the notion of computer-assisted translation. Subsequently some of the most common CAT tools are presented (SDL Trados Studio, MemoQ, MateCat, OmegaT), proprietary and open source. In particular, the module focuses on the translation of the main file formats, the creation and managing of translation memories and the quality assurance of target texts (QA check). The basis for managing complex translation projects involving different professionals (project management) through CAT are also provided.

The second part, which is linked to the first one, starts with a presentation of the connections between the use of MT with post-editing and the work of professional translators who normally use computer-assisted translation tools, in particular translation memories. The focus will then be on the possibilities of integration between CAT and MT systems.
With regard to PE, different ways of intervention (light, full, etc.) are discussed in relation to variables such as the specific conditions of the revision task, the post-editor profile (bilingual, monolingual of the target language, expert in the field, etc.), the type of translation, the publication venue and the circulation methods planned for the revised target text, its potential readers and users, etc. Various PE strategies allowing for the improvement of the raw output provided by MT systems are also presented. The aim of these strategies is to obtain a target text which meets the specific requirements of the translation context. Issues relating to the quality and effectiveness of post-editing are considered according to the time gains it allows, depending on the linguistic standard required for a particular target text, which is functional to its planned use.


During lessons based on theoretical aspects, the teacher will be using the following bibliographical references:

Bersani Berselli, G. (edited by) (2011) "Usare la Traduzione Automatica". Bologna: CLUEB.

Bowker, L., (2002). “Computer-Aided Translation Technology. A Practical Introduction”. University of Ottawa Press.

Bowker, Lynne, (2005). “Productivity vs. Quality? A pilot study on the impact of translation memory systems”. Localisation Focus 4:1. 13-20.

Carl, J., Gutermuth, S & Hansen Schirra, S (2015) "Post-Editing Machine Translation. Efficinecy, strategies and revision processes in professional translation settings". In Psycholinguistic and Cognitive Inquiries into Translation and Interpreting. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Cevoli, M. & S. Alasia, (2012). “Guida completa a OmegaT”. Badalona: Qabiria.

Koponen, M. (2016) "Is machine translation post-editing worth the effort? A survey of research into post-editing and effort". The Journal of Specialised Translation. Disponibile online: https://www.jostrans.org/issue25/art_koponen.pdf

Lecci, C. & E. Di Bello, (2012). “Usare la traduzione assistita [http://www.clueb.com/servlet/SchedaArticolo?cat_id=3636] ”. Bologna: CLUEB.

Pym, A., Perekrestenko, A., and Starink, B., editors (2006). Translation technology and its teaching. Intercultural Studies Group, Tarragona. Online: http://isg.urv.es/library/papers/isgbook.pdf

Poulis, Alexandros and David Kolovratnik (2012) "To Post-edit or not to Post-edit? Estimating the Benefits of MT Post-editing for a European Organization". Proceedings of the AMTA 2012 Workshop on Post-editing Technology and Practice (WPTP 2012). The Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, October 28-November 1 2012, San Diego, CA, USA. Disponibile online: http://amta2012.amtaweb.org/AMTA2012Files/html/9/9_paper.pdf

Toto P. (2021). “Flipped classrooms and translation technology teaching: a case study”. In Wang C., Zheng B., Empirical studies of translation and interpreting. London: Routledge.

Vela M., Pal S., Zampieri M., Kumar Naskar S. (2019). “Improving CAT Tools in the Translation Workflow: New Approaches and Evaluation”. Saarland University, Germany, University of Wolverhampton, UK, Jadavpur University, India. Online: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1908.06140.pdf

Yamada, M., 2011. “The effect of translation memory databases on productivity”. In A. Pym (ed), Translation Research Projects 3. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group. 63-73.

Teaching methods

Lessons take the form of workshops covering theoretical aspects as well as devoting substantial space to practical exercises.

Theoretical contents are acquired through presentations by the lecturer and, when relevant, readings assigned to the students during the course.

The applied part consists of hands-on practice in the lab and homework exercises. These are discussed during troubleshooting sessions in the following class, so as to constantly monitor progress in the development of the technological skills that make the object of the course.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 on Health and Safety online.

Attendance is compulsory (at least 70% of lessons need to be attended).

Assessment methods

The final examination lasts overall two hours and consists of a practical test on computer-assisted translation - e.g. the creation of translation memories, terminology databases and translation projects/packages using one of the CAT tools presented in class - lasting one hour and thirty minutes, and a theoretical test on post-editing - two open-ended questions - lasting thirty minutes and covering the principles and methodologies of post-editing covered in class during the module and their applications in professional translation, with a critical analysis of their potential and applications.


30 – 30L excellent results, demonstrating an excellent understanding of the course content, as well as a good awareness and ability to evaluate different CAT systems to be adopted for different needs and workflows.
27 – 29 above average results, with minor errors or balanced by a good knowledge of fundamental concepts and applications.
24 – 26 good results, with some errors or knowledge gaps that show a partial understanding of contents and required skills.
21 – 23 sufficient results, but with notable gaps in knowledge or skills acquired in the course contents.
18 – 20 results that only prove minimal knowledge of the course contents.
< 18 insufficient, basic concepts have not been understood or demonstrated, the students has to take again the test.

Teaching tools

Lessons are held in a computer lab with internet connection and beamer.

Since lessons take the form of workshops, with substantial time devoted to pratical hands-on exercises, students have the possibility to become acquainted with the main software programs used in the fields of CAT, both proprietary and open-source/free.

Support materials (sample texts, slides, project files, instructions etc.) are made available through the Moodle e-learning platform.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Claudia Lecci