Over the last two decades, new forms of digital communication have emerged, bringing to the forefront the need for multimodal and technology-driven translation processes. Localisation, understood as the translation and cultural adaptation of digital products (Schäler, 2007) found its roots in the industry but it soon became an area of study from a more academic perspective within the context of Translation Studies. Localisation’s interdisiciplinarity is reflected both in our training programme and research work, where we stress the importance of both technical and translational components, and we combine them by adopting a communicative, social and object-oriented approach.
Localisation is taught as a one-semester module at Master’s level. In our introductory localisation course we combine lectures with hands-on sessions and practical labs, where we recreate real life working situations that also enable students to develop their own problem solving techniques.
Several localisation areas are covered in our course, including image l10n, introduction to programming, web l10n, FOSS localisation, web accessibility, game localisation, standards of localisation, software localisation and mobile localisation.
Localisation research work carried out at our department is framed by the principles followed by the interuniversity research group Cod.eX. It draws on researchers both from the Department of Translation Technology (referred to by its French acronym TIM) as well as from the Faculty of Translation and Documentation at the University of Salamanca, Spain. The main objectives of Cod.eX are research and teaching in the localisation area from a translation perspective and the dissemination of their research results.
Cod.eX members from TIM work on two main research areas:
- Standards of localisation: Our main focus is on XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format). We participate in its development as part of the XLIFF Technical Committee, and we monitor its support in CAT tools with regular state-of-the-art surveys. We have also been studying the best approaches to train our students on standards of localisation.
- Web accessibility: Localisation and accessibility have always been closely linked, since both activities aim at making a product accessible to a wider range of users than originally designed for. At our department, we investigate how localisers can play an active role in the transfer and achievement of web accessibility in multilingual websites, both from a technical and a language related perspective. Concretely, we currently focus on the improvement of text alternatives for images by means of accessibility-oriented controlled language (CL) rules.