The European Master’s in Translation network first published its framework: Translation for Business And International Institution Assignment, UK

University Aston University (AU)
Subject Translation for Business And International Institution


The European Master’s in Translation network first published its framework for
translator and translation competence, including the well-known EMT “Wheel of Competence”, in January 2009. This has now become one of the leading reference standards for translator training and translation competence throughout the European Union and beyond, both in academic circles and in the language industry. Almost ten years on, the basic principles laid down in 2009 still stand, but it is time to reconsider the framework in light of the changes which have affected both the language industries and European universities.

In the translation industry, technological change has had an ever-increasing impact on the way translation services are performed, though human intelligence, knowledge and skills are still the key factors in delivering quality translations and the growing range of language services which translators and translation companies can provide. Market needs have also evolved, with the continuing expansion of English as a lingua franca creating new needs that can only be met by reversing the traditional “mother tongue” principle in some translation environments. Simultaneously, artificial intelligence and social media have considerably changed people’s relation to communication in general and translation in particular, with machine translation applications and other language tools now commonly available on desktop and mobile devices.

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This is gradually impacting the translation process and many translation markets, and has changed the perception of translation among the general public and among translation studies students and graduates. Technological and societal changes such as these need to be taken on board in academic translator training programmes, so that future graduates become aware of both the challenges and opportunities that they represent, and can adapt their skills and practices accordingly.

In October 2016, with future translation graduate employability firmly in mind, the EMT Board was given the remit of producing a new EMT competence framework. The new framework was expected to embody the founding principles of the EMT network, while incorporating the key competences and skills required of future translation graduates. The remit also included producing a simple, functional competence framework that could be used to assess the delivery of a common set of learning outcomes by universities wishing to join the EMT network in the next round of applications. Following a consultation process involving the network membership and language industry stakeholders, a draft framework was produced. This has now been adopted as the EMT competence framework for 2018-2024.

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