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8 March 2004

New B.A. Course: Translation Studies for Information Technologies

The University of Heidelberg and the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim sign a cooperation agreement on the joint course — Graduates have access to highly qualified professions in information technologies

Today, the University of Heidelberg and the University of Applied Sciences, Mannheim signed a cooperation agreement on the establishment of the new jointly organised B.A. course "Translation Studies for Information Technologies" (BA TSIT). The course is conducted by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Heidelberg (IÜD) in collaboration with the Electro-Technology and Informatics Departments of the University of Applied Sciences, Mannheim. Classes take place at both locations.

The new degree combines engineering studies at Mannheim with the humanities-oriented part of the course at Heidelberg. Today, translators working in the field of information technology are required to have a sound knowledge of computer science and engineering if they are to be capable of dealing efficiently with the huge variety of translation work they are liable to be confronted with. Accordingly, jobs of this kind require "two-way" gifts and inclinations on the part of the students and it is precisely this that the new B.A. course sets out to develop and enhance.

The course is designed to equip graduates of the BA TSIT with the necessary expertise to embark with as little delay as possible on highly qualified professional work in such areas as technical translation and documentation, software localisation or multi-language web publishing. In the years to come, the need for qualified, academically trained translators specialising in these areas will be greater than ever, not least in the Rhine-Neckar area with its high incidence of renowned companies working in informatics, software technology and communications technology.

The six-semester course comprises four terms devoted to basic studies and a two-semester advanced studies component. In Heidelberg the students are given an introduction to the theories and methods of translation studies, with special emphasis on technical texts. They are also trained in the use of electronic tools and the translation of texts on European norms and legislation. In the later stages, they are given a grounding in the translation of real-life technical texts (e.g. technical documentation and website localisation). The curriculum is further geared to the acquisition of broadly based linguistic and cultural skills. In Mannheim, teaching concentrates on the engineering side of things. Here the students are acquainted with the basics of digital data transmission, applications in automatic processing and manufacturing technology and digital systems.

Essentially the course is designed to impart the requisite knowledge and methods in two languages, English and German. Both the IÜD and the Mannheim university have close relations with universities abroad and are integrated into worldwide networks. The B.A. course is international in scope and outlook. A major intention is to attract students from the English-speaking world to come and study in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

The course began in the winter semester 2003/04 and the first group of students have already passed their initial orientation exams.

Please address any inquiries to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

Irene Thewalt
Press Department of Heidelberg University
phone: 06221/542311

Bernd Vogelsang
Public Relations Officer
University of Applied Sciences Mannheim
phone: 0621/2926418, fax: 2926425

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