An empirical study of the perceived benefits of final-year translation projects to undergraduate translation students

Leo Tak-hung CHAN, Fung-ming Christy LIU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


In Hong Kong, six of the eight statutory universities offer undergraduate translation 20 An Empirical Study of the Perceived Benefits of Final-year Translation programs. The programs vary in their foci and the types of courses offered. However, an interesting phenomenon is that all of the programs require their undergraduate translation students to complete a translation project, normally during the final year of attendance. The course is unique in that training is given individually: each student is assigned a translation teacher who supervises the project. Clara Ho Yan Chan (2007) also noted this phenomenon when she shared her own experience supervising translation projects during the academic year 2005-2006. She observed that the “project supervisor ought to help the student cultivate a professional manner” (Chan 2007: 157) and urged that “further empirical research could be conducted in the area of final-year translation projects, especially with regard to students’ learning approaches and learning outcomes” (ibid: 158). Chan also noted that “to date, little attention has been paid to the theoretical side of translation project supervision.” (ibid: 157). With these in mind, this paper asks why it is worthwhile spending so much human resource on one course. We ask: do students actually benefit from the course? If the Translation Project is of benefit to students, what are the benefits? To answer these questions, an empirical study has been carried out. We believe that our investigation is of paramount significance for two reasons: Firstly, if the Translation Project is found to be beneficial, similar sorts of training for translation students should be carried out more often and more research can be conducted. Secondly, as Hong Kong universities experienced an educational reform (switching from a 3-year to a 4-year undergraduate degree program) in 2012, institutions have to regularly review their undergraduate curriculum to accommodate the needs of 4-year undergraduates. Our findings may provide translation teachers with insights to further guide them teaching and program development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-41
Number of pages23
JournalFORUM. Revue internationale d’interprétation et de traduction = International Journal of Interpretation and Translation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Final-year translation project
  • learning outcomes
  • translation competence
  • translation training
  • undergraduate curriculum


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