Teaching Translation Technology

Next week I am giving a lecture to a Masters level course on Translation and Technology. I did the same lecture last year – designed to be a general overview of how these two fields intersect, there’s not a lot left over after 100 minutes and questions.

When I was trying to organise myself for last year, I did a mind map to put everything in perspective. Once completed, I decided to jam from the resulting image rather than follow any notes, providing each student with a paper copy on which to take their own notes and posted a digital copy on their subject webspace.

A year on, and the mind map stands up well, although I’ve made quite a few adjustments over the year, and to be honest I’d prefer to be working in something like Prezi than Xmind to get this done. Prezi looks great – the drill down function it provides is sorely missing from Xmind, but it really takes good design foo to stop motion sickness (egs: bad, best). I’m not sure what the Hungry Beast crew used for this presentation on Google,¬†flash I presume, but I don’t have the requisite skills to be that good.

Finally, with neither Xmind nor Prezi being FLOSS (free crippleware for home users la la), and Dia being, well, dire (TODO: post on the software ecosystems that FLOSS still struggles in; OCR, mindmap/presentation/UML, ???), I’ve decided for the moment to stick with Xmind.

The image itself is a construct, and has all the resultant flaws that any construct does – it reflects the author’s interests and perspective. I’m interested in what people think I’ve missed out or how it could be improved. As with any mind map, it can be hard to group like with like, and my Relationship links are deliberately sparse – it’s very easy to regress to the spider’s web if you are not careful. I like Xmind’s intelligent grouping function, but I would love to have the ability to place things manually – Machine Translation closer to TEnTs for instance.

Technology and Translation Mind Map

Technology and Translation - a mind map

Click through for the full image, if enough people clamour for it, I’ll work out how to post the .xmind file and add it to the post.

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