OPTIMALE: Erasmus Network for Professional Translator Training

This article is about the OPTIMALE project because, even if the project ended in 2013, it has made available a series of resources that can be found on their website and are useful to translators.

The OPTIMALE partnership, consisting of approximately 60 higher education institutions, set out to improve the situation of translator training – at academic level – in Europe. Their concrete objectives, as listed on their website are:

  • to create a map of the translator training programs available
  • to identify what the market needs are and thus to be able to align the translator education to them
  • to draw up learning objectives from professional competences
  • to carry out “train-the-trainer” sessions

One resource (still) available on their website is an interactive map with the training programs for translators available throughout Europe. When clicking on one of the institutions on the map, a fact-sheet with the main details about the program pops out.


The project also produced some interesting reports:


  •  a series of cases studies on how translation and methodology are taught in higher education institutions or on how the CAT tools trainings are carried out

The resources used in the “train-the-trainers” events are also available on the OPTIMALE website. All materials are worth reading but I found Quality assessment in translator training by Marcel Thelen particularly interesting as it gives an overview of the standards applicable to translation quality and poses some interesting questions related to correlating translation quality and standards with translator training. There are two documents about how to design a curriculum for translation studies and how to develop a translation course, written by Yves Gambier and Nike K. Pokorn.