Students’ emotional experiences in learning translation memory systems: A narrative-based study


  • Yu Hao PhD candidate, the University of Melbourne



Translator training, translation memory (TM) systems, student emotions, reflective learning.


In recent years, a growing number of translation programs have introduced a technology module into their curriculum. Yet students’ reflections on their interaction with translation technologies remain largely under-researched. This exploratory study examines students’ initial emotional experience in learning and using translation memory (TM) systems after three weeks of direct exposure. Seventy-five postgraduate translation students completed an emotional-narrative task in which they were invited to write either a “love letter” or a “breakup letter” (out of their own choice) to one of the TM systems with which they had experimented. As reflected in the “love letters” (n = 39) and “breakup letters” (n = 36), the students had both positive and negative emotions when learning different TM systems. A thematic analysis shows that the student translators expected the software tools to be learnable, productive, and user-friendly. Based on the emotional patterns and their expectations of TMs, we present a discussion of learning translation technology through discovery and reflection. The emotional-narrative activity in this case was applied as a pedagogical tool to engage students in the discussion of technology, its usage, and the learning experience. It further allowed the teacher to understand the students’ perspectives.