Main menu
The Standard: MA-TBL Programme – Harnessing technology in the service of translation

The Standard: MA-TBL Programme – Harnessing technology in the service of translation

26 May 2020

(This article was published on The Standard on 26 May 2020.)

Propel yourself in business and legal translation

Developed by The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong’s School of Translation, the Master of Arts in Translation (Business and Legal) provides rigorous training for potential language professionals to write, translate and interpret efficiently in business and legal contexts.

In today’s globalised world, the increased interactions between people and cultures come with rising demand for high-quality and high-speed translation worldwide. In light of the market trend, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong’s (HSUHK) has curated the Master of Arts in Translation (Business and Legal) (MA-TBL) Programme: the first and the only taught master’s programme which specialises in business and legal translation in Hong Kong and the Greater China.

It aims to train students to master the theories and skills in writing, translating and interpreting in business and legal contexts, and to provide them with the essential knowledge of the translation industry in major Chinese communities. Aside from those with a prior background in languages, the programme is also apt for working professionals – such as engineers, lawyers and businessman – whose day-to-day work involves proofreading/writing/editing legal and business texts.

“The MA-TBL is a  professionally-oriented programme imparting practical skills and knowledge required for language professionals to thrive in the fast-growing language services industry with a focus on business and legal translation,” says Prof Gilbert Fong Chee Fun, Dean of the School of Translation.

Robust and comprehensive curriculum

Available in a 1-year full-time or 2-year part-time mode, students are required to complete a minimum of 27 credits for graduation. Built on the dynamics and development of the language services for the legal, financial and general business sectors, the MA-TBL programme emphasises written translation, interpretation and computer-assisted applications.

It teaches students the fundamentals of the legal systems in the Greater China area, including those in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Mainland. They also study the terminology, usage, style and syntax of business and legal Chinese and English. Whereas the elective modules cover a variety of commercial language services as digital marketing, cutting-edge computer tools for translation, forensic linguistics and court interpreting.

Practical learning objectives

Dr Shelby Chan Kar Yan, Programme Director of MA-TBL, points out that a highly-skilled translator, in order to thrive in the globalised and multinational communities, should be capable of adapting translation to reach across a wide range of target audiences and markets. “We aim at equipping students with such skills and knowledge, and training them for work in and beyond Hong Kong.”

The MA-TBL programme is taught and curated by a stellar faculty, who are all renowned practitioners in the business and legal fields, including attorneys, language professionals and computer engineers. Upon completion of the programme, students will be able to analyse complex business and texts, and apply linguistics and conceptual skills to formulate solutions to complex business and legal translation tasks; all the while leveraging state-of-the-art information technology tools to enhance translation efficiency.

Christie Lam Man Ting is the MA-TBL graduate of cohort 2018, whose current work as an auditor involves translating and editing documents for multinational corporations. Commenting on the practicality of the programme, she says: “The flexible master’s degree gradually builds up students’ understanding on the language use and terminology pertaining to the business and legal field, coupled with real-world translation projects. The hands-on skills I acquired throughout the curriculum are all applicable in the workplace. It is a fulfilling and enriching learning journey!”