In 2007, the Commission of Academic Degrees of the State Council of China approved an education program-Master of Translation and Interpreting (henceforth MTI), and in 2014 there are already 206 higher learning institutions started running such a program, aiming at training postgraduate students to be professional translators with advanced translation competence. Part of this translation competence is the ability to use electronic tools and resources, which has not received adequate scholarly attention in the field of translation studies in China.The objective of this research is to construct an ideal learning environment for MTI students from the social constructivist perspective by exploring the possibility and benefit of bringing the students out of the traditional classroom teaching into the authentic environment wherein professional translators use electronic tools on a daily basis. This article addresses the following research questions: (1) What constitutes an ideal environment wherein its various components interact to facilitate the student’s learning? (2) In what way does such an environment assist the MTI students to learn to use electronic tools? (3) How can the gap between the student translator and the professional translator be bridged in terms of the skills to use electronic tools in a 2-year training program?In response to these questions, this article explores the interaction among the various components of the external environment of translator workstation. It proposes an ideal learning environment metaphorically referred to as “the ecosystem of translator workstation”, which aims to enable MTI students to learn to use electronic tools in an environment similar to their future workplace. Such a research has great implications for translator education in present-day China by revealing what is best taught or trained in the workplace rather than the traditional classroom setting.
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