Practical Translation (SMLM141)

StaffDr Ting Guo - Lecturer
Dr Ting Guo - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with a thorough introduction to the basis of how languages express information, how this varies across languages and how to apply this knowledge in the translation of texts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Acquire an in-depth knowledge of the nature of language that will enable them to translate a range of text types from the source language to the target language.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. Develop expertise in translation, and the ability to justify both ethically and linguistically their chosen solution to translation problems.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 3. Demonstrate the ability to produce, to deadline, a substantial translation (written text) of a complex nature and present it to the required professional standards and with a commentary justifying their decisions.
  • 4. The expertise acquired in translating a range of text types will be extendible to specific domains for the purposes of further professional development.

Syllabus plan

The module carries three components:
1. Five one-hour lectures delivered in the first five weeks and core to all students.
2. Ten hours of language-specific translation workshops. Students taking two languages will take
two sets of 10 hours (to begin in week 2).
3. For those students only studying one language, a supervised translation project which will apply
an approach covered in SMLM140 Translation Methodology. It will comprise the following:

  • a. 30 mins individual supervision to establish a particular approach to the translation task (to take place in week 6).
  • b. 1 hour small-group (language-specific) supervision covering salient linguistic and cultural features.
  • c. One cross language session where students present their approach to the text and strategies to overcome translation problems.

The following syllabus plan is indicative of the areas covered.
Linguistic concepts: attended by all students.
Week 1. Translation as a product vs. Translation as a process. Introduction to language. The nature of
language and the possibilities of translation.
Week 2. The nature of linguistic variation. Lexicalisation vs. grammaticalisation. Lexical meaning and
equivalence at word level.
Week 3. Lexical meaning and equivalence above the word level. Word combination, idioms, collocations.
Translating metaphors.
Week 4. Grammatical meaning.
Week 5. Textual equivalence and pragmatic equivalence. The realisation of textual functions across
languages. Cohesion and coherence.
Translation workshops:
Comparative stylistics of chosen language pair(s)
Specific problems in direction of translation.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities5Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11 for students studying one language, 22 for students studying two languagesTranslation workshops
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2.5 for students studying one language onlySupervision for translation project - to be arranged with tutor
Guided independent study281.5 for students studying one language, 273 for students studying two languagesPrivate study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Regular written assignments of practical translation tasks300-word translations, to be accomplished throughout the workshopsMS1 DS2 PK3Oral; One assignment returned with written comments (by week 8)
Two presentations in class justifying the student's approach to the text and salient problems.15 minutesMS1 DS2 PK3Oral from peers, written (on proforma) from tutor.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
For dual language students, one portfolio of commented translations per language, including strategy, translation and decisions of detail. For single language students, one portfolio of commented translations including strategy, translation and decisions and one extended translation applying a method explored in SMLM140.1007,500 words (Each portfolio: 3,750 words; extended translation: 3,750 words)MS1 DS2 PK3Written (on proforma)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Mona Baker, In Other Words, second edition, London, Routledge, 2011.

Relevant book of the Thinking Translation series (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese). London,

Edna Andrews and Elena Maksimova, Russian Translation. London, Routledge, 2009.

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?