Advanced Translation Skills (SML3031)

StaffDr Richard Mansell - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesMLS2001, or equivalent competence. Students may take the module in Spanish translation only
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to modern theories of translation and how these can be applied to the practice of translation as an activity. It focuses on a range of text types in a variety of situations, building on and going beyond the translation situations encountered in core language modules.

Translation is approached as a decision-making activity, and students learn how to decide and justify their decisions swiftly and ethically, with terminology from the field. As such, this module aims especially to give a grounding in translation to those students who wish to study an MA in Translation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Translate a range of text types in a range of situations, i.e. using different strategies for different audiences
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of conceptual issues in theories of translation, and how these can be applied to the activity's practice
  • 3. Analyse case studies and arrive at translators' strategies, and comment on these in their context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Approach translation as a decision-making process
  • 5. Make decisions and justify them with speed and ethical confidence
  • 6. Identify the decisions made by translators and assess their quality in context
  • 7. Carry out research for translations and case studies in the field of Translation Studies
  • 8. Use terminology from the field appropriately

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Undertake independent research and use bibliographical material provided in an appropriate manner
  • 10. Analyse critically and use this capacity to solve problems
  • 11. Make decisions with confidence and justify them

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction: What is translation and what is it not?
  • Approaches to translation (Main theories of translation)
  • Translation as a purposeful activity (The importance of audience)
  • Translation Quality Analysis (How to assess the quality of translations)
  • The role of linguistics (Importance of language, units of translation and limitations of langue-based approaches)
  • Translations as texts (Texts as units of translations, textual behaviour)
  • Translation as creation (The translator's input)
  • The translation market, how it works and how to work

In the first five weeks, texts used in seminars will put into practice the theory covered in lectures. This will carry on in the following five weeks, with seminars dedicated to the features of an individual text type, problems of translation and solutions to overcome them.

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 Teaching5Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Tutorials
Guided Independent Study133Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Commented translation750 words (500 word translation with 250 word commentary)1-11Oral and written

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
Commented translation1002500 words (1500 word translation with 1000 word commentary)1-11Oral, written available on request

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Commented translationCommented translation1-11Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Lawrence Venuti (ed.) (2004): The Translation Studies Reader, London, Routledge.
  • Mona Baker (2011): In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, London, Routledge.
  • Mona Baker (ed.) (1998): Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London, Routledge.
  • Edwin Gentzler (2001): Contemporary Translation Theories, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters.
  • Sandor Hervey and Ian Higgins (1995): Thinking Translation. London, Routledge. (There is an edition for each language: Thinking Spanish Translation, Thinking German Translation, etc.)
  • Jeremy Munday (2004): Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications, London Routledge.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Last revision date