Module Catalogue 2023/24

SML8012 : Translation Practice and Principles

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Myriem El Maizi
  • Lecturer: Dr Philippa Page, Dr JC Penet, Dr Helen Ferstenberg, Mrs Antje Moench
  • Other Staff: Ms Jessica Rainey, Mrs Elena Vignali, Mrs Carole Moore, Miss Noelia or Lia Cacheiro Quintas
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1.       For students to gain a broad knowledge of the key theoretical and practical issues involved in professional translation.
2.       In one of up to eight B>>A-language* combinations (English>>French, English>>German, English>>Italian, English>>Spanish, French>>English, German>>English, Italian>>English or Spanish>>English), for students to:
•       Develop professional-level text-analysis, translating, post-editing, and translating-teamwork skills in 2-4 professional genres.
•       Gain an analytic and reflective understanding of their own and others’ translation practice, as a basis for further professional development.
*A-language is the translator’s language of main use (typically the mother tongue), and B-language the language of secondary use (typically a foreign or second language).

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Academic writing for translation studies: translations, commentaries, referring to sources
•       Equivalence, translating/interpreting factors & distances
•       Translation/interpreting and semantic meaning
•       Translation/interpreting and pragmatic meaning
•       Translation/interpreting and discourse
•       Translating processes & strategies
•       Culture, domestication, foreignisation
•       Quality and the translation/interpreting professional
•       Skopos, function and norms
•       Loyalty and creativity
•       Analysing and translating/post-editing texts in 2-4 genres
See timetabling information for further details.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students should:
•       Have a good working knowledge of the key concepts used to describe translation processes.
•       Understand the role of discourse and rhetoric in constructing messages, particularly in 2-4 key translation genres (e.g. Journalism, Publicity, Science & Technology, Law, Business & Finance, Medicine, Technology), and how message structures can vary between languages.
•       Understand the linguistic and cultural factors which determine how messages are constructed, and the implications that this has for translating.
•       Understand how texts convey meaning on multiple levels, and the implications that this has for translating.
•       Be aware of the role of the translator/interpreter as a cultural mediator.
•       Be aware of the psycholinguistic and practical processes of written translation.
•       Be aware of terminology management and quality assurance issues, including the role of reference sources and human informants.
•       Be aware of referencing and academic-writing conventions for “translation + commentary” tasks.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students should:
•       Be able to analyse source texts for translation issues and problems.
•       Gain a broad and explicit toolkit of practical translating and post-editing strategies.
•       Be able to evaluate, select and use dictionaries, on-line resources, other reference materials and human informants to improve translation output.
•       Be able to produce starter-professional-quality translation texts, particularly in the 2-4 key translation genres (e.g. Journalism, Publicity, Science & Technology, Law, Business & Finance, Medicine, Technology).
•       Have starter-professional-level translation editing and post-editing skills.
•       Develop good source-text informant skills and cooperation skills with translators working in the opposite language direction.
•       Be able to evaluate and reflect critically on their own and others’ translating practice, both orally and in writing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Present-In-Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical91:3013:30Present-In-Person
Guided Independent StudySkills practice141:0041:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00Present-In-Person
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery10:300:30Present-In-Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1172:00172:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Present-In-Person
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SML7001Translation and Interpreting Studies
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A module talk introduces students to the module and explains learning/teaching methods. Lectures give a grounding in the key theoretical and practical issues involved in translation, and enable students to engage with the required knowledge-base. Workshops give training in commentary-writing, reference skills and genre analysis, and link principles input to students’ own translations. Small-group Practicals give lecturer input on translation skills development, and develop written communication and problem-solving skills. Student-led groupwork consolidates and further develops translation and translation-advisory skills, and develops a range of key skills (e.g. planning and organising, initiative, teamwork).

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1201M30Unseen translation exam in PC cluster
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A70Hand-in Translation (source-text length about 1000 words), with a 1500-word academic Commentary.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MWeekly homework (weeks 2-10) handed in to staff for feedback about every 2 weeks.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

All assessments test students’ text-analysis, translation research and translating skills. The Portfolio commentary also tests the translation-studies knowledge outcomes of the module and their reflective integration with translation practice. Weekly homework texts are crucial for skills development.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.