SML8012 : Translation Practice and Principles

Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


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 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
•       Terminology and reference sources
•       Translating factors & distances
•       How words mean: connotation, collocation
•       Reading between the lines: translation and pragmatics
•       How texts mean: discourse and levels of meaning
•       Translating processes & strategies
•       Culture, domestication, foreignisation
•       Translation quality and the translation professional
•       Loyalty and creativity
•       (Analysing and translating texts in 2-4 genres)
See timetabling information for further details.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion137:0037:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice1200:00200:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Student-led group work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching181:3027:00up to 116: i.e. 14.5 per language combination in up to 8 language combinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminars
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SML7001Translation Studies I
SML8017Translation Practice from Second Foreign Language
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, involving lecturer input with discussion/task ‘buzz breaks’, give a grounding in the key theoretical and practical issues involved in translation. Joint teaching of lectures with SML7001 (Chinese) also enables students to build cross-cultural contacts, helping in future professional networking.
Lecturer-led workshops give training in commentary-writing, and link principles input to students’ own translations. Skills practice allows students to prepare and practise translation tasks, and to develop translation studies knowledge. Small-group teaching gives lecturer input on translation skills development, and develops 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).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination1801M40Week 10 or 11.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M60Hand-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 roughly every 2 weeks. See module handout for timing details.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam assesses students’ text-analysis, translation research and translating skills under pressure of tight deadlines; doing this on a networked PC tests the PC-based writing and web reference skills presented and practised in the module. The Hand-in Translation also tests students’ draft-translating and revision skills. The Hand-in Commentary tests the translation-studies knowledge outcomes of the module and their reflective integration with translation practice. Weekly homework texts are crucial for skills development.

Reading Lists