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TRI1002 : Translation Theory and Practice 1

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr JC Penet
  • Lecturer: Dr Helen Ferstenberg, Ms Marian Hernandez Villada
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


•For students to gain a foundational knowledge of the key theoretical and practical issues involved in translating.
•In and out of their mother tongue (in one of 2 language pairs, e.g. EnglishFrench, EnglishGerman and EnglishSpanish), for students to:
•Develop grounding in text-analysis, translating and translating-teamwork skills in in 2-3 genres chosen for this stage (e.g. tourism, publicity, technical/scientific);
•Be aware of how the Stage’s key genres communicate messages in linguistic and interpersonal terms, and the implications this has for their translation
•Gain an understanding of their own and others’ translation practices, as a basis for further translation studies at stages 2 and 4.

Outline Of Syllabus

In this module, students will familiarise themselves with translation theory and practice through the prism of the topics listed hereunder (this list is indicative only, the definite list of lectures can be found in the module booklet):
- Translation as a process and a product;
- Translation techniques (cultural transposition, compensation etc.) ;
- Grammatical, lexical, sentential, inter-sentential and inter-textual issues in translation;
- Translation difficulty (literal meaning, connotative meaning etc.);
- Language variety in texts and textual genre as a factor in translation;
- Linguistic and communicative features of the Stage’s genres and practical translation within these genres;
- Academic writing in translation studies
- Stylistic editing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials53:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice1126:00126:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00PiP;Students will follow the language-specific strand (22 sessions of 1 hr per language)
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
TRI1202Translation Theory and Practice 1 - Part 2
TRI1102Translation Theory and Practice 1 - Part 1
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Along with structured guided learning (“lecture materials”), the lectures will give students grounding in the key theoretical and practical issues involved in translation as outlined in the syllabus. This module contains some asynchronous online lectures as the blended learning mode of teaching allows students to reflect in their own time, to complete collaborative activities and to revisit some of the lecture materials for new tasks (e.g. Translator Resources, Editing). Evaluation from last year showed that a majority of students appreciated the online elements as part of the module contact hours. The blended learning mode of teaching has shown to be very effective as it allowed students time to reflect in their own time. Lectures on topics such as Translator Resources and Copy- & Stylistic- Editing work best online as they allow students to take part in reflective peer-exercises and to come back to these resources throughout the year as they need them.

Small-group teaching will give students the opportunity to apply practically the theory covered in the lectures by giving lecturer input on translation skills development. This will allow students to develop written, communication and problem-solving skills. Small-group teaching will also give training in translation 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A50Open-book take-home translation & reflective commentary (600 word ST and 800 word commentary) Students have 24 hours to complete
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Translation Theory and Practice 1 - Part 22N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M50A portfolio of selected translations (approx. 1000 word source text) and reflective commentary.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MRegular short homework translations throughout full year
Digital Examination1MOpen-book take-home translation & reflective commentary
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Under pressure of tight deadlines, the off campus exam assesses students’ command of translation skills presented and practised in the module. These skills include PC-based writing and web reference skills – presented and practised in the module. The required commentary allows students to demonstrate that they can identify potential translation issues and problems in a source text and that they have started developing a toolkit of practical translating strategies. Similarly, the Portfolio tests the students’ practical translation skills and reflective commentary tests the translation-studies knowledge outcomes of the module and their reflective integration with translation practice. Homework texts are crucial for skills development.

Reading Lists