Module LXE-3101:
Approaching Translation

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Shuai Zhao

Overall aims and purpose

strong text1. To provide an overview of translation as a social phenomenon and a professional activity. 2. To enable students to gain an understanding of the ethical, political and textual aspects surrounding translation as a profession. 3. To encourage a critical reflection on translation practices as mediated by professional agents and institutions. 4. To offer students an insight into some of the translation technologies employed in diverse social and professional contexts.

Course content

This module provides an overview of the social, professional and technological contexts of translation as a form of intercultural communication. The module will be delivered in three interconnected thematic blocks:

a) Translation in Society: The first thematic block will introduce students to translation as a social and cultural phenomenon. Students will become acquainted with theoretical models and conceptual tools from the field of Translation Studies. By sketching some key developments in the history of translation, and through various historical and contemporary examples, special emphasis will be placed on the cultural, ethical and political implications surrounding translation as an intercultural activity.

b) Translation as a Profession: The second part of the module will focus on the translator as a professional agent in the global marketplace. Students will learn about the professional aspects of interlingual mediation, especially as evident in institutions such as the European Union and media companies. Students will also reflect on the processes, constraints and routines of translation and interpreting as professional and interlingual activities.

c) Translation Technologies: The final thematic block will encourage students to critically reflect on the evolution, functions and processes surrounding modern translation technologies. Students will be introduced to different practices involved in multimedia translation, for instance dubbing and subtitling. Students will also receive an insight into various practices of computer-assisted translation (CAT), such as machine translation, translation memory systems, and terminology databanks.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D- / D+: In order to merit the award of credit, students should demonstrate an awareness of the various contexts, processes and constraints inherent in translation as a form of intercultural communication. They should also display a satisfactory understanding of some of the key themes and concepts studied, especially in connection with translation as a professional practice mediated through modern technologies. Students should also be able to frame an analytical argument backed up by secondary literature, and they should demonstrate an adequate grasp of academic conventions.

good

C- / B+: In order to merit a higher grade, students should demonstrate a perceptive awareness of the various contexts, processes and constraints inherent in translation as a form of intercultural communication. They should also display a solid understanding of some of the key themes and concepts studied, especially in connection with translation as a professional practice mediated through modern technologies. Students should also show a good ability to develop and present a coherent argument backed up by secondary literature, and they should demonstrate a solid familiarity with academic conventions.

excellent

A- / A+: In order to merit the highest grade, students should demonstrate a critical awareness of the various contexts, processes and constraints inherent in translation as a form of intercultural communication. They should also display a perceptive and insightful understanding of some of the key themes and concepts studied, especially in connection with translation as a professional practice mediated through modern technologies. Students should also show an exceptional ability to develop and present an original argument backed up by secondary literature, and they should demonstrate excellent familiarity with academic conventions.

Learning outcomes

  1. demonstrate an awareness of the multiple ways in which translation is embedded in culture and society

  2. think critically about the political and ideological implications of translation as a form of intercultural communication

  3. appreciate the ethical role and responsibilities of translators and interpreters in a changing global cultural landscape

  4. appraise the institutional and technological complexities impinging on translation and interpreting as professional practices

  5. critically reflect on the state of intercultural communication in the 21st century by drawing on methods and concepts from the field of translation studies

  6. recognize different types of translation and interpreting against the backdrop of textual, linguistic and technical mediation procedures

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assessment II

Write a 2000-word essay on ONE of the key themes discussed in class: translation as a social and cultural activity, translation as professional practice, or translation as a process of technical mediation. A list of essay topics to choose from, one for each theme, will be provided by the lecturers. The argument needs to be backed up by secondary literature. The word count excludes footnotes and bibliography.

70
VIVA Assessment I

Choose a potential ‘source text’ to translate. You do not need to translate the text, and the text should not exceed around 2000 words. Deliver a 7-minute presentation, followed by 3 minutes’ question time, on the implications and/or difficulties that one might encounter when translating this text with reference to ONE of the key themes discussed in class: translation as a social and cultural activity, translation as professional practice, or translation as a process of technical mediation. The presentations will be conducted in the form of a viva voce examination, only between the lecturers and the student. The presentations will take place in weeks 11 and 12.

30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures - 11 hours (1 per week over 11 weeks)

11
Private study 89

Transferable skills

  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • The ability to translate sophisticated passages into and out of the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4)
  • Extract and synthesise key information from written and/or spoken sources in English / Welsh and/or the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
  • The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical understanding of key topics in the sphere of modern critical, cultural and translation theory, highlighting landmark figures and offering close readings of segments of their texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation of contrasting types of press and media in the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.7, 5.10)
  • Skills in the critical reading and analysis of literary and/or musical and/or filmic texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: