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Unit information: Applied Translation (Mandarin) in 2015/16

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Unit name Applied Translation (Mandarin)
Unit code MODLM0007
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Paul Golf
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The aim of the unit is to prepare students who already have fluent/native or degree-level knowledge of Mandarin to become reflective practitioners of translation into and from English, and to develop increasingly sophisticated strategies to that end. The emphasis is less on further rule-based foreign-language acquisition than on building critical appreciation and evaluation of contextually and functionally appropriate translation of a range of source texts. Students will increase their overall competence as translators both through regular and varied translation assignments, and through formal reflection on their own practice and that of others in the group.

A programme of applied translation between Mandarin and English in a broad range of text types. Students will be required to submit annotated translations and to participate in group discussion and feedback. In so doing, they will be expected to evaluate the nature of the source text and its anticipated readership and to consider different translation strategies and solutions, drawing on experience gained also in the unit on Theories of Translation. They will develop their competence in editing and revising translated texts.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will have developed their ability to:

  1. apply previous linguistic knowledge and their study of translation theory to enhance their ability to reflect critically on the practice of translation
  2. evaluate critically and apply a range of translation strategies,
  3. research the linguistic and cultural context of source texts
  4. reflect upon and apply this contextual knowledge in the practice of translation;
  5. translate to a variety of task-specific briefs, working quickly but accurately to a series of submission deadlines;
  6. format and present their assessed submissions to professional standards;
  7. participate in informed and structured discussion of the above with other students and tutors, evaluating their own practice and that of their peers in accordance with ethical guidelines

Teaching details

Weekly seminars.

Students will be set regular tasks and submission deadlines involving translation from Chinese into English and from English into Chinese. The translations will simulate as far as possible a real-world context. The unit tutor will oversee the group discussion, providing brief comments on individual performance and more extended group feedback. The unit teaching will be supported by tasks and materials on Blackboard.

Assessment Details

There are four components to summative assessment:

a) 50%: Two 600-word translations from Chinese into English, each accompanied by a 600-word commentary (translation 60%; annotation 40% of each assignment). (ILOs 1-7)

b) 50%: Two 600-word annotated translations from English into Chinese, each accompanied by a 600-word commentary (translation 60%, annotation 40% of each assignment). (ILOs 1-7)

Formative assessment will be conducted in the form of practice translation pieces which will be subject to peer discussion and tutor feedback.

Reading and References

  • Mona Baker, In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (Routledge: 1992)
  • Basil Hatim and Jeremy Munday, Translation: An Advanced Resource Book (Routledge: 2004)
  • Jeremy Munday, Introducing Translation Studies, Theories and Applications (Routledge, 2012)
  • Valerie Pellatt & Eric Liu, Thinking Chinese Translation (Routledge, 2010)

Students will be required to use a range of reference works and to develop extensive familiarity with electronic resources, on which advice will be given by the unit tutor.