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Unit information: Theories of Translation in 2020/21

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Unit name Theories of Translation
Unit code MODLM2015
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Fricker
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit offers a historical introduction to Western theories of translation, and considers the different ways in which translation has been conceptualised as both process and product. A structured reading programme will prepare students to contribute to a series of discussion forums. Each student will research and present two topics to the group via Blackboard. Topics will cover a range of specific theoretical approaches to the study of translation in relation to different text types: examples are likely to include historical studies, process-based studies, hermeneutics, descriptive and functional theories, translation as inter-cultural mediation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Conceptualize the process of translation, and apply a framework for practical evaluation of their own translation practice and that of other translators.
  2. Demonstrate analytical insight into the nature and uses of text, and theoretical appreciation of the complexities of transposing source text into target text.
  3. Evaluate the relative merits of different approaches to translation and the appropriateness of particular theories for specific translation contexts
  4. Demonstrate the ability to research complex theoretical topics and present their findings in an accessible format to their peers.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered online through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Information

1 x 2500-word essay (50%) (ILOs 2-4) 1 x 2500-word Case Study (50%) (ILOs 1-3)

Reading and References

  • Jeremy Munday, Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications (Routledge: London and New York) Revised edition, 2008 or third edition, 2012
  • Mona Baker, In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (Routledge: London and New York; 2nd ed.) 2011
  • Laurence Venuti, The Translation Studies Reader (Routledge, London and New York), 2nd ed. 2004 (or the more recent 3rd edition).