module specification

TR4002 - The Translator and Language (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title The Translator and Language
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 20%   Oral presentation
Coursework 40%   Timed Translation (4 hours)
Coursework 40%   Commentary (2000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This practical module explores the relationship of the translator to language. In the first part, the module focuses on cultural concepts and culture bound language: specific aspects of culture are addressed, analysed and discussed as to what problems they might pose in the translation into different languages. In typical areas of culture bound language such as names, geographical references, political and educational institutions, figurative language etc., students are introduced to practical translation procedures which are used to translate such language, and the terminology relating to it. In the second half, the module introduces students to language as grammar and, specifically, to grammar concepts and grammatical equivalence.  In addition, students are introduced to aspects of practical translation by concentrating on those areas in their language pair, which are characterised by both non-equivalence and culture-bound items. The module familiarises students with both grammatical and culture bound ‘translation problems’, and introduces them to the most appropriate ways of transfer.

Module aims

1. To explore the relationship between language and culture and introduce students to the practical procedures which allow them to accommodate culture meaning in the TT.
2. To become familiar with and identify culture bound concepts inherent in linguistic diversity and in texts; and be able to describe their characteristics, the problems they represent for their language pair and possible solutions to compensate for cultural non-equivalence.
3. To introduce students to theoretical grammar concepts and to the concept of grammatical equivalence at all levels.
4. To familiarise students with typical areas of non-equivalence in their language pair and to typical procedures of translation in areas of non-equivalence and provide opportunities for practice and application in such areas.


This module starts with an introduction to translation and translation methods and it looks at the features of culture bound language in general and as applied to the translation of texts. In the second part, the module introduces students to English grammar and to the concept of non equivalence across languages. Practical translation workshops which are language specific will be part of the teaching and learning strategy. Basic research / searching strategies for documentation will also be elaborated upon.

This module is classroom based and it involves the translation and a commentary of a text provided by the tutor.

Culture bound language: weeks 1 to 15
Revision: week 8
Summative assessment: week 9
Revision: week 14
Formative Assessment: week 15

Grammar and language/ problems of non equivalence Weeks 16 to 27
Formative assessment: week 23
Revision: week 28
Summative Assessment: week 29 (translation) & week 30 (commentary)
Assessment: formative assessment will be throughout the year in the form of portfolio with translations (students will receive lecturer’s feedback and also peer feedback)

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning methods include 2 hr lecture + 2 hr workshop/seminar (4 hours contact) each week. The lecture will be both lecture-led and student-led, with pair and group activities.
There will be also language specific translation seminars, which will be practice-based.
For practical translation tasks and assessments, students will be introduced to a variety of research tools, using textbooks, electronic databases and e-learning materials (WebLearn) as well as internet material. In addition to classroom based teaching, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of self directed study for the module.

Learning outcomes

1. recognize the need to accommodate cultural bound language and demonstrate an understanding of procedures for transferring cultural meanings
2. use the terminology related to culture bound concepts and their translation, together with the ability to recognise those aspects in the source text which will pose culture bound problems for their language pair and their solution
3. distinguish grammatical concepts and their equivalence in both ST and TT
4. identify both cultural and grammatical translation problems in their language pair and to solve these problems competently in both directions, and apply appropriate translation procedures for their solution.

Assessment strategy

Opportunities for formative and summative assessment and feedback.

Assessment: formative assessment will be throughout the year in the form of portfolio with translations (students will receive lecturer’s feedback and also peer feedback).

Summative assessment:
Oral presentation in Week 9 students will present a culture bound term and the translation procedures that were used to solve the identified problems.

Timed translation (4 hours) of one text which will incorporate some aspects of culture bound language and of grammatical equivalence. Submission is in Week 29 via WebLearn. (450 words)

Week 30: Students submit a commentary on the process of their translation (short ST analysis, identification and description of 6 translation problems:  three culture bound terms/language problems and three problems of grammatical equivalence), and discuss what procedures (Newmark) they have used to solve culture-bound problems and how they have engaged with problems of grammatical equivalence. (2000 words)


Baker, Mona, In Other Words, A Coursebook on Translation, (London: Routledge, 1992)
Corbett, John 'Teaching Culture through language variety' in N. McBride and K. Seago (eds) Target Culture - Target language? CILT, 2000, pp.156-174
Crystal, D. Rediscover Grammar (London: Longman, 1996)
Duff, Alan, The Third Language: Recurrent Problems of Translation into English (Oxford: Pergamon, 1981)
Fawcett, Peter, Translation and Language (St Jerome: Manchester, 1997)
Greenbaum, S. An Introduction to English Grammar (London: Longman, 1991)
Greenbaum, S. and Quirk, R. A Student’s Grammar of the English Language (London: Longman, 1990)
Katan, David, Translating Cultures: An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators (Manchester: St Jerome, 1999)
Hatim, B., and Mason, I. The Translator as Communicator (London: Routledge, 1997)
Hatim, B., Communication Across Cultures: Translation Theory and Contrastive Text Linguistics (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1997)
Newmark, Peter, Approaches to Translation, (Oxford, Pergamon, 1981)
Newmark, Peter, About Translation (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1991)