module specification

TR4002 - The Translator and Language (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
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
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 20%   Oral presentation (10 min)
Coursework 40%   Timed Translation (4 hours)
Coursework 40%   Commentary (2000 words)
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

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 during the translation process into different languages. In typical areas of culture bound language related to names, geographical references, political and educational institutions, legal systems etc., students are introduced to practical translation procedures which are used to translate such language, and the terminology relating to it. In the second part of the module, students are introduced to language as grammar and, specifically, to various grammar concepts such as gender and number, pronouns and others as well as their grammatical equivalence in the target language system.  In their specific language pair sessions, students are introduced to aspects of practical translation by concentrating on those areas 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.


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 1-19
Revision: week 7
Oral presentations: weeks 8 and 9
Formative assessment: week 15
Formative assessment: week 23           LO1

Grammar and language/ problems of non equivalence: weeks 16 to 26
Revision: week 27
Summative assessment: week 28 (translation) & week 30 (commentary)
Assessment: formative assessment will be throughout the year in the form of  translations (students will receive lecturer’s feedback and also peer feedback) LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning methods include a two hour long interactive lecture + one hour long workshop/seminar (3 contact hours) each week. The interactive lecture is both tutor-led and student-centred, with pair and group activities, with very strong encouragement for participation.
There will also be 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. A strong emphasis will be on researching appropriate solutions to translation problems, using students’ own electronic devices (tablets, smartphones and laptops) during class time.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Recognise the need to accommodate cultural bound language and demonstrate an understanding of procedures for transferring cultural meanings.
2. Identify both cultural and grammatical translation problems in their language pair and solve these problems competently by applying appropriate translation procedures for their solution.
3. 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.

Assessment strategy

There will be ample opportunities for formative activities as an efficient preparation for summative assessment. Feedback will be given regularly every week during class time.

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

There will be a total of three summative assessments: an oral presentation focusing on a specific culture bound term, a timed translation (4 hours) of a text selected by the lecturer and a written commentary.
The text will incorporate some aspects of culture bound language and of grammatical equivalence.
The commentary will focus on the process of the students’ translation (short ST analysis, identification and descriptions of translation problems including culture bound terms/language problems and problems of grammatical equivalence, and a discussion of procedures used to solve these problems).

Students are informed that they will receive summative feedback within a couple of weeks of submitting their work.
Fail candidates will be offered opportunities for further feedback delivered via discussion in an individual tutorial with the Module Leader once the marks are published.



Baker, M. (2011) In other words, a coursebook on translation. London: Routledge.

Newmark, P. (2003) A textbook of translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


Corbett, J. (2000) 'Teaching Culture through language variety' in N. McBride and K. Seago (eds) Target Culture - Target language CILT pp.156-174

Crystal, D. (2004) Rediscover grammar. London: Longman.

Duff, A. (1981)The third language: recurrent problems of translation into English. Oxford: Pergamon.

Fawcett, P. (1997)Translation and language. Manchester: St Jerome.

Greenbaum, S. and Nelson, G. (2002) An introduction to English grammar . London: Longman.

Hatim, B, and Mason, I. (1997) The translator as communicator . London: Routledge.

Hatim, B. (1997) Communication across cultures: translation theory and contrastive text linguistics . Exeter: University of Exeter Press.

Katan, D. (2003) Translating cultures: an introduction for translators, interpreters and mediators . Manchester: St Jerome.



Dickins, J, Hervey, S. & Higgins. I. (2002) Thinking Aabic translation: course in translation method, Arabic to English. London: Routledge.

Hatim, B. (1997), English-Arabic/Arabic-English translation a practical guide. London: Saqi.

Astington, E. (1990) Equivalences: translation difficulties and devices: French-English, English –French. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chuquet, H. (1987) Approche: linguistique des problèmes de traduction Anglais-Français / Français-Anglais. Paris: Ophrys.

Guillemin-Flescher, J. (1993) Syntaxe comparée du Français et de l’Anglais: problèmes de traduction. Paris: Ophrys.

Hervey, S. & Higgins, I (2002) Thinking translation, a course in translation method: French to English. London: Routledge.

Morton, J. (1993) English grammar for students of French. Michigan: The Olivia and Hill Press.

Vinay, J. P., Darbelnet, J. (1995)Stylistique comparée du Français et de l’Anglais: méthode de traduction. Paris: Didier.


Wolf, F. (2003) Technik des Übersetzens. Englisch und Deutsch. Munchen: Hueber.

Hervey, S., Loughridge, M. and Higgins, I (2006 Thinking German translation. A course in translation method: German to English. London: Routledge.

Humphrey, R. (2007) Grundkurs Übersetzen Deutsch-Englisch. Stuttgart: Klett.

Kars, J. und Häussermann, U. (1993) Grundgrammatik Deutsch. Frankfurt am Main: Diesterweg.


Adorni, S., Primorac, K. (1995) English grammar for students of Italian. Michigan: The Olivia and Hill Press.

Hervey, S. (2000) Thinking Italian translation: a course in translation method: Italian to English. London: Routledge.

Korzeniowska, A., and Kuhiwczak, P. (2006) Successful Polish-English translation: tricks of the trade. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Piotrowska M. (1997) Learning translation - Learning the impossible? A course of translation from English into Polish. Kraków :Universitas.


Coulthard, M. and P. A. Odber de Baubeta (eds) (1996). Theoretical issues and practical cases in Portuguese-English translations. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press.

Downes, J. and Goodman, J. E. (1993) Dictionary of finance and investment  terms. Portuguese.    Dicionário de termos financeiros e de investimento, tradução, Ana Rocha Tradutores Associados. São Paulo, SP Nobel Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo.

Hervey, S. (1995) Thinking Spanish translation: a course in translation method, Spanish to English. London: Routledge.

Laviosa, S. (2006) Linking wor(l)ds. Lexis and grammar for translation. Naples: Liguori.

Spinelli, E. (1994) English grammar for students of Spanish. Michigan: The Olivia and Hill Press.

Andrews, E. and Maksimova, E. (2010) Russian translation: theory and practice. London: Routledge. 

Pym, A. (2016) Translation solutions for many languages: histories of a flawed dream.
Batalden, K. (2013) Stephen Russian Bible wars: modern scriptural translation and cultural authority . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.