module specification

TR5002 - Translating Text and Culture (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Translating Text and Culture
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Logbook (2000 words)
Coursework 50%   Essay (2000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on developing the analytical and interpretive reading and writing skills which are a necessary and integral part of the translation process. The module aims to raise students’ awareness of the important role that cultures play in the ways that we process and produce texts. In the first part of the course, advanced reading competence will be developed through an examination of complex theoretical grammar concepts, as seen operating in a variety of written contexts. Productive skills related to students' individual competence in written domain-specific language will also be developed, through practical exercises aimed at improving nuanced expression and register-dependent paraphrasing. The theoretical/practical nature of this module is reflected in the teaching structure of the first part of the course, with the aim of fostering of transferable translation-specific skills. In the latter part of the module, the focus on text is broadened, through an examination of some of the key concepts which affect the ways that texts operate within the cultures and societies that produce them.

Prior learning requirements

TR4002  The Translator and Language

Module aims

This module aims:

  1. to extend the students’ knowledge of written grammar in use, and their appreciation of  how it contributes to the construction of meaning in texts to be translated.
  2. to improve the subtlety and accuracy of expression in students' written language and improve register-dependent and brief-specific paraphrasing and reformulating skills.
  3. to introduce students to different approaches to textual processing and the relevance of these to the comprehension of text, co-text and context.
  4. to analyse the cultural and intercultural features of the text through relevant cultural and linguistic theoretical tools.


Building on the students' prior knowledge of the stages in the translation process and of language and grammar in use, this generic module is predicated on the notion that the translator is a very special kind of reader and writer, engaged in cross-cultural communication.
The examination of text in this module is undertaken in relation to the construction and recovery of meaning, and emphasis is placed on comprehension at both the micro (intra-textual) level and at the macro-level (i.e. the text as a whole, operating in context). The main focus during the first part of the module is on developing syntactic knowledge, while students are also sensitised (especially in the latter part of the module) to the pragmatic knowledge which can be drawn upon in order to help 'make sense' of a text.

Learning and teaching

This is a taught module, delivered through lectures and seminars.
There will be opportunities for tutor feedback to encourage personal development and reflection (student logbook), with a view to producing the final written essay to the required standard, appropriate to the level of study.
WebLearn will be used throughout to support teaching and learning. Students will be encouraged to make use of the on-line forum facility to foster peer support and feedback.

Autonomous learning: students will be expected to undertake a substantial amount of background reading, with specific reading tasks set in preparation for discussions in seminars and for the extended practical activities in the workshop sessions.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. analyse complex grammatical structures in written texts.           .
  2. express themselves in writing with subtlety and accuracy taking register and the requirements of the translation brief into account.
  3. apply their understanding of the role of reading and writing in the translation process through an ability to comprehend and produce complex texts that function in context.
  4. recognise the cultural elements embedded in the text and demonstrate the ability to transfer cultural features in the translation process.

Assessment strategy

CWK1: Logbook of 2000 words (50%)
CWK 2: Essay of 2000 words (50%)


Abbott, D. (1998) Culture and Identity. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Baker, M. (1992) In Other Words, A Coursebook on Translation. London and New York: Routledge. 

Carter, R. and McCarthy, M (2006) Cambridge Grammar of English: A comprehensive guide: spoken and written English grammar and usage. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gile, D. (1995) Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Hall, S (1997) Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices, London: Sage in association with the Open University.

Kattan, D. (1999) Translating Cultures. Manchester: St Jerome Press.

Lewis, R.D. (2006 ) When Cultures Collide. 3rd edn. Boston: Nicholas Brealey International.

Malmkjær, K.  (2005) Linguistics and the Language of Translation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Montgomery, M. et. al., (2000) Ways of Reading; Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English Literature. 2nd edn. London and New York: Routledge.

Schäffner, C. (ed.) (2002) The Role of Discourse Analysis for Translation and in Translator Training. Clevedon, Buffalo: Multilingual Matters.

Snell Hornby, M. (1995) Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.