module specification

TR6002 - Specialist Translation Domains (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Specialist Translation Domains
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
54 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
246 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio (5000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning
Year North Thursday Evening

Module summary

In this module, students are exposed to the specific requirements for the translation of texts belonging to specialist areas such as business, media, IT, law, multimedia areas such as television programmes, video games, comics, and the literary field such as the translation of children literature, fiction, theatre and poetry. Students are introduced to the characteristics of texts from these specialist domains and are familiarised with types, terminology, stylistic features, structure and the constraints imposed by the medium on the translation process.  The module will therefore focus on two main domains, encompassing specialist areas and fields:

1. Technical/Applied Domains
2. Multimedia/Literary Domains

Prior learning requirements

TR5001 Translation Process and Procedures

Module aims

This module aims:

1. To develop students’ awareness of specialist fields of knowledge (technical, multimedial and literary) and expand their knowledge of the characteristic text types, terminology, stylistic features, and structure associated with specialist fields.
2. To broaden the students’ range of specialist texts and analyse the constraints these place on translation choices.
3. To review and extend students’ knowledge of complex translation strategies and evaluate their appropriateness to the different specialist areas of translation.


The module is taught in two blocks. Each block consists of 13 teaching weeks followed by 1 revision week and 1 assessment week. Each session is 1 hr lecture + 1 hour workshop/seminar (2 hours contact per week). Most domains are allocated two weeks (4 hours). Some sessions will include guest lecturers. Some subfields of large domains (e.g. law, business) can rotate from year to year. The first block (week 1 to 13) will be taught in the late afternoons/evenings. The second block (week 16 to 28) will be daytime provision. The flexibility of teaching time is to make sure students at level 6 can attend their placement in the first half of the module.

Students are introduced to a wide range of specialist translation domains. In the first half of the module, the focus will be on applied and technical domains such as the translation of medical and pharmaceutical texts; IT (including localisation); leisure and tourist-related literature; media and the arts (including advertising); legal texts; and business and finance.  As part of their coursework, students will have to choose two texts from these domains and in week 14 they will work towards their portfolio, including an analysis of one of these texts, with formative feedback in the following week, during tutorials. In the second block, students are introduced to the translation of multimedial and literary domains, such as: video games; TV and films (including subtitling and dubbing practices); the translation of comics, cartoons and graphic novels; children and teen literature; theatre playscripts and opera librettos; poetry; and the translation of a variety of prose (including fiction, non fiction). Students will then choose two further texts form any of these domains to include in their portfolio. They will have a week to finalise their coursework, before submitting it.

For each domain, students will focus on a strategic text analysis, identifying characteristic terminology, structure and stylistic features of texts from different fields of knowledge, evaluating the constraints posed on these texts by typology, medium, and so forth, while anticipating translation problems and solving these with appropriate procedures.

Learning and teaching

This is an in-class taught module, with a variety of student and teacher-led activities. Source text analysis workshops, text-based exercises, anticipating translation problems, and lectures introducing the several specialist areas are used throughout.

WebLearn will be used throughout for teaching and learning, and students will create an e-portfolio for their assessment.  The moderated discussion forum tool on WebLearn will enable students to continue topic discussions initiated during seminars/lectures. WebLearn tasks are set for guided independent work on students’ portfolio.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and document the characteristic terminology, structure and stylistic features of texts from different fields of knowledge.
2. Recognise a range of specialist texts and evaluate what constraints need to be considered in the translation process.
3. Find, apply and evaluate appropriate strategies and procedures to solve translation problems specific to specialist texts.

Assessment strategy

Assessment: Individual Portfolio of 5000 words: Students create a portfolio of texts from 4 different domains, in which they analyse and identify domain-specific characteristics, the main domain-specific problems in the texts and medium constraints (if applicable) and document what resources they would have to use and research in order to find solutions for these problems. 
In one of the texts, they also identify 4 problems (medium-related, style-related, genre-related, terminology and phraseology-related) and discuss the translation strategies and procedures they would apply to solve these problems.


Adab, Beverly and  Christina Valdés (eds.), Key debates in the translation of advertising material, The Translator, vol. 10, no. 2

Boase-Beier, J. and M. Holman (eds) (1999) The Practices of Literary Translation.
Constraints and Creativity, (Manchester: St Jerome). 

Lathey, Gillian  (ed) (2006) The Translation of Children’s Literature A Reader (Clevedon: Multilungual Matters).

McCloud, Scott ( 1993) Understanding Comics, (Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press)

Merkel, M. (1998)  Consistency and variation in technical translations - a study of translators' attitudes. In Bowker, L., Cronin, M., Kenny, D., Pearson, J. (Eds.). Unity in Diversity?, Current Trends in Translation Studies, St Jerome Publishing, pp. 137-149

Perteghella, M.  and Loffredo, E. (eds) (2006) Translation and Creative Writing: Perspectives on Creative Writing and Translation Studies. (London and New York: Continuum).

Zatlin, Phyllis  (2005) Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters).