module specification

TR7049 - Interpreting Theory and Research for Interpreters (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Interpreting Theory and Research for Interpreters
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
170 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Group Oral Presentation
Coursework 70%   2000 Word Critical Review Essay (Weblearn Submission) *FC*
Running in 2021/22

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

Module summary

This module introduces students to the main interpreting models and to their impact on shaping practice. Students are also equipped with the skills needed to perform research prior to interpreting, as well as during the interpreting assignment.

Module aims

  1. Familiarise students with and develop their knowledge of the main interpreting theories and schools;
  2. Develop student awareness of the impact interpreting theories have on practice;
  3. Develop student knowledge of fundamental interpreting theoretical notions, such as equivalence, loss, compensation, meaning/concepts and form and their role in the interpreting process;
  4. Ensure that students have a sound understanding of the interpreting process, its stages and the mechanisms underlying it;
  5. Consolidate student knowledge of the different interpreting modes and their context of use;
  6. Develop student awareness of the importance of research and documentation in interpreting and equip them with the skills needed to perform this task;
  7. Familiarise students with the nature of the research and documentation needed in different modes of interpreting, prior to and during the interpreting act;
  8. Develop student ability to identify and assess knowledge gaps and use appropriate research skills and tools to fill them;
  9. Extend student knowledge of interpreting-specific research methods and the tools;
  10. Familiarise students and develop their knowledge of information sources relevant to different  modes of interpreting and subject fields.


The module is divided into two parts: 1) Interpreting Theories and 2) Research and Documentation Techniques for Interpreters.

In the first four weeks students will be introduced to the main interpreting theories and will be made aware of their impact on shaping practice. They will also be acquainted with the fundamental theoretical notions in interpreting such as equivalence, loss, compensation, the status of meaning/concepts, etc and with the crucial part these play in the choices and decisions involved in the interpreting assignment. Students will be familiarised with different fields of interpreting, their distinctive features and the process, stages and mechanisms underlying each of them as well as their contexts of use.

In the second part of the module students will be introduced to the research and documentation underlying the interpreting process and will be equipped with the skills needed to perform this task. Students are familiarised with the nature of the research and documentation performed for different interpreting modes prior to interpreting (subject field and terminology search) as well as during the interpreting assignment (terminology search). They will also be made aware of interpreting situations which require research and documentation and will be trained in the use of research methods and tools (library search, Internet, specialised software…). Students will be acquainted with the various sources of information available to interpreters and made aware of how to access them (traditional/ manual sources and electronic/ on-line sources). In applying research and documentation techniques students will work with interpreting scenarios where they are initially provided with the source speech. Once the students have developed the skills and are familiar with the necessary skills and techniques, they only have a brief and no source text.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered in the form of seminars and workshops during which students are introduced to the theories of interpreting, research skills for interpreting assignments and interpreting models. Students will engage with theory in a very practical way with discussions, debates, research and informal presentations.
Students will be encouraged to use Weblearn to debate interpreting issues relating to research, glossaries prepared for interpreting assignments.
This module also develops essay writing skills and academic writing in preparation for additional reflective essays in the Spring semester.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will have developed:

LO1. a critical understanding of the main interpreting theories and schools and their impact on practice;
LO2. an ability to reflect on the interpreting process, applying appropriate theoretical knowledge;
LO3. an ability to use their knowledge of the role played by theoretical interpreting notions and apply it appropriately when making decisions and choices during an interpreting assignment;
LO4. the capability to use their knowledge of the interpreting process and its stages and mechanisms to produce competent interpreting performance;
LO5. the competence to distinguish between different modes of interpreting and to identify the contexts in which they operate;
LO6. an ability to conduct research and documentation competently based on a critical awareness of the crucial role they play at different stages of the interpreting assignment;
LO7. an ability to determine which type of research and documentation is needed for the different modes of interpreting and when to apply them (prior to and/or during the interpreting assignment);
LO8. the competence to identify knowledge gaps, assess the level of research needed to fill them and decide on the appropriate research skills and tools to use;
LO9. the necessary skills to use interpreting-specific research methods and tools (technology);
LO10. the capability to search for and locate  information sources  relevant to different mode of  interpreting and subject fields.


Assessment strategy

Students will write a 2,000 word essay introducing one of the interpreting theories and commenting on how it impacts on practice. This assignment will assess the students' knowledge and critical understanding of interpreting theories and the main interpreting notions and their appreciation of their impact on practice. The assignment will also test the students' grasp of the interpreting process and the mechanisms underlying it.

In a 2,000 word essay, students will be asked to research an interpreting assignment at different stages of the interpreting process and demonstrate their competence in using appropriate methods. They will also focus on other aspects of the interpreting process, namely: the subject field and the audience. Then, extending their brief to another interpreting mode they will explain and justify the changes which occur as a result in the research process.


Research and documentation

Austermuhl, Frank (2001) Electronic Tools for Translators Manchester: St Jerome.

Calishain, Tara (2005) Web Search Garage Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR

Gillies, Andrew (2004) Conference Interpreting - A New Students' Companion: Tertium Cracow

Gillies, Andrew (2013) Conference Interpreting: A Student’s Practice Book: Routledge - London

Fons I Fleming, Mary (2009) Do Your Glossaries Excel? Interesting article on compiling multilingual glossaries in Excel. [last accessed September 2012)]

Milstein, Sarah and Dornfest, Rael (2004) Google: The Missing Manual Farnham: O’Reilly

Ó Dochartaigh, Niall (2007) Internet Research Skills London: SAGE Publications Ltd

Phelan, Mary (2001) The Interpreter's Resource Clevedon: Multilingual Matters (available as E-Book)

Quah, Chiew Kin (2006) Translation and Technology Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian

Stalker, Jane (2005) “On-line and Between the Lines. The Internet and Glossary Production for Public Service Interpreters” in Wadensjö, C, Englund Dimitrova, B, Nilson, A-L (eds) The Critical Link 4: Professionalisation of Interpreting in the Community Amsterdam: John Benjamins: 273-282


Aitchison, Jean (1994) Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon Oxford: Blackwell

Albl-Mikasa, Michaela (2012) “The importance of being not too earnest: a process- and experience-based model of interpreter competence” in Ahrens, Albl-Mikasa, Sasse (eds) Dolmetschqualität in Praxis, Lehre und Forschung; Festschrift für Sylvia Kalina Tübingen: Narr (59-92)

Asadi, Shima & Akef, Kourosh (2013) Culture-bound Element Strategies in Conference Interpreting: Based on Jan Pedersen’s Model Saarbrücken: Lap Lambert Academic Publishing

Baker, Mona (2011) In Other Words London: Routledge (1992 edition available as E-Book)

Beaugrande, Robert-Alain de & Dressler, Wolfgang (1981) Introduction to Text Linguistics London: Longman

Chesterman, Andrew & Wagner, Emma (2002) Can Theory Help Translators? Manchester: St Jerome (available as E-Book)

Corsellis, Anne (2008) Public Service Interpreting: The First Steps Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (available as E-Book)

Dubuc, Robert (1997) Terminology: A Practical Approach Québec: Linguatech

Gile, Daniel (1995) Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training Amsterdam: John Benjamins (revised 2009 edition available as E-Book)

Hale, Sandra & Napier, Jemina (2013) Research Methods in Interpreting. A Practical Resource. London: Bloomsbury

Hale, Sandra Beatriz (2007) Community Interpreting Basingstoke: Palgrave (available as E-Book)

Kelly, Nataly (2008) Telephone Interpreting Victoria (Canada): Trafford

Lambert, Sylvie & Moser-Mercer, Barbara (eds) (1994) Bridging the Gap : Empirical Research in Simultaneous Interpretation Amsterdam: John Benjamins (available as E-Book)

Newmark, Peter (1988 & 2003) A Textbook of Translation New York/London: Prentice Hall

Lederer, Marianne (1981) La traduction simultanée : expérience et théorie Paris : Lettres modernes

Palumbo, Giuseppe (2009) Key Terms in Translation Studies London: Continuum International Publishing

Pinker, Steven (1995) The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind London: Penguin

Pöchhacker, Franz & Shlesinger, Miriam (eds) (2002) The Interpreting Studies Reader London: Routledge

Pöchhacker, Franz (2004) Introducing Interpreting Studies London: Routledge (available as E-Book)

Roziner, Ilan & Shlesinger, Miriam (2010) “Much Ado About Something Remote – Stress and Performance in Remote Interpreting” in Interpreting 12 (2): 214-247

Sager, Juan (1990) A Practical Course in Terminology Processing Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Seleskovitch, Danica (1994) Interpreting for International Conferences Washington D.C. : Pen and Booth

Snell-Hornby, Mary et al (eds) (1995) Translation as Intercultural Communication Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Sofer, Morry (various years) Translator Self-training: French/Arabic/Russian/Italian/Portuguese/Japanese/Chinese Rockville, Md: Schreiber

Yule, George (2006) The Study of Language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2010 edition available as E-Book)