Concepts in Translation and Interpreting
This module, compulsory for students of the BAs in Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting, and English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting, introduces concepts central to the academic study and the professional practice of translation and interpreting. It is designed to initiate the transition from simple language-learner to well-informed language services provider which students will undergo in the course of their degree, and to act as a foundation for subsequent modules. Topics covered include: size, structure and composition of the worldwide language services market, types of translation and interpreting and their various contexts, relevant international legislation and standards, professional organisations, business interaction of suppliers with clients, fundamentals of linguistic analysis, domain research methods, and quality assurance. Assessment will be by individual Case Study (50%) and written examination (50%).
Introduction to the Theory of Translation
The question of how to evaluate a translation has occupied linguists since antiquity. In this module, some of the main issues from the rich history of this discussion will be presented. For example, one of the oldest issues is to what extent equivalence in translation can be achieved. An example of a more modern question is: what is the right unit of translation (why not word-for-word?, what type of larger units?). We will also consider cultural and philosophical aspects of translation, the impact of technology on translation and the question to what extent the translator is (and should be) visible or invisible
The module is intended as a generic introduction to Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, the specialised software packages that have been developed for making professional translation more efficient. Essential parts of these are terminological databases (i.e. termbases) and translation memories. Translation memories store and retrieve previous translations, whereas termbases store terms and their associated information. The theoretical part will concentrate on the general principles underlying such packages and elaborate on the way they interact with the workflow of professional translators. The practical part will exemplify this knowledge by detailed exercises with one or two software packages.
Translation Project (Sem 1)
Professional translation involves much more than replacing expressions in one language by expression in another one. In this module, you will put into practice everything you have learned about the translation process in the course of your studies. Together with your supervisor you will agree on a text to be translated and you will be given a translation brief specifying the practical context of the translation. Depending on the subject, you might want to use computer tools and/or do some terminological research as part of your translation work. The assessment does not only consist of the translation you produce, but also takes into account your commentary. The commentary will describe the problems you encountered in the translation and your approach to these problems.
In 10 two-hour guided computer classes held weekly through Semester 1, this module provides hands-on training in key computerised tools and techniques required by the modern translation profession. Starting with productivity-enhancing aspects of generic office software (Word, Excel), we move on to look at online resources and data mining. The bulk of the module is devoted to hands-on use of three leading translation memory systems (e.g. SDL Trados, MemSource, Lionbridge's Translation Workspace, Google Translator Toolkit) to a professional standard. Assessment is by one group-based practical assignment in which students localize an English-language website into several languages, working in teams and each then writing an individual report. 20% of the marks are contributed by the group¿s data files, 20% by the quality of the translation and terminology produced by each language team, and 60% by the individual report.
Foundations of Translation and Interpreting
Studying translation involves a number of special skills. They include, for instance, making optimal use of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, and writing a well-structured commentary explaining your translation strategy or your use of specialized software. There are also some general skills you need, such as setting up a bibliography for a particular topic and formatting your documents to a professional standard. Apart from these skills, this module will also give you some general introductory knowledge of, for instance, the difference between terms and words and the organization of Computer-Assisted Translation tools and an up-to-date overview of the translation and interpreting industry. Finally, this module will introduce you to basic linguistic concepts and terminology, which you can use in discussing your translation work.
Accessibility legislation is combining with globalisation to create an expanding professional market for audiovisual adaptation. Films and TV programmes need to be subtitled or dubbed into other languages for sale abroad, but same-language subtitling also serves the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing at home. Audio-description of the setting and action of plays and films, or of museum artefacts, enhances the enjoyment of people who are blind or visually-impaired (the BBC is now audio describing 20% of its content, including popular soaps, dramas, comedies and children's programmes). In each case, the content of a predominantly visual medium has to be transposed into words, in either the original or a different language, which are then re-presented on screen or in speech (by voiceover). This module, which will be of particular interest to MA students of Communication and Media Practice, and Translation and Interpreting Studies, provides an introduction to the history, theory and ideology of audiovisual adaptation from the silent cinema to the present day. Its main focus is on the different techniques of analysis and (re-)writing required by subtitling, dubbing and audio description, and on the use of appropriate software to perform those tasks. Assessment takes the form of a practical audiovisual adaptation project (50%) with reflective report (50%).
English-Chinese Translation Workshop 3 (Science and Health)
This module aims to improve your skills in translation from English to Mandarin Chinese. The practical workshops focus on translation of science and heath-related practice text. Practice assignments will grow progressively longer to reflect real-world conditions and students will on occasion be expected to work together, critiquing and editing each other's work to produce a collaborative final version. Techniques for discovering domain-specific knowledge and translating technical terminology will be explored and developed. You will develop awareness of different types of translation and different techniques required of translators and strategies employed by them.