TRANSLATING CULTURES - 2020/1

Module code: TRAM178

Module Overview

This module focuses on issues of global and local identities through the lens of translation activity. Translation will be examined in a broad rather than a narrow sense, as a metaphor for processes of meaning-making in a complex and highly mediated world. The module will focus on the linguistic and cultural resources employed by translators to assimilate, channel and exploit discourses and voices in their respective environments. It offers students the opportunity to use relevant conceptual tools when tackling specific translation tasks as well as develop a framework of analysing and discussing translation activity in general. Examples are offered from the areas of literature and popular culture in general, tourism, politics and journalism. The module is suitable for students with different language backgrounds.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ASIMAKOULAS Dimitris (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: Q910

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

 N/A  

Module content

The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:


  • key concepts pertaining to culture and culture-specific experiences (in spoken and written source texts)

  • gatekeeping and the notion of hybridity in translation (in creative texts as well as specialised translation)

  • exploration of issues pertaining to collective action and and/or (the role of) politicized translation (in the area of audiovisual translation, politics and journalism)

  • narratives of conflict in translation (interpreting and literature)

  • sociological perspectives of translation (interpreting)

  • visibility and ethical issues in translation (commercial translation and interpreting)



 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1000 WORD GUIDED COMMENTARY 30
Coursework 3000 WORD ESSAY 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate


  • Knowledge and understanding of the use of translation models

  • Ability to analyse and interpret translated discourse

  • Ability to select and synthesise information in a principled, lucid and scholarly manner

  • Subject-specific knowledge of translation theory



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         1 written assignment of 1000 words (to be submitted after week 4). Takes the form of a guided commentary, enabling students to explore and test subject-specific knowledge and apply problem-solving skills

·         1 written assignment of 3000 words (to be submitted at the end of the module). Takes the form of a reflective essay, enabling students to develop subject-specific knowledge in this field and to develop research skills

Formative assessment and feedback

·         Formative assessment will focus on student participation and class discussions throughout the module

·         Students will be provided with detailed written feedback following coursework assignments

·         Verbal feedback will also occur in class and individual appointments if required

Module aims

  • This module is designed to offer students an overview of translation as a site of power struggle, and of articulation/legitimation of specific types of identity. The central issues addressed concern the ways in which translation is influenced by the context in which it emerges, but also the ways in which it is used to ‘manage' thresholds of similarity and otherness. Throughout the semester, the analytical usefulness of various conceptual tools will be examined from the angle of ideological/cultural awareness and problem-solving. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
1 Synthesize and evaluate major trends and models of translation theory and apply these. KC
2 Apply micro- and macro-analytical frameworks to the analysis of existing translations or of texts that can be translated; C
3 Relate the fundamentals of key theoretical approaches to the researching of translation; C
4 Demonstrate familiarity with key relevant theoretical questions in translation studies and ability to assess their relevance to various types translation KCT
5 Critically synthesise concepts discussed in class for practical problem-solving in translation KT
6 Critically assess translation performance across a variety of genres; KC
7 Develop/make effective use of relevant conceptual tools that will be transferable to other modules in their course ) CPT
8 Select relevant theoretical frameworks required for work on dissertation topics CP
9 Practice problem-solving and priority-setting skills which will be useful for future employment KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Enable students to develop their translation analysis skills, through attending classes and by engaging with practical exercises that focus on the product and social context of translation activity

  • Assist students in locating their translation work professionally and/or academically by developing in them an understanding of how to reflect on lexis, discourse organisation, register and ideological manipulation though written assignments and writing exercises

  • Encourage student participation and learner autonomy, through small group exercises/discussion and reading outside contact hours

  • Equip students with the research and writing skills and with the ability to assess the relevance of translation theory to translation practice, through reading, presenting findings in group work as well as in the written assignment

  • Enable students to acquire explicit knowledge of the creative potential of translation in printed, audiovisual and spoken discourse through in-class discussion and individual study

  • Enable students to acquire explicit knowledge of the development of translation studies as a discipline through in-class discussion and individual study



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Two contact hours per week over Semester 1

  • Classes will include lectures

  • Students are expected to read extensively outside classes in order to follow lectures

  • Constraints and possibilities of translated discourse will be discussed and students will be encouraged to participate actively, drawing on their knowledge of different locales, media and languages in order to identify and illustrate phenomena and principles related to translation


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for TRANSLATING CULTURES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/tram178

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Translation and Interpreting Studies MRes 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.