Module code: TRA2056

Module Overview

This is a practical introduction to translation from Spanish to English. Students will be introduced to some basic concepts and terminology in translation and will learn through translating short texts from Spanish to English and writing reflective commentaries on translation issues. Students will gain an understanding of the processes involved in translating from Spanish to English and will develop their ability to analyse and interpret texts and to recognise and resolve translation issues, using appropriate translation resources. Texts will be contemporary and will cover a range of text types, chosen to illustrate a wide variety of translation problems as well as to introduce aspects of Spanish-speaking cultures.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

FAY Stephen (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 61

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Practical translation work on semi-specialised texts from Spanish into English. Texts will be contemporary and will cover a range of issues and will be taken from a variety of sources.

  • Reflective commentary on translation issues.

  • Discussion and analysis of translation difficulties and strategies for resolving them.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework TRANSLATION 1 (C.250 WORDS) with commentary 30
Coursework TRANSLATION 2 (C.250 WORDS) with commentary 30
Examination Online ONLINE EXAM 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate Knowledge and understanding of the target language; 

  • ability to analyse and interpret texts

  • ability to select and synthesise information from written and oral texts

  • ability to use IT skills to find and present relevant information

  • subject-specific knowledge of Spanish-speaking societies and cultures

  • ability to write in appropriate idiomatic English.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Two Equally Weighted Texts (c.250 words each) with Commentary during the semester (30% & 30%)

This gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work independently to apply strategies and solve problems in translating a range of texts, using a variety of resources, and to reflect on the translation process, using appropriate language.

  • Online Exam (within a four-hour window) (40%)

Students demonstrate ability to use strategies and solve problems in translating a text and writing a reflective commentary under pressure of time.

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 aims to: increase students' understanding of the processes involved in translating from Spanish to English
  • develop practical ability in translation, including ability to use relevant translation resources
  • develop understanding of translation issues and ability to comment appropriately on resolving them

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will: have increased their understanding of translation processes, and developed ability to translate from Spanish to English using appropriate translation strategies KCP
002 have developed ability to to write reflective commentaries using appropriate terminology KC
003 Have developed competence in using general and specific dictionaries and other resources, including digital, to aid translation KPT
004 Have developed greater awareness of Spanish-speaking cultures and societies KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy will enable students to:

  • acquire explicit knowledge of the target language, through reading and analysing texts, whilst also improving their ability to write idiomatic English in various text types 

  • work and learn independently, through small group classes, reading outside contact hours and participating in seminars

  • develop ability to use linguists' tools, such as dictionaries and IT resources

  • develop research skills, through reading and presenting findings, through class discussions and writing commentaries

  • engage in analytical and evaluative thinking, to analyse and interpret texts and other cultural products, through attending classes, engaging in individual study and writing commentaries

  • develop communication skills through interactions in class

  • develop practical competence in translation

  • improve ability to write appropriate and idiomatic English

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Two contact hours per week: practical seminars based on discussion of work prepared in advance.

  • Clear guidance on how to prepare for seminars.

  • Collaborative production of translations and commentaries through interactive seminars. 

  • Guidance on how to prepare and present assignments via SurreyLearn and during practical seminars.

  • Opportunities for class discussion, group work and peer evaluation. Further guidance for independent study provided by the class tutor.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRA2056

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: students will learn how to source and select appropriate online resources and justify their use. They will learn to navigate online in the target language and develop the ability to discern which sources are most appropriate in particular contexts. They will make regular use of a range of digital translation tools, including online dictionaries and data banks, and will learn to detect good and bad online translations. They will make use of digital tools, most notably google docs, for collaborative work in classes.

Employability: many languages students will go on to build a career in translation or a related industry, thus this module can act as the first step towards understanding how professional translation works. Students will learn the importance of paying attention to detail, of developing their curiosity and of double-checking and proof-reading their work. In a more general sense, students will develop an awareness of professional writing, as they have to bear in mind client requirements and working under pressure. They will also develop other professional transferable skills, such as researching topics in order to gain an overview, being able to place texts in a wider context, and working together with colleagues.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: in common with all modules in Modern Languages, this module invites students to learn about cultural differences and how to convey them to a new audience. The themes in the texts will include aspects of the wider Spanish-speaking world, creating awareness of the diverse nature of Spanish-speaking cultures. Translation is not just about words, but about how words express cultures. Students will enhance their communicative competence in their target language and in English, by working through different ways of expressing ideas and concepts.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: finding solutions to translation issues often involves 'thinking outside the box' and questioning everything. Students develop the habit of double checking what they read and being prepared to explore several paths of enquiry before finding an appropriate solution. Translation can often involve detective work and students will develop their ability to detect and then solve problems. Through writing commentaries they also develop the ability to explain and justify the solutions they have reached, drawing on whatever resources are best suited to the task.

Sustainability: themes may change from one year to another, but themes related to SDG will always feature at some point in this module. Awareness of sustainability will inform themes chosen in a range of ways but will typically involve a focus on a particular issue in a country where the target language is spoken. Students will acquire the vocabulary and structures needed to write about sustainability in the target language and will become aware of the cultural differences that may impact on the way sustainability is viewed and acted upon in different countries.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Optional Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (Spanish with German) BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and Spanish BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2023/4 academic year.