Module code: FRE2039

Module Overview

This is a practical introduction to translation from English to French. Students will learn to express some basic concepts and terminology in translation in French and will learn through translating short texts from English to French and writing reflective commentaries on translation issues. Students will gain an understanding of the processes involved in translating from English to French 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 and enhance cultural awareness.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

BANTMAN Constance (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 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to the skills and strategies of translation between French and English

  • Practical translation work on non-specialized texts from English into French

  • Reflective commentary on translation issues

  • Texts will be contemporary and from various sources, chosen to illustrate a wide variety of translation problems

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Translation Text 1 (c. 250 words) with commentary 30
Coursework Translation Text 2 (c. 250 words) with commentary 30
Examination Online Online (Open Book) Exam within 4hr Window 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

  • increased awareness and understanding of cultural differences between Francophone and Anglophone societies and culture

  • ability to write in appropriate idiomatic French

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Two equally weighted texts (c.250 words each) with commentary during semester

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 4 hour window)

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

  • The module aims to: increase students' understanding of the processes involved in translating from English to French
  • 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
  • improve ability to write in accurate and appropriate French

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will: have gained an understanding of processes involved in translating into a target language, and developed ability to use appropriate translation strategies CKPT
002 Have developed competence in using general and specific dictionaries and other resources to aid translation, and developed creativity and problem-solving skills CKPT
003 Be able to translate passages of English into accurate French, using appropriate style and register CKPT
004 Have improved communication skills in French, both orally and in writing CKPT
005 Have gained an awareness of the skills and attributes required for professional translators CKPT
006 Have enhanced their intercultural awareness and ability to convey cultural differences, with specific reference to French and English CKPT

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 and improve their ability to write it idiomatically

  • begin to work and learn independently, through 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 in the target language, as classes will be conducted entirely in the target language

  • develop practical competence in translation

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • two contact hours per week: practical seminars based on discussion in target language 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: FRE2039

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 French-speaking world, creating awareness of the diverse nature of Francophone 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 French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and French BSc (Hons) 2 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 2025/6 academic year.