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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: TRAM064 Module Title: INTERPRETING STUDIES
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: TRAM064
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BRAUN S Dr (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Semester 1

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting towards Module Mark (%)
Guided commentary
One 3000 word essay
Qualifying Condition(s): A mark of 50% is required to pass the module.

Module Overview

The module provides a systematic framework for understanding the major principles and challenges of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision-making and production processes involved in interpreting. It enables students to apply this framework to practical interpreting tasks.


First degree in English, an appropriate language or equivalent. Near-native or native competency in English.

Module Aims

Drawing on relevant models of monolingual and mediated communication, this module helps students to develop an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of interpreting and the interpreter's role in the communication process. The module raises awareness for typical problems of interpreting, and for relevant interpreting strategies and solutions. Particular emphasis will be on the application of the communication models discussed in class to analyse practical scenarios of interpreting.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • describe the fundamental characteristics of interpreting,
  • explain communication models relevant to interpreting,
  • identify different types and modes of interpreting, their main features and purposes, specific problems and typical interpreting solutions,
  • use scholarly approaches and communication models to reflect on their own practice,
  • apply scholarly approaches to analyse and critically evaluate standard professional practice in the light of current and future requirements,
  • assess the current and future challenges of interpreting.
Module Content
Starting from a preliminary analysis of typical situations of interpreting practice, the module will deal with the following topics:
  • Interpreting and translating as related types of linguistic and cultural mediation;
  • For whom do we interpret: participation frameworks and participant roles in interpreter-mediated communication, the role of the interpreter;
  • How do we interpret: modes of interpreting – consecutive, simultaneous/whispered and liaison;
  • Where do we interpret: types of interpreting – conference interpreting; public service interpreting, business interpreting etc.;
  • What do we interpret: characteristics of oral communication and features of spoken language;
  • The pragmatic dimension: conversational interaction, communicative intentions, speech acts and audience design
  • The processing dimension: discourse comprehension and production under interpreting conditions; types of knowledge involved in interpreting;
  • The strategic dimension: interpreting strategies in relation to different modes of interpreting;
  • The socio-cultural dimension: explicit and implicit, direct and indirect communication, politeness and face-saving in intercultural settings;
  • The impact of globalisation and social change: current trends and future prospects of interpreting (interpreting and English as a global language);
  • The impact of new technologies: new forms of interpreting ('remote interpreting');
  • Interpreting research: questions, methodologies, types of data, elicitation and analysis of data.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

This module will consist of a mix of approx 30% teacher-led input and 70% whole-class and small-group discussion, focussing on discussion of assigned topics, tasks and readings. Through task-based group and individual activities students will be given the opportunity to explore and apply the concepts introduced in the module.

The module will normally involve twenty four hours class contact over the semester.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading
Pöchhacker, F. (2004). Introducing Interpreting Studies. London: Routledge.
Pöchhacker, F. / Schlesinger, M. (Eds) (2001). The Interpreting Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
Recommended reading
Agrifoglio, M. (2004). Sight translation and interpreting. A comparative analysis of constraints and failures. Interpreting 6(1), 43–67.
Alexieva, B (1997). A typology of interpreter-mediated events. The Translator (3)2, 153-174.
Angermeyer, P. S. (2005). Who is ‘you’? Polite forms of address and ambiguous participant roles in court interpreting. Target 17(2), 203–226.
Anderman, G. (2000). Interpreting. In M. Byram (Ed), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge.
Angelelli, C. (2000). Interpretation as a communicative event: a look through Hymes’ lenses. Meta 45(4), 580-592.
Braun, S. (2007). Interpreting in small-group bilingual videoconferences: challenges and adaptation processes. Interpreting (9)1, 21–46.
Braun, S. (2006). Multimedia communication technologies and their impact on interpreting. In H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Ed), Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra: Audiovisual Translation Scenarios. Copenhagen, 1-5 May 2006. Online: 2006_Proceedings/ 2006_proceedings.html.
Dam, H. van (1998). Lexical similarity vs. lexical dissimilarity in consecutive interpreting. The Translator (4)1, 49-68.
Dam, H. v. (2004). Interpreters' notes: On the choice of language. Interpreting 6(1), 3-17.
Garzone, G. / Viezzi, M. (Eds) (2002). Interpreting in the 21st Century: Challenges and opportunities. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Gentile, A. / Ozolins, U. / Vasilakakos, M. (Eds) (1996). Liaison Interpreting: A Handbook. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Gile, D. (1995). Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Hale, Sandra (2004). The discourse of court interpreting: discourse practices of the law, the witness and the interpreter. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Hale, Sandra (2007). Community interpreting. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hatim, B. / Mason, I. (1990). Discourse and the translator. London: Longman.
Hatim, B. / Mason, I. (1997). The translator as communicator. London: Routledge.
Hertog, E. / van der Veet, B. (Eds) (2006). Taking stock: research and methodology in community interpreting. Linguistica Antverpiensia NS 5/2006.
House, J. / Blum-Kulka, S. (Eds) (1986). Interlingual and intercultural communication. Tübingen: Narr.
Keith, H. (1984). Liaison interpreting: an exercise in linguistics and interaction. In W. Wilss / G. Tome (Eds), Die Theorie des Übersetzens und ihr Auf­schlußwert für die Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschdidaktik. Tübingen: Narr, 308-317.
Kohn, K. / Kalina, S. (1996). The strategic dimension of interpreting. Meta41(1), 118-138.
Kondo, M. / Trebble, H. (1997) Intercultural communication, negotiating and interpreting. In Y. Gambier / D. Gile / C. Taylor (Eds), Conference interpreting: current trends in research. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 149-166.
Lee, J. (2007). Telephone interpreting - seen from the interpreters' perspective. Interpreting 9(2), 231-252.
Mason, I. (Ed) (1999). The Translator 5(2) (Special issue on dialogue interpreting).
Mason, I. (Ed) (2001). Triadic exchanges: studies in dialogue interpreting. Manchester: St. Jerome.
Mikkelson, H. (n.d.). Interpreting is interpreting - Or is it? Online: .
Müller, F. (2002). Inter- and intra-cultural aspects of dialogue-interpreting. In A. Di Luzio / S. Günthner / F. Orletti (Eds), Culture in communication. Analyses of intercultural situations. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 245-270.
Pistillo, G. (2004). The interpreter as cultural mediator. Journal of Intercultural Communication 6. Online:
Pöllabauer, S. (2004). Interpreting in asylum hearings. Interpreting 6(2), 143-180.
Pym, A. / Shlesinger, M. / JETTMAROVÁ, Z. (Eds) (2006). Sociocultural aspects of translating and interpreting. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Salama-Carr, M. (Ed) (2007). Translating and Interpreting Conflict. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Schäffner, C. (2004). Translation Research and Interpreting Research. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Szabo, C. (2006). Language choice in note-taking for consecutive interpreting. Interpreting 8(2), 129-147.
Valero-Garcés, C. / MARTIN, A. (Eds) (2008). Crossing borders in community interpreting. Definitions and dilemmas. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Wadensjö, C. (1998). Interpreting as interaction. London: Longman.
The Critical Link conference proceedings series:
Carr, S. et al. (Eds) (1997). The Critical Link 1. Interpreters in the community. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Roberts, R. et al. (Eds) (2000). The Critical Link 2. Interpreters in the community Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Brunette, L. et al. (Eds) (2003). The Critical Link 3. Interpreters in the community. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Wadensjö, C. et al. (2007). The Critical Link 4. Interpreters in the community. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Background reading
Spoken language and interaction:
Brown, G. / Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: CUP.
Crystal, D. (1997). The Cambridge encyclopaedia of the English language. Cambridge: CUP. (section on spoken English)
Graddol, D., / Chesire, J. / Swann, J. (1987). Describing language. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Thomas, J. (1995). Meaning in interaction. London und New York: Longman, ch. 2.
Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP.
Interpreting (online access through library)
META (print edition in library, online access to older issues through
The Translator (print edition in library)
Target (online access through library)
JosTrans – Journal of Specialist Translation (online journal:
Perspectives: Studies in Translatology (online access through library)
Linguistica Antverpiensia (print edition through library)
Discourse Studies (online access through library)
Benjamins Translation Studies Bibliography Online:

St Jerome's Translation Studies Abstracts & Bibliography of Translation Studies 

Last Updated

17 December 2010