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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: TRAM121
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: KORKAS V Mr (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

Semesters 1 and 2

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting towards Module Mark (%)
A three-hour open-book examination at the end of Semester 2. Two scientific/technical texts of approximately 280-300 words must be translated
A dossier of 5 translations selected from the weekly translation homework, plus 1 longer translation of 750 words to be presented towards the end of Semester 2.
Qualifying Condition(s): A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.

Module Overview

This module provides students with no previous experience of specialist translation in Science/Technology with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. It combines regular translation practice in smaller groups with lectures on underlying principles of Science and Technology. Students will also receive instruction on issues of practical translation methodology, terminology research, proofreading and editing, etc. Offered in a range of languages, subject to demand: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.


Native or near-native competence in the relevant languages, including English.

Module Aims
This module aims to provide students with no previous knowledge of specialist translation in this area with professional-level competence in the translation of scientific and technical texts between English and another language from those available (subject to demand and staffing). The module incorporates selected aspects of the principles of science and technology as a basis for the translation work according to expertise and relevance to the particular translation pair and further translation-related research. 
This module aims to:
  • provide a grounding on activities that revolve around translation practice per se (e.g. background research, reviewing, presentation, etc.);
  • familiarise students with technical and scientific terminology from selected sub-fields and style through practical work on texts;
  • offer the opportunity for extensive background reading in technical domains in English and another language as a basis for informed translation practice;
  • encourage research into technical and scientific topics in order to gain an insight into the complexities of technical translation.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, the student will:
  • be able to use the World Wide Web effectively for monolingual and bilingual terminology research;
  • proofread, edit and revise own and third-party translations;
  • have acquired the skills and knowledge to research translation problems e.g. related to terminology, genre conventions and style;
  • be able to identify, analyse and solve problems when translating technical and scientific documents;
  • be able to describe and explain the characteristics of various technical and scientific text genres;
  • be able to apply the principles of modern science and technology in the decision-making process of solving translation problems, and to identify and locate appropriate reference material;
  • be able to translate, revise and format specialised scientific and technical texts of various genres in selected sub-fields to a standard approaching a professionally acceptable/revisable level.
Module Content
  • Texts are selected from a variety of sources that reflect the needs and demands of the market in selected subfields. The specific subject matter will vary depending on language combination and tutor expertise.
  • Principles of Science and Technology: An introduction to the essential concepts of chemistry, physics, electricity and magnetism, wave theory, optics and sound, TV and radio, telecommunications, computers, combustion engines, pharmacology and astronomy, together with explanations covering the functioning of various important mechanical, electrical, electronic and optical devices and systems and a selection of chemical and other processes.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
For the first six weeks of teaching, classes will not be language-specific. Students will be provided with a general introduction on translation methodology (how to approach a text, identifying linguistic / terminological problems, etc.) and then hands-on sessions will follow with techniques for using the World Wide Web effectively in order to locate relevant documentation and tackle translation problems. In the next stage there will be sessions with principles of good practice in file and project management and a thorough introduction on translation-related activities, which will include hands-on tasks in editing, reviewing, proofreading, document formatting and presentation (advanced skills in Office applications).
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Translation practice:
Classes generally take the form of group workshops, sometimes on unseen texts. Translation assignments of 250-300 words in length are set on a regular basis. One longer translation of 750 words will be set in Semester 2. Students are expected to spend time researching the subject and are encouraged to develop Internet and research skills to enable them to find parallel texts. Translation problems arising from assignment texts are discussed in class.
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Principles of Science and Technology:
Informal lectures with a high degree of student participation, supported by an on-line discussion list and incorporating case studies.

Contact hours: 2 hours per week

Selected Texts/Journals
Recommended reading
The Engineer
Electronic Engineering
New Scientist
PC World
Scientific American
Background reading/reference
Chambers Dictionary of Science and Technology 2007
Dorling Kindersley Science Encyclopaedia London: Dorling Kindersley 1998 (version 3 now available)
Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology 1995
McGraw-Hill Encyclopaedia of Science and Technology (20 volumes) 1982
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopaedia of Science and Technology (1 volume) 2004
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Science and Engineering

In addition, language-specific references will be provided by the module tutor in class.

Last Updated

17 December 2010