Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling Skills

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
12 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA RR19 French Studies and Modern Languages,
BA RR20 French Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR90 German Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR9F German Studies and Modern Languages,
BA RR38 Italian Studies and Modern Languages,
BA RR40 Italian Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR49 Spanish Studies and Modern Languages,
BA RR50 Spanish Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year)

Module description

a) Translation between French/German/Portuguese/Spanish/Italian and English
Students will develop an awareness of the multiple dimensions of meaning of written texts (both in English and in the foreign language), representing different genres and text types, including journalistic, promotional and literary texts. Students will also develop the ability to identify the texts’ most salient features and reflecting on context, target audience and style, analysing and discussing different alternatives. They will also refine and deepen their understanding of both their own and the target language and culture.

b) Interpreting
While the main emphasis of this module will be on translation, students will also be introduced to liaison and consecutive interpreting. They will acquire the ability to listen actively and analytically, memorise short statements, summarise, interpret and communicate effectively in both languages. They will learn to use interpreters’ strategies in order to resolve potential problems and look at practical issues like body language, anticipation, condensation, diplomacy, stress management and confident performance. They will also refine their presentational skills and receive a general introduction to note-taking techniques.

c) Subtitling:
Students will be given an insight into the basic principles and specific challenges of subtitling, and will be able to use and test their translation strategies by subtitling short clips with the professional software, Wincaps Qu4ntum.

Module aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with a wide-ranging practical experience of translating different kinds of texts into French/German/Portuguese/Spanish/Italian from English and into English from French/German/Portuguese/Spanish/Italian. This module focuses on practical translation training, and on a systematic critical reflection and discussion of topics of grammar, linguistic use, as well as text types and genres all relevant for making good choices on translation. It will also introduce students to interpreting and subtitling skills.

Module learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

Ttranslation skills in both source and target languages to a high level in different registers.
The ability to reflect on context, purpose, target audience and style of texts.
Competency in commenting succinctly on translation choices.
An understanding of the practices of consecutive and bi-lateral interpreting.
The ability to speak publically in both source and target languages.
The ability to listen actively and analytically, memorise short statements, predict the flow of argument, summarise and condense, use formal expression, and facilitate communication effectively in both source and target languages.
Awareness of the principles of subtitling and the basic subtitling techniques using professional software.
Full competency in working productively, resourcefully and efficiently alone or as part of a team.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

A combination of seminars and hands-on practical classes, alternating the three skills. The translation component will be taught in the Autumn Term and in the Spring Term. The subtitling component will be taught in the Autumn Term only, whilst the interpreting component will be taught in the Spring Term only. There will be one revision class in the Summer Term. Autumn Term 2 hours: Translation (1-hour lecture and 1-hour language-specific seminar) 2 hours: Subtitling No interpreting in Autumn Term. Spring Term 2 hours: Translation/Interpreting (language-specific seminars) No subtitling in Spring Term. Classrooms: check your individual timetable: Self-study: about 6 hours per week additional regular independent study and practice essential. This module requires a strong commitment to independent reading and translation, and independent regular practical training of interpreting skills. Students have the opportunity of lab work, group work and presentations in class. Emphasis is on the development of practical skills together with the reflection on underlying issues


  • Cragie, Stella; Hervey, Sandor; Higgins, Ian; Gambarotta, Patrizia. (2015) Thinking Italian Translation, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Haywood, Louise M. (2014) Thinking Spanish Translation, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Hervey, Sandor. (2017) Thinking German Translation, London: Routledge.
  • Díaz-Cintas, Jorge; Remael, Aline. (2007) Audiovisual translation: subtitling, Manchester: St. Jerome. vol. Translation practices explained

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Translation Test (Foreign language into English)
Coursework Translation Test (English into Foreign Language)
Coursework Interpreting Test
Coursework Subtitling Project 13/12/2019

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Sandrine Perrin
Dounia Bissar Sandrine Perrin Claudia Nehmzow Beatriz de Paiva Lexa Olivera-Smith Ignazia Posadinu



External examiner

Mr David Henri Pascal Tual
The University of Cambridge
Director of the Language Unit
Prof Sonia Cunico
Director of Language Teaching
Prof Paul Bishop
Dr Maria Da Conceicao Pereira
Newcastle University
Available via Moodle
Of 178 hours, 144 (80.9%) hours available to students:
34 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Language and Linguistics

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