MA Translation and Interpreting Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Dialogue Interpreting for Business and Public Services

Course unit fact file
Unit code ELAN65562
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit develops skills in liaison interpreting and on-sight translation with specific reference to business and public service contexts. Students will develop practical interpreting skills, as well as learning about and discussing the theoretical frameworks relevant to the study of interpreter-mediated interaction, and exploring how those frameworks can inform their own practice. The weekly whole group sessions combine lecture, discussion, and practical activities, to explore how interpreter decision making affects service users and clients, as well as the outcomes of interpreted communication in a range of different contexts and settings. Weekly language-specific seminars will focus on interpreting practice for a wide range of interpreting scenarios, and are supported by self-study exercises to consolidate skills development. 

This course is open to students working with English and one of the following: Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish. 

In addition to the scheduled lectures and seminars, students will have access to office hours and a series of professional development events. 


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Interpreting, Society and Skills ELAN65461 Pre-Requisite Recommended

Available on which programme(s)? - MA Translation and Interpreting Studies

Medium of language: English - Practice classes are offered with: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish only. A minimum of 4 students is needed for a language stream to run.


  • To familiarize students with the principles and practice of dialogue interpreting for business and public services
  • To develop critical awareness of the role of interpreting in contemporary society and issues of language planning
  • To introduce on-sight translation skills
  • To foster critical and analytical skills




Knowledge and understanding

  • articulate the main theoretical influences on the study of interpreter-mediated interaction
  • identify features of different business and service settings that impact on interpreter decision-making
  • contextualise contemporary discourses on PSI and demonstrate understanding of cross-national perspectives
  • confidently self-assess own and others’ performance

Intellectual skills

  • synthesis and analysis of approaches to learning topics about interpreting
  • critical reflection and evaluation on personal engagement with the ways in which interpreting operates within and influences society
  • expression – ability to make a reasoned argument for a particular point of view

Practical skills

  • apply the principles of effective interlingual and intercultural communication to a range of liaison interpreting scenarios
  • work effectively as part of a team to problem solve
  • engage in effective and targeted pre-interpreting preparation skills;
  • deliver effective on-sight translatio

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Computer literacy- ability to use word processing, presentation software to clearly communicate ideas
  • Applying subject knowledge to critically appraise societal attitudes to and organisation of interpreting services
  • Willingness to update knowledge—understand the need for life-long learning
  • Improving one’s own learning through planning, monitoring, critical reflection, evaluation and adaptation

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Self-management; capacity for self-appraisal; reflection and time management
Project management
Time management; meeting deadlines; ability to schedule tasks in order of importance
Independence; capacity for self-discipline, motivation and diligence

Assessment methods

Assessment task:

1. Analysis of self-study performances - 40%

2. Individual interpreting examination 25 mins: 10 mins on-sight translation and 15 minute dialogue interpreting - 60% (20% on-sight translation; 40% dialogue interpreting)


Resit assessment:

If only one assessment task has been failed, that task will be resat.  

If both tasks have been failed, Assessment 2 will be resat.  

Feedback methods

Feedback method:

  • Oral individual and group feedback on in-class discussion (incl. peer feedback) 
  • Oral individual and group feedback on in-class tasks (incl. peer feedback) 
  • Group written feedback on group project 
  • Individual written feedback on self-study analysis and examination performance

Recommended reading

The following list is indicative only. A specific course reading list will be provided to students.

Alexieva, Bistra (1997) ‘A Typology of Interpreter-Mediated Events’, The Translator 3(2): 153-174.

Apostolou, Fotini (2009) ‘Mediation, Manipulation, Empowerment: Celebrating the complexity of the interpreter's role’, Interpreting 11(1): 1-19.

Malyuga, N. Elena and Svetlana N. Orlova (2018) Linguistic Pragmatics of Intercultural Professional and Business Communication, Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Ozolins, U. (2010) ‘Factors that Determine the Provision of Public Service Interpreting: Comparative perspectives on government motivation and language service implementation’, Journal of Specialised Translation, Special issue on Interpreting, 14: 194-215.

Spencer-Oatey, Helen and Jianyu Xing (2005) ‘Managing Talk and Non-talk in Intercultural Interactions: Insights from two Chinese–British business meetings’, Multilingua 24 (1-2): 55-74.

Wadensjö, Cecilia (1998) Interpreting as Interaction, London: Longman.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 15
Independent study hours
Independent study 263

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rebecca Tipton Unit coordinator

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