BA English Literature and Spanish

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Professional Translation

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA31182
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Translation is a skill expected from many language students and this unit is an introduction to the different translation (and most common) types of texts in professional contexts, along with different theoretical approaches and translation tools used to face them. Furthermore, it will be the first contact most students have with professional translation practices, such as post-edition, subtitling, and transcreation, and it may open new future career or study opportunities. The module will combine the practice of translation in seminars (French> English or Spanish>English) using tools such as search engines, machine translation and corpora to work with different texts connected to the fields of popular science, advertising and films/ television series, with the presentation of some of the key conventions regarding audiovisual products, and concepts (foreignisation/ domestication/ transcreation) of influential scholars in Translation Studies in the lectures. Lectures will be in English. Seminars and assessments will be in French OR Spanish AND English.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
French Language 5 FREN51050 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
French Language 4 FREN51040 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


The unit aims to:

  • To widen students’ knowledge of French OR Spanish and English
  • To provide students with a first approximation of a professional translation by presenting them with the conventions the industry follows
  • To improve students’ vocabulary and syntax in the studied language by analysing in-depth texts in the target language in seminars
  • To train students to handle complex materials with focus, precision and perspective
  • To improve students’ structure, coherence, clarity and fluency in written and oral expression through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentation 


The following list is indicative of the topics that will be covered; each of them will be presented, approximately, over two weeks in the lectures with translation practice and analysis in the seminars: 

Trends in Translation Studies

Tools in Translation practice

Medical and scientific translation and the use of corpora

Commercial translation and Skopos Theory

Transcreation and translating text with images

Audiovisual translation (dubbing)

Audiovisual translation (subtitling)

Audiovisual platforms and conventions

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures (delivered in English) Seminar discussions (delivered in English, French or Spanish). Seminars will be language based, and students will work from EITHER French> English OR Spanish> English All the teaching, lectures and seminars will be done synchronously.

Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to:

  • Have an understanding of key aspects of Translation Theory.
  • Have an understanding of important characteristics of different textual genres (popular science/ commercial/ audiovisual translation).
  • Have an understanding of linguistic analytical skills. 
  • Have an understanding of key tools employed to translate. 

Intellectual skills

Students should be able to:

  • Work confidently with different types of written and oral texts.  
  • Develop strategies to face specific type translations.
  • Be able to critically incorporate key concepts and relevant scholars in their discussions regarding translation choices.


Practical skills

Students should be able to:

  • Read and understand French OR Spanish AND English.
  • Face different types of translation tasks.
  • Communicate ideas in written and oral forms.
  • Deploy effective research and linguistic strategies.
  • Undertake close reading of texts.
  • Understand dubbing and subtitling conventions.
  • Improve presentation skills.
  • Work in groups. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate independent, analytical and critical thinking.
  • Utilise research into translation texts and debates about the usefulness and faithfulness of translated texts.
  • Comment in written and oral form, both individually and collectively about the intervention of the translator.
  • Work constructively in group activities.
  • Participate in group discussion.
  • Use theory to analyse and produce translations. 

Assessment methods

Assessment task 
Formative or Summative 

Translation and commentary (Assessment 1)

Individual Translation + Commentary + Glossary 


Comparative translation exercise (Assessment 2)

Group video/ slide cast on a translation project 


Commentary (Assessment 3)

Commentary based on the group translation project:  

Commentary on Translation issues  and reflective paragraph  


Resit Assessment:

Comparative translation exercise (individual video) + commentary 

Feedback methods

Assessment TaskFeedback
Translation and analytical tasks 

Oral feedback during seminars

One-to-one feedback during consultation hours or by appointment at the student’s request. 

Translation and commentary plans 
Written and oral during seminars or office hours 

Recommended reading

Translation theory:

Díaz, Cintas, Jorge, and Aline Remael. Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling : Subtitling, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central,  

Gambier, Yves, and Luc van Doorslaer. “Transcreation.” Handbook of Translation Studies. Vol. 5. The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2021. Print.

Miggiani, Giselle Spiteri. Dialogue Writing for Dubbing : an Insider’s Perspective. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. Print.

Reiss, Katharina, and Hans J. Vermeer. Towards a General Theory of Translational Action: Skopos Theory Explained, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013. 86-94

Venuti, Lawrence. “Translation as Cultural Politics: Regimes of Domestication in English.” Textual practice 7.2 (1993): 208–223.  



Zou, S. (2022). Analysis of machine translation and post-translation editing ability using semantic information entropy technology. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2022 doi:  

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Catherine Franc Unit coordinator
Blanca González-Valencia Unit coordinator

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