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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST3620 Practical Chinese-English Translation

10 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Martin Ward

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 Chinese

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Going beyond translating from Chinese into English purely as a language-learning exercise, this module introduces students to the techniques, strategies and broader considerations which are needed to translate from Chinese into English for a wider readership. Students will translate a range of Chinese text types including journalistic, cultural, commercial and literary texts, and consider how translations of these texts best meet the needs of English-speaking readers. This module can serve as a taster for those considering careers in translation and language services, but it will also be useful for those who do not intend to become translators, but who may occasionally be asked to translate as part of their work. It will also benefit those interested in problems in intercultural communication between Chinese and English speakers generally.


The primary aim of this module is to build a fundamental awareness of the considerations which must be taken into account when translating from Chinese into English for a wider readership, which might include employers and colleagues, potential customers and clients, tourists, those in cultural industries, and others with an interest in China and Chinese culture generally. The module will also enhance students' understanding of the Chinese language in a range of genres, including some not encountered in other modules, and increase awareness of cross-cultural differences and how to negotiate them. Students taking the Translation Final Year Project may also find this module a useful supplement.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module, students will have:
- developed some fundamental skills for translating from Chinese into English for a wider readership in a variety of text types;
- strengthened research skills both for attaining an in-depth understanding of the Chinese text and a sense of how the English translation can best meet the needs and expectations of the target readership;
- developed strategies for reading and understanding unfamiliar text types in Chinese;
- generally gained a more sophisticated awareness of the translation process;
- enhanced critical awareness of cross-cultural difference between Chinese and English-speaking cultures;
- further developed teamwork skills.


After an introduction to some basic considerations in translation, learning will primarily be through weekly translation exercises from Chinese to English, done either individually or in small groups. These translations will be discussed in class alongside activities designed to encourage research, analysis of the original Chinese text, and consideration of the target readers' needs in light of the purpose of the translation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

The main study activity to be undertaken outside class will be preparing translation from Chinese into English to be discussed in class. This will include research into the context of the text being translated, as well as into vocabulary and other linguistic issues in the text itself, and exploration of parallel texts in English. It is expected that many of the class exercises will be done in small groups outside class.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored, and feedback given, mainly through the translations students will do to prepare for class most weeks, which will usually be done in small groups. At least one opportunity will be given for students to submit individual translations for individual feedback in addition to the work done for class.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The examination is taken in a computer cluster or similar room. Students are allowed to use the internet, as long as they do not use any online facility which allows them to communicate with anyone else. They may bring any hard copy material they wish.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:35:14


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