30630 - Russian Language (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Course contents

Russian lexicon: from word formation processes to translation problems.

The first part of the course focuses on a very interesting and complex aspect of the Russian language: word formation. Hence, students will get acquainted with the main trends in contemporary Russian language as far as lexicon is concerned. During the second part of the course students will be encouraged to apply the theoretical notions regarding word formation in the context of translation from Russian to Italian.


The course will be divided into three sequential blocks:

1. Word formation in Russian. Morphological and semantic-lexical aspects.

2. Translation theory, with a specific focus on Russian and Italian languages.

3. Workshop of translation from Russian into Italian language. Case study for translation: the prose of V. Sorokin.



Topic 1: Russian word formation

1.1. Zemskaja, E. (2006) "Aktivnye processy v russkom slovoobrazovanii našego vremeni", Acta Neophilologica, 8, pp. 9-21.

1.2. Musatov V.N. (2010) Russkij jazyk: morfemika, morfonologija, slovoobrazovanie. Moskva: Flinta. [selected chapters available on "Virtuale"]

Topic 2: Theory of translation

2.1. Dobrovolskaja, Ju. Il russo: l'ABC della traduzione. Milano: Hoepli (varie edizioni).

Topic 3: Translation seminar

3.1. Marchesini, I. (2018) Lo specchio del tempo. La permanenza del retaggio linguistico-culturale anticorusso nella prosa russa contemporanea. Roma: UniversItalia. [chapter on Sorokin]

Texts published in Open Access/ complying with authors' copyrights will be available on the virtual platform "Virtuale".


Further readings:

1. Shanskij N.M. (1968) Russian Word Formation. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1968.

2. Townsend C. (1975) Russian Word Formation. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica Publishers.

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, individual or peer-to-peer exercises. During the course, students will be encouraged to actively engage discussions on relevant topics. In the last third of the course, experts on Sorokin and translation theory are expected to meet students.

Assessment methods


Students are expected to pass a (1). written and an (2). oral exam.

The written exam will consist of a translation from Russian into Italian on the model of the texts analyzed during the translation workshop as in point 3). of the syllabus.

The oral exam can be accessed only after passing the written tests (translation and "esercitazioni"). During the oral exam students are expected to discuss their written tests, as well as the theoretical concepts as in points 1). and 2). of this syllabus.

The final mark will consist of the average between the written (50%) and the oral exams (50%).

Each exam session will offer one written examination date and two oral examination dates.

The mark obtained in written exams (translation + the esercitazioni component) will remain valid for 3 sessions, i.e. the chosen examination session + 2 following ones. Example: if a student sits the exam on January 2024, the mark will be valid until October 2024 (= Winter, Summer & Autumn sessions).



Evaluation of written and oral exams will be based on the following criteria: (i) knowledge of the course contents; (ii) appropriateness and coherence of the translation and argumentation; (iii) structure of the oral answers.

Students who write an excellent translation and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the course contents, who actively participate in the lessons, who are logically coherent in their exposition and can problematize notions, will obtain an excellent mark.

To obtain an average mark, students have to demonstrate a good knowledge of most contents of the course and provide an adequate translation from Russian into Italian.

To obtain a pass mark, students have to demonstrate a basic knowledge of most contents of the course and write a good, readable translation from Russian to Italian.

Teaching tools

Use of audio-visual material, powerpoint presentations, e-learning platforms.

Office hours

See the website of Irina Marchesini


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.