82030 - Specialized Translation from English into Italian (CL1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Elena Magistro

  • Credits 5

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student - knows the strategies, techniques, traditional and state-of-the-art tools and methods used in specialized translation tasks - is able to apply them to the translation of technical and scientific texts from different genres and text types, from English into Italian, meeting specific translation briefs and respecting the communicative functions of the source texts - knows the main techniques required for information mining, drafting, editing and revising texts, including the overall quality evaluation of the translated text

Course contents

The course focuses on the translation and revision of English specialized texts from selected technical-scientific domains (mostly economic, financial and banking texts) and taken from a variety of sources within the public/institutional and private/corporate sectors. Students will be given tools to tackle texts in any type of specialized domain and will learn to produce Italian translations that are accurate and authentic to the expert reader; to do so, students will be asked to apply the linguistic, pragmatic and translation knowledge gained during their first year of studies (cfr. Linguistics for translators and Methods in translation practice). 

In translating and revising these texts, special attention will be paid to the key (cross-sectoral) steps of translation practice in the specialized field: identify and analyze the context, genre and discourse features of the source text, collect reliable reference documents, select relevant terminology and build ad-hoc translation resources (translation memories, glossaries and corpora). The latter will be explicitly targeted through the use of computer-assisted translation tools, drawing from the methodological and technical skills students acquired in the Translation technologies and methods modules.


Balboni, P. 2000. Le microlingue scientifico-professionali. Natura e insegnamento. Torino: UTET.
Bhatia, V. 1993. Analysing genre: language use in professional settings. Harlow: Longman.
Byrne, J. 2006. Technical Translation: Usability Strategies for Translating Technical Documentation. Dordrecht: Springer.
Cortelazzo, M. 1994. Lingue speciali. La dimensione verticale. Padova: Unipress.
Cortese, G. (ed.) 1996. Tradurre i linguaggi settoriali. Torino: Cortina.
Cosmai, D. 2007. Tradurre per l'Unione Europea (2 ed.). Milano: Hoepli.
Mossop, B. 2007. Revising and Editing for Translators (2 ed.). Manchester: St. Jerome.
Musacchio, M. 1995. La traduzione della lingua dell’economia. Dall’inglese in italiano. Trieste: Lint.
Scarpa, F. 2008. La Traduzione Specializzata (2 ed.). Milano: Hoepli.
Tosi, A. 2007. Un italiano per l’Europa. La traduzione come prova di vitalità. Roma: Carocci.
Tosi, A. (ed.) 2013. The EU multilingual translation in an ecology of language perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics (Special Edition), 23:1.
Zanettin, F. 2012. Translation driven-corpora: corpus resources for descriptive and applied translation studies. Manchester: St. Jerome.

Teaching methods

The lessons will be run as face-to-face workshops, including theoretical introductions (by the teacher) and short presentations to discuss the context of the text source (by the students). A significant amount of class time will be devoted to correction, revision and discussion of translation options. Peer assessment will also be used for revision tasks, adding to guidance from the teacher and encouraging students’ critical thinking.

A mid-term mock test will be given and, in the second part of the semester, students will be assigned a group project to be presented to the class towards the end of the term.

Classes are held in a computer lab – where PCs with Internet access and CAT tools are available to students – for substantial hands-on practice of translation (individually, in pairs and small groups).

Attendance of at least 75% of all scheduled class meetings is mandatory.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed on their command of strategies and techniques for specialized translation, as well as on their ability to tackle highly technical content and terminology. The assessment comprises a written and an oral part, aimed at simulating real work conditions for individual and collaborative translation in the specialized field.
The final mark will be calculated as follows:

an end-of-course translation test (70%): students will be asked to translate a specialized text of about 300 words; the topic and the genre of the text to be translated will be among those dealt with during the course. Students will be able to use CAT tools and any resources that have been collected and built during the course, as well as dictionaries, glossaries and documents available on the Internet.

an in-class presentation (30%): students will be asked to work in groups on a translation project of about 1000 words; the texts to be translated will be comparable – genre-wise – to those translated during the course but will deal with new (unseen) topics. The members of each group will have 20 minutes to present the key stages and features of their work; the presentation will be followed by a 10-minute session for questions and discussion. Each group will have to submit, as deliverables, the translated text along with any resources built for the project.

The final grade for Specialized Translation will be an average of the mark obtained for Specialized Translation from English into Italian (50%) and the mark obtained for Specialized Translation from Italian into English (50%).

Teaching tools

Networked PCs with Internet access, CAT and corpus query tools, online dictionaries and termbases; beamer for presentations. Support materials (texts, slides, relevant links etc.) are made available through the Moodle e-learning platform, which also provides a forum for discussion and general (remote) communication with the class.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Magistro