89908 - Translation - English 2 (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marina Manfredi

  • Learning modules Marina Manfredi (Modulo 1)
    Chiara Bartolini (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 9

  • SSD L-LIN/12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Language, Society and Communication (cod. 8874)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 28, 2021 to Nov 04, 2021

    Course Timetable from Nov 09, 2021 to Dec 09, 2021


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims at introducing contemporary theoretical debates in Translation Studies, and at providing the students with the methodologies and the tools necessary to translate different text-types. Lectures will provide an overview of scholarly research on translation, from a theoretical, methodological and applied point of view. The students are expected to become expert in the translation, from English into Italian and from Italian into English, of different text-types, both specialized and semi-specialized, in particular in the fields of tourism and business/institutional advertising, and become aware of the problems encountered and the strategies employed, especially to deal with issues arising from cultural differences and language for specific purposes. They are made familiar with the professional task of the translator, the role of the client and the purpose/function of a translation. They are also made aware of the tools and techniques of new technologies in translation research and practice. Language classes aim at improving students linguistic competence; over the two year period students knowledge of English should reach the level C2 according to the European framework in all four abilities. These classes will work in connection with the lectures to improve students writing skills in particular.

Course contents

The course is for students of the II level degree course in “Language, Society and Communication” (LSC). It will be offered in the first semester (all semester).

Course contents: Translation Studies - Theory and Practice

The course combines a theoretical and a practical approach to translation, focusing on translation from English into Italian and vice versa. At the end of the course, students will be expected to be familiar with contemporary debates in Translation Studies and be able to apply different translation methods to the task of translating a variety of text-types.

Module 1 (30 hours)

The module will illustrate key theories in Translation Studies, as well as different approaches to translation as a practical activity and an academic discipline. Students will be asked to analyse and translate short authentic texts from the tourist and cultural domain (e.g. guidebooks, leaflets and promotional communication), mainly from English into Italian. Theoretical issues and translation approaches will be discussed in relation to the practical task of translating, by focusing on both the process and the final product. In translating and revising texts, special attention will be paid to the key steps of translation practice by starting from the analysis of the context, text-type and communicative function of the source text and target text. The course will also aim at making students aware of the importance of the cultural context in which texts are embedded and the crucial role played by the translator.

Module 2 (30 hours)

The second module will continue to strengthen the students’ linguistic and translational skills (both on a theoretical and practical level). Students will analyse and translate short authentic texts (e.g. mission statements, museum websites and press releases) mainly from English into Italian but also in the other direction to some extent. Furthermore, an overview of the latest advances in translation technologies will be offered and examples of documentation techniques will be described: this overview is meant to provide basic tools and technical skills which are essential in a professional context. These tools may include text corpora and machine translation systems used with pre- and post-editing.

The course will also include language classes (Esercitazioni).

The mode of delivery (in presence and/or online) will follow the University and Department rules that will be announced in due time.

NOTE: Students are required to have a high level of language competence (reading and writing skills) in both English and Italian in order to be able to successfully complete the course.



Main coursebook:

· Hatim, Basil & Jeremy Munday (2019), Translation: An Advanced Resource Book, 2nd edition, London/New York: Routledge Applied Linguistics.

The text will be available for students at the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures library and also at Feltrinelli, at Piazza Ravegnana 1, Bologna (or it can be ordered online). The text is available in paperback, e-book and PDF.

Further required reading:

· Venuti, Lawrence (2000), The Translation Studies Reader, London/New York: Routledge (selected chapters).

· Nord, Christiane (2018), Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained, 2nd Edition, London/New York: Routledge (selected chapters).

Further bibliographical information will be provided during the course, according to the activities carried out in class. Students will be provided with a list of brief articles/chapters through which they will be able to explore selected aspects related to the course. A list of recommended dictionaries will also be offered.

The texts for translation practice will be made available online in advance or in class: it will be the students’ responsibility to bring them to class in the format they are more comfortable with.

Finally, all students who regularly attend the lectures will be able to access a selection of the class PPTs online.

As regards the language component (Esercitazioni), a ‘dispensa' will be available from the copy centre in via Cartoleria and/or online, by the beginning of the course.



Teaching methods

Official course (Translation Studies):

Module 1 will include:

· lectures introducing key theoretical notions and translation methods;

· study of course texts and other individual/group activities (e.g. text analysis, translation and revision);

· practical sessions involving translation tasks and discussion of translation problems and strategies.

Module 2 will include:

· lectures introducing key theoretical notions and translation tools;

· study of course texts and other individual/group activities (e.g. translation and creation of resources);

· practical sessions involving translation tasks and discussion of translation problems and strategies.

Active class participation is strongly encouraged.

In particular, the practical sessions offer the opportunity to focus on translation problems, look for diverse solutions and discuss the effects of different translation choices, as well as to apply the theoretical notions illustrated in class. Hands-on activities will involve translation and text analysis exercises (carried out individually or in small groups), the correction of and reflection on translations to focus on diverse possible problem-solving strategies, and post-translation revision activities (peer review).

Language component (Esercitazioni):

The course will include 36 hours of language classes (Esercitazioni), which will be held by Dr. Nigel James.

Language classes aim at the acquisition of communicative language skills through various activities. The main focus is on the translation, from Italian into English, of a wide variety of text-types. Principal text-types include: tourism-related texts, technical brochures, promotional material, and abstracts of articles related to translation and new technologies.



Assessment methods

Official course (Translation Studies):

Assessment is by written examination only: a midterm written exam and a final exam after the end of the course (which takes place twice in each exam session).

The midterm exam includes two theoretical tests: one at the end of the first module and another one at the end of the second module.

The final exam is divided into two parts:

· a translation task from English into Italian and a translation commentary based on the analysis of the source text purpose, method and addressees (90 minutes);

· a theoretical test regarding Translation Studies, only for students who have not taken the midterm exam (30 minutes).

The two parts of the final exam must be taken in the same “appello”. In the first part, which is addressed to everybody, students are required to translate and analyse a short text (around 250 words). The text-type to be translated will be among those dealt with during the course. In the second part, as well as in the midterm exam, students are expected to show familiarity with the key translation theories discussed during the course.

Language component (Esercitazioni):

In addition, there will be a written exam on the language component of the course (Esercitazioni). This exam, which is the same for attendees and non-attendees, will be a practical translation, from Italian into English, of approximately 200 words. It will be of a type similar to the text-types offered during the course. Time allowed to perform the task is 60 minutes. The use of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries is permitted. A Facsimile will be available online at the beginning of lessons.

The two written exams (the final official course exam and the esercitazioni exam) can be taken in any order and it is not obligatory to take/pass both exams in the same exam session.


Marking criteria

Official course (Translation Studies):

Assessment is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they understand key issues related to translation theory and practice and are able to make informed translation decisions and justify the choices made.

Evaluation of the translation task will be based on the student's performance in the various components of the exam. Translation practice, from English into Italian, will be evaluated along a range of possibilities typically related to translation, i.e., positively, from ‘brilliant' to ‘appropriate' and to ‘satisfactory' (which broadly correspond to ‘excellent', ‘good', ‘satisfactory'), or negatively, from ‘inappropriate', to ‘undesirable'/‘approximative'/‘misleading' and to ‘containing serious errors'. Students' ability to solve translation problems with limited resources available (i.e. paper and online dictionaries) will be assessed.

Evaluation of the commentary will be based on the student’s ability to apply the theoretical concepts to the analysis of their translation and contextualise translation choices according to the analysis of the source text purpose, method and addressee, as well as on their proficiency in the English language.

Evaluation of the theoretical test will be based on knowledge and critical understanding of the main theories of Translation Studies and their application.

Thus, students will obtain an excellent mark if they produce an accurate and effective translation, from a linguistic, communicative and editing perspective, if they show the ability to critically justify their translation choices and if they show a good knowledge of the main theories of translation. Students who produce a mediocre translation, who justify their choices in a mechanical way and who show an imprecise knowledge of the main translation theories without the capacity to apply them will pass the exam but with a low mark. Finally, students who display seriously insufficient translation competence, analytical capacity and theoretical awareness will not pass the exam.

Language component (Esercitazioni):

In order to obtain a good pass mark, students must: focus attention on the source message in both linguistic/stylistic features and subject matter; bring the target text closer to the target reader whilst adhering as closely as possible to the linguistic elements of the source text. Lexico-grammatical accuracy is of major importance. Papers will be assessed on the basis of language requirements at the C2 level of the Common European Framework.

The final mark for the entire course is calculated as follows: the score obtained in the Translation Studies exam (2/3 of the mark) will be added to the score obtained in the language component exam (1/3 of the mark) in order to obtain a final average mark in the course.

Students cannot refuse a passing mark (a score of at least 18/30) in any of the single (partial) exams taken. Only the final average mark itself can be refused, obliging the student in that case to take each single exam again. Marks obtained remain valid for 4 exam sessions only, including the sessions they were taken in.

For the registration of the final mark, students will need to enrol in an online list (named ‘verbalizzazione’). If they do not wish to accept their mark, they have to enrol in the list in any case and communicate their refusal to their Professors.


Links to further information

Students are advised to regularly consult the personal web page of Professor Manfredi (https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/marina.manfredi/en) and that of Professor Bartolini (https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/c.bartolini/en), where all notices are kept up to date, as well as that of their language teacher, Dott. James (https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/nigel.james/en).



Teaching tools

Lectures will make use of Power Point presentations. Texts to be analysed/translated will be presented in digital or printed format. Online dictionaries and other digital resources may be used during the course.

Links to further information

https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/marina.manfredi/; https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/c.bartolini/

Office hours

See the website of Marina Manfredi

See the website of Chiara Bartolini