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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Russian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Problems and Discoveries of Russian-English Translation (Ordinary) (ELCR09004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEuropean Languages and Cultures - Russian Studies Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe aim of this survey course is to provide Russian Studies Honours students with an introductory perspective on the discipline of translation studies. On the side of theory, the course will introduce key theories, methods, concepts, and problems of contemporary translation studies. Practical applications will be entertained on the basis of the Russian/English translation. Specifically, the course will be divided into five thematic modules each of which will be designed to address a particular theme relevant to the discipline: general, historical, literary, discursive, and critical. Thus, in the beginning, students will learn about the discipline of translation studies and its main theoretical components. On the basis of the original sources, they will see how these components have evolved and what they now represent. Next, the course will focus on literary translation with Umberto Eco who will demonstrate pertinence of such basic concepts as ¿target text,¿ ¿reference,¿ ¿substance,¿ ¿matter,¿ and ¿perfect language¿ for the practice of translation. Practical implications of the Russian/English translation will be discussed next on the basis of the discourse-analytic approach which intends to show significant differences in translating diverse texts, based on their subject matter, lexics, semantics, and pragmatics. The course will end with a critical perspective that constitutes the most recent outlook on translation. Here, the students will discuss the relation of translation to different expressions of inequity and subjugation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s)
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will understand what is required for building a successful translation theory capable of accounting for linguistic, cultural, and social difference (here, Russian and English). In addition, the students will appreciate the role of cross-linguistic comparison and learn to connect previously acquired language skills to theory. The course can be helpful to both those students of the Russian language who consider to practice translation as well as those students who are interested in translation from the academic standpoint.
Assessment Information
One 2-hour examination (70%)
One coursework assignment of approximately 2500 words (30%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The course includes 5 thematic modules. Each model consists of two two-hour periods:

1. Translation Studies: An Overview of the Discipline

The first module will feature a general overview of translation theories, save the historical and critical approaches (to be treated in subsequent discussions). Here, the students will receive a general overview of translation problematics with the focus on the most significant theoretical strands (linguistic, functional, systems, cultural, and media) and associated concepts: ¿equivalence,¿ ¿Skopos,¿ ¿polysystem,¿ ¿memes of translation¿.

Munday, J. (2012). Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. New York: Taylor and Francis. Chapters 1, 3, 5. Chapters 7, 8, 11.

2. Translation Theory: A Brief History

This module will present original works by translation theoreticians, beginning with Jerome and Schliermacher and proceeding with Benjamin and Jakobson, Nida and Toury, Vermeer and Berman. These texts should endow the previous second-hand systematization with the texture and structure of original sources. By attending to these sources, the students will have a chance to see significant differences not only in thinking about translation but also in writing about it.

Venuti, L. (ed.) (2004). The Translation Studies Reader. London: Routledge. Chapters 1, 4, 7, 12. Chapters 13, 18, 19, 22.

3. Literary Translation

The third module will focus on literary translation, taking it from the practical side by offering a view on translation by one of the most translated authors, Umberto Eco, who not only presents his experiences of working with a number of translators in a wide variety of languages but also interprets these experiences from the semiotic perspective. From this perspective Eco speaks of such basic concepts and problems of translation as ¿target text,¿ ¿reference,¿ ¿substance,¿ ¿matter,¿ and ¿perfect language.¿ In addition to the practical problems of translations, the students of Russian will find a great number of passages that address Eco¿s negotiations with the Russian translators of his texts.

Eco, U. (2003). Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Introduction, Chapters 3 and 4. Chapters 6, 7, 8.

4. Translation and Discourse

From the practice of literary translations, in module 4, the students of Russian will move to the practice of translation. This module will contribute to the practical understanding of how a discourse should be approached in translation in terms of medium, genre, and professional jargon. Different kinds of discourses will be tackled and practiced in focused (Russian/English) exercises.

Andrews, E. and Maximova, E. (2009). Russian Translation. Theory and Practice. London: Routledge. Introduction, Chapters 9, 10, 11. Chapters 12, 13, 14.

5. Translation and the Critical Turn
The final module will discuss the implications of translation for ideology, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, etc. Unlike the previous sources, Mona Baker¿s ¿Critical Readings in Translation Studies¿ chosen for this module offers a critical outlook that covers all the main forms of translation: oral, written, literary, non-literary, scientific, religious, audiovisual and machine. In addition, the students will learn such topics as the politics and dynamics of representation, the positioning of translators and interpreters in institutional settings, issues of minority and cultural survival, and the impact on translation of new media and technology.
Baker, M. (2009). Critical Readings in Translation Studies. London: Routledge. Chapters 2,3,5. Chapters 7, 9, 10.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list See syllabus
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Alexander Kozin
Tel: (0131 6)50 9900
Course secretaryMrs Jacqueline Barnhart
Tel: (0131 6)50 4026
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