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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Translation from Japanese to English (ASST10148)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides non-native Japanese students with the essential skills for translating from Japanese to English and an understanding of relevant theoretical implications.

In the first semester, the work will consist of a series of tasks in translating from Japanese to English. Students will also have the opportunity to consider theoretical and practical implications of translation and to practise advanced grammatical analysis. This will be done through class discussion of the tasks assigned.

During the second semester, there will be fortnightly 2-hour seminars focusing on the translation of specific types of text, such as newspaper articles and other media-based texts; works of contemporary fiction; academic texts; etc.
Course description Semester 1 work will focus on the course textbook, Hasegawa, Y. (2012) The Routledge Course in Japanese Translation, London and New York: Routledge.

Students will be assigned weekly readings on the topics covered in the textbook, e.g., kinds of meaning, discourse genre, understanding the source text, translation techniques, learning from the discipline of translation studies, etc. The readings will be followed up by related practical translation exercises and discussion in class. These exercises will aim to enable students to acquire and apply a linguistic and sociocultural knowledge of both Japanese and English, by considering how they have read and understood each part of the text, examining particular grammar points and idiomatic expressions and comparing approaches to producing a convincing equivalent as their target text in English.

During semester 1, there will be at least one formative assessment session in which students will work in groups on an assigned translation exercise relating to a specific topic, then report informally to the whole class. They will be asked to identify particular difficulties the topic poses for the translator and strategies to address these difficulties, and to demonstrate what they learned from the translation exercise using examples from their group's target text.

In semester 2, the course will look in further detail at how to recognise text types and their conventions in Japanese as the source language, and use the lexical, grammatical, phonological and organizational features of the relevant text type in English as the target language. In weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, students will receive 2-hour seminars focusing on the translation of different types of texts they are likely to encounter through their general reading knowledge of Japanese, such as newspaper and magazine articles, general websites and online resources (e.g., local history and information sites, cultural guides, etc.) works of contemporary fiction, academic writing, personal and business correspondence, etc. These will be followed up by translation tasks relating to the content of the seminars, on which the students will work independently in weeks 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 19, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Semester 1: Individual assignment (50%)
This will consist of a "take home exam" style assignment. There will be a set of exercises focused on translation from Japanese to English be completed within a limited time frame. Students will be expected to make appropriate use of library, online and other available resources when working on the assignment.

Semester 2: 4 x translation tasks based on content of seminars dealing with specific text types (50% in total; 12.5% per task)
Feedback During semester 1, students will be provided with regular formative feedback exercises designed to support them in preparation for the take-home exam in week 10.
During semester 2, feedback on each translation task will normally be provided before the next task in the series is due, and will include suggestions on how to improve their work in the next assignment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Produce translations from Japanese that read convincingly in the target language (English) and express the content and meaning of the source text
  2. Apply a linguistic and sociocultural knowledge of both the source language and the target language
  3. Recognise text types and their conventions, and use the lexical, grammatical, phonological and organizational features of the relevant text type in the target language
  4. Read, understand, translate and summarize Japanese texts that use the characters recommended for daily use and advanced grammar and syntax
  5. Describe, explain and analyse Japanese grammar and syntax to an advanced level
Reading List
Key text:
Hasegawa, Y. (2012) The Routledge Course in Japanese Translation, London and New York: Routledge.

Other recommended reading:
Baker, M. (2011) In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, Second edition, London, New York: Routledge.

Fawcett, P. (2003) Translation and Language: Linguistic Theories Explained, Manchester, UK & Northampton, MA: St Jerome Publishing.

Handbook of Translation Studies 2011, [Online],

Hatim, B. and Mason, I. (1997) The Translator as Communicator, London: Routledge.

Munday, J. (ed.) (2008) The Routledge Companion to Translation Studies. Revised Edition, London, New York: Routledge.

Nord, C. (2012) Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained, Manchester, UK: St Jerome Publishing.

Paul, Gillian. (ed.) (2009) Translation in Practice, British Centre for Literary Translation, Arts Council England, The Society of Authors, British Council, and Dalkey Archive Press.

Ryan, Marleigh Grayer (1980) "Translating Modern Japanese Literature. " Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 49-60.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: Problem solving; analytical thinking; critical thinking; knowledge integration and application.
Personal and intellectual autonomy: Self-awareness and reflection; independent learning and development; creative and inventive thinking.
Personal effectiveness: Planning, organising and time management; team working; flexibility.
Communication: interpersonal skills, verbal and written communication.
Keywordstheory and practice of translation,grammatical analysis,Japanese to English translation
Course organiserDr Helen Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4230
Course secretaryMrs Vivien MacNish Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3528
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