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2016/2017  KAN-CIBCV2051U  Translation in theory and practice

English Title
Translation in theory and practice

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 20
Max. participants 35
Study board
Study Board for Master of Arts (MA) in International Business Communication in English
Course coordinator
  • Anna Cabak Rédei - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Per Durst-Andersen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Intercultural studies
  • Communication
  • Language
Last updated on 08-03-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the different approaches to understanding translation and intercultural communication from the perspectives of language-, semiotic- and cognitive-based theories.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply basic theories of translation as well as basic concepts from communication science, semiotics and linguistics to various text types and genres.
  • Demonstrate an ability to argue for the various steps taken while translating words, titles, slogans, etc. and small texts from your foreign language to your mother tongue, for instance, Danish, and from your mother tongue to English.
Course prerequisites
Sufficient knowledge and skills in your foreign language and in English
Translation in Theory and Practice:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 7 days to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The assignment should consist of a case study of maximum 10 pages. The student chooses a topic among the different topics examined during the course and applies it to her/his foreign language and to his/her mother tongue while incorporating theories from the course literature and course presentations as well as relevant articles of free choice.

Course content and structure

The course aims at deepening and broadening the understanding of the nature of translation by including cognitive, perceptual, cultural, communicative and semiotic aspects being relevant to translation.  This is done stepwise each week. We start with the word, continue with titles, slogans etc., and end up with small texts. Each week groups of students are given an assignment to be discussed within the group and the results of these discussions are presented in class the week after. Each week is structured in the same way: first the teachers present a topic and problems and theories connected to it and then students present the results of their discussions and analyses of the problems stated in the given assignment followed by open discussion in class

Teaching methods
Lessons (in total 30 hours):

1) Introduction to the course—what is a word? Naming strategies of various languages

2) Translating nouns

3) Translating emotion words

4) Translating position and motion verbs

5) What is an utterance? Framing strategies of various languages

6) Translating advertisements

7) Translating titles of books, films, exhibitions, etc.

8) Translating requests

9) Post-editing of machine translation: language for special purposes

10) Summary: what did we learn and achieve

There will be 7-8 assignments to be presented in groups and commented by opponent groups.
Student workload
course work 167 hours
exam 40 hours
Expected literature

Goddard, Cliff and Wierzbicka, Anna. Words and Meanings: Lexical Semantics Across Domains, Languages, and Cultures. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.  Print ISBN-13: 9780199668434 (selection of chapters). DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199668434.001.0001


"Happiness" and "Pain" across Languages and Cultures - Special Issue of International Journal of Language and Culture 1:2 (2014). Edited by Cliff Goddard and Ye Zhengdao (selection of articles).


Kumar. P.V. Bakhtin and Translation Studies: Theoretical Extensions and Connotations. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.


Williams, Jenny and Chesterman, Andrew. The Map. A Beginner’s Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2002.


3-5 of journal articles and/or book chapters will be added to the syllabus.

Last updated on 08-03-2016