Retrospective of a Master of Applied Translation Course

This retrospective is about the teachings of a leading UK university that will not be named.

The very subjective human science that is translation was taught primarily through reading books about theory. Introducing Translation Studies, a book written by Jeremy Munday, was used to introduce the majority of theory. In particular, Steiner’s Hermeneutic Motion, Reiss and Veermer’s Skopos, and Nord’s Text Analysis were most important. The Hermeneutic Motion and Skopos taught the subjectivity of translation based on common sense, and Nord taught a deeply linguistic method to start translating texts. The many other theories that were taught were extremely similar, and the books of those theories were like philosophy. These books were written in archaic English, and more time was spent trying to understand them than actually writing essays or translating texts. Foreign students who had only a 6.5 IELTS score could hardly understand. The goal of writing essays was to show understanding of the theories, by criticizng professional translations. There were times to translate by oneself by using translation software like Trados and MemoQ, and such translations were reviewed by a professional, but those were scarce. Primarily, the course was 90% theory, and little practice.

Just get the books.

Comments