Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Ethics and Aesthetics of Translation
Academic Year
Semester 1
Normally a 2:2 degree in French. German and/or Spanish
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 5 x 2 hour seminars
Workload Breakdown Formal tuition: 15 hours; assessment (preparation and writing): 100 hours; private study: 85 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 5 x 1 hour tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word project  100%
Supplementary Assessment Translation and commentaries to be resubmitted if failed  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethics of translation
2. demonstrate a critical understanding of aesthetic choices of past translators
3. apply different theoretical approaches according to different types of literary texts
4. use secondary literature critically
5. demonstrate advanced translation skills on a specific personal project
6. express themselves clearly, coherently and in a logical fashion, both orally and in writing
7. demonstrate that they have a solid foundation for furthering a career as a translator


This module is designed to be a module in the new MA in Translation. It is intended to complement the other option modules and to offer students the chance to develop an awareness of translation skills as an artistic endeavor. It could also be offered as an option within an MA in Comparative Literature.


5 seminars:
a. The Translator's Tasks: Ethics and Aesthetics
b. Transpositions and Translations from the Troubadours
c. Translating Dante
d. Translating Japanese haikus
c. Translating contemporary English poets

5 workshops :
1. Choosing a text
2. Ethics and Aesthetics
3. Discussing Challenges 1
4. Discussing Challenges 2
5. Revision

Brief description

The famous Italian saying Traduttore traditore epitomises the joint problematic of ethics and aesthetics in the art of translation. Deprived of a hard-core scientific body of rules and regulations, the translator has to rely on his own judgement and experience to make stylistic choices and adopt translating strategies according to personal appreciation and understanding. After reviewing the historical and contemporary background of translation theories, this module will look more closely at the variety of approaches that can be adopted to translate highly canonical texts, like Dante's Divina Comedia, Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry or Japanese haikus for instance. Another exercise will be to look at the translation of a single literary piece into different languages like German, French, Italian, English and Welsh. Visiting lecturers will be invited to run some of the seminars. After five seminars, students will choose their own texts for translation in their language of expertise and consequently will be assigned language experts (i.e. a students who chooses to translate from French, will be assigned a Lecturer in French as supervisor for their assessed translation and commentary)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will need to communicate both orally and in written form for seminars and assessments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent preparation for project and seminars/workshops, independent research for project and seminars/workshops.
Information Technology Students will be required to access bibliographical information and to submit word processed projects. They will also be expected to use web resources for research, and to use translation software and electronic resources such as corpora and online dictionaries
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be expected to show an ability to manage their own time effectively and to engage in independent lines of research in preparing their projects.
Problem solving Selection of reading material, answering questions posed by written assessment, seminar work
Research skills Researching for project and for seminars and workshops
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge of a selection of dictionaries. This is an important professional but also subject-specific skill.
Team work This will apply in the seminars and workshops

Reading List

Recommended Text
Chuquet, H. (2002) Approche linguistique des problemes de traduction anglais-francais / Helene Chuquet, Michel Paillard. Ophrys Primo search Dante Alghieri (2010) La Divine Comedie / trad., preface et notes par Jacqueline Risset. Garnier-Flammarion Primo search Graham, Joseph F. (1985) Difference in Translation Des Tours de Babel by Jacques Derrida Cornell University Press Primo search Mounin, Georges (1976) Les problemes theoriques de la traduction Gallimard Primo search Steiner, George (1975) After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation Oxford U.P. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7