Theory of Translation - 1st semester


1) To acquire an understanding of the main currents and trends in Translation Studies from the mid-20th century to the present day within a broad multi-disciplinary perspective
2) To understand how these theoretical currents impinge upon the practical work of the professional translator
3) To develop the capacity for critical analysis and creative thought essential for all academic engagement
4) To develop the academic skills of effective reading, text production and oral debate

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Karen Bennett


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



This course is taught in English, so students require a passive competence in that language (reading and auditory comprehension).


Bassnett, Susan. 1996. Translation Studies (Revised edition). London: Routledge.
Gentzler, Edwin. 1993. Contemporary Translation Theories. London: Routledge.
Hermans, Theo. 1999. Translation in Systems: Descriptive and Semantic Approaches Explained. Manchester: St Jerome.
Pym, Anthony. 2010. Exploring Translation Theories. London/New York: Routledge
Snell-Hornby, Mary. 2006. The Turns of Translation Studies: New Paradigms or Shifting Viewpoints? Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins
Toury, Gideon. 1995. Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Venuti, Lawrence. 1995. The Translator´s Invisibility: A History of Translation. London & New York: Routledge.
Venuti, Lawrence (ed). 2004. The Translation Studies Reader. 2nd
edition. London and New York: Routledge

Teaching method

Where possible, the teaching will be student-centred, involving textual analysis, group discussion, problem-solving and task-based activities, supplemented by mini-lectures for the purpose of contextualization. Students will be asked to do reading and on-line research in their own time in preparation for the lessons. Describe the teaching methodsDescribe the teaching methods
In class teaching

Evaluation method

Written assignment (40%); Written exam (60%)

Subject matter

Introductory Module:
- Revision: Historical approaches to translation
- Overview of course: the discipline of Translation Studies, disciplinary influences, terminology, main currents and debates.

2. Linguistic approaches
- John Catford and translation shifts
- Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet’s ‘Methodology for translation’
- Eugene Nida: formal and dynamic equivalence

3. Descriptive Translation Studies
- James Holmes and the rise of Translation Studies
- Descriptive Translation Studies: Gideon Toury; José Lambert and Hendrik van Gorp
- Itamar Evan-Zohar and Polysystem Theory
- The Manipulation School

4. The Cultural Turn
- André Lefevère and refraction
- Susan Bassnett and the historical perspective
- Lawrence Venuti and invisibility

5. Functional approaches
- Hans Vermeer and Skopos Theory
- Christiane Nord and communicative purposes

6. Translation as activism
- Postcolonial translation
- Feminist translation


Programs where the course is taught: