This course, which students from all disciplines are required take, is designed to familiarize them with theories and practices of translation and interpreting, especially from an Indian perspective. This is relevant in an environment of academic, commercial and cultural transactions, among Indian languages and between India and the rest of the world. As with other Applied Courses, this course shall supplement the knowledge acquired from diverse disciplines with practical skills.

Course Objectives

1. Introduce theories of translation and interpreting
2. Offer practical translation exercises using literary and non-literary texts
3. Introduce students to the linguistic structures of the source and target languages
4. Sensitize and train students in obtain language skills required for the purpose
5. Create respect for cultural and linguistic differences

Course Content

The course is a combination of theory and practical exercises in translating and interpreting. Each unit is a set of 2 lectures +1 student presentation.

Unit 1: Introducing Translation: a brief history and significance of translation in a multi- linguistic and multi-cultural society like India.

Unit 2: Exercises in different modes of translation, such as:

i) Semantic / Literal translation
ii) Free / sense/ literary translation
iii) Functional / communicative translation
iv) Technical / Official
v) Transcreation
vi) Audio-visual translation

Unit 3: (i) Introducing basic concepts and terms used in Translation Studies through relevant tasks. For example: Equivalence, Language Variety, Dialect, Idiolect, Register, Style, Mode, Code Mixing / Switching.
(ii) Defining the process of translation (analysis, transference, restructuring) by critically examining standard translated literary/non-literary texts and subtitles of English and Hindi films.

Practice: Translation in Mass Communication / Advertising, Subtitling, Dubbing.

Unit 4: Exercises to comprehend ‘Equivalence in Translation’: Structures (equivalence between the source language and target language at the lexical (word) and syntactical (sentence) levels. This will be done through exercises retranslation and recreation, by making a comparative study of cultures and languages.

Practice: Tasks of Translation in Business; Advertising

Unit 5: Discussions of issues of ‘Translation and Gender’ along with translation for media, films and advertisements from different languages.

Unit 6: Developing skills for Interpreting.
Interpreting: Simultaneous and Consecutive.

Practice: Using technological aids for translation: machine and mobile translation, software for translating different kinds of texts with differing levels of complexity and for transliteration

Resources for Practice:

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Thesauri
  • Glossaries
  • Software Translation


Suggested Readings

Baker, Mona, In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, Routledge, 2001. (Useful exercises for practical translation and training)

———————- (Ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. (Readable entries on concepts and terms)

Sherry Simon, Gender in translation: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. New
York: Routledge, 1996.

Catford, I.C. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: OUP, 1965.

Frishberg, Nancy J. Interpreting: An Introduction. Registry of Interpreters, 1990.

Gargesh, Ravinder and Krishna Kumar Goswami. (Eds.). Translation and Interpreting: Reader and Workbook. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2007.

House, Juliana. A Model for Translation Quality Assessment. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 1977. Lakshmi, H. Problems of Translation. Hyderabad: Booklings Corporation, 1993.

Newmark, Peter. A Textbook of Translation. London: Prentice Hall, 1988.

Nida, E.A. and C.R. Taber. The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974. Toury, Gideon. Translation Across Cultures. New Delhi : Bahri Publications Private Limited, 1987.


As for all Foundation Courses

Click Here for All Delhi University Courses Syllabus

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