SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

Practical Translation: Chinese to English

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of the course is to equip students with skills in translation from Chinese into English. Students will develop intellectual perspectives on the activity of translation and expand topic-based vocabulary. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate ability in handling texts, including literary, fictional, journalistic and biographical prose with confidence.


A one-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar taught over 11 weeks

Scope and syllabus

The course is designed for students who already have an advanced knowledge of Chinese language, and who are able to read both simplified and full-form characters. The typology of texts varies from scientific, to technical, administrative, political, literary, cinematographic, advertisements, etc.

It is an integral part of the MA in Theory and Practice of Translation which offers practical dimension to the course. It offers a platform where translation theories can be applied and discussed in light of actual translation practice.

Method of assessment

One 2-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); one translation with commentary of a 2,000 word text from Chinese into English due on the day on which the class is taught in the first Week of the following term (20%); 2 assignments during the term (20%).

Suggested reading

No specific textbooks for the course.
The students will be given and encouraged to visit the following websites where bilingual texts (English and Chinese) are added.

These websites, and others, will provide rich source of texts for the students to practice their translation skills. At the same time, it will be able to equip the students with knowledge of how web-based translation, as well as general media-related translation, operates.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules