SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Practical Translation Arabic into English

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

The course aims to help students develop advanced skills in the process and techniques of reading, analysing and translating from Arabic to English. It will provide them with practical experience of translation, the identification and application of appropriate translation strategies, and awareness of different translation styles. Students will be assigned different genres of texts in Arabic to translate into English, and these will be discussed and translated in class.


Students must have Arabic language proficiency to the equivalent of ATCL Intermediate High level.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Develop skills in translating from Arabic into English, ensuring that the end product is cohesive, effective, and appropriate to the nature of the source text.
  • Demonstrate developed ability in handling different text types, including literary, religious, academic, political, journalistic and biographical texts.
  • Assess and analyse the nature and features of varieties of source texts, and demonstrate these skills through commentary on their translation choices and strategy.


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with a 2 x 1 hour lectures in total.  There will be 18 hours of practical classes and workshops over the teaching term bringing the total contact hours for this module to 20.

Scope and syllabus

There is no set syllabus for this module, but texts will cover a core range of genres and text styles (academic, political, commercial, technical, journalistic, Islamic religious texts, literary texts and non-fiction). It will include on-going discussion of the process and techniques of translation, from Arabic to English, close examination of the nature and features of different genres and varieties of texts, and exploration of the relevant translation strategies to adopt with them, both in class and during independent study. The module involves intensive practical translation, the application of translation theory to texts, and critique and assessment of pre-existing translations.

The order and levels of the text types studied will be flexible and tailored to the needs of the students.

Method of assessment

  • Take-home translation assignment of 1000 words of English text (20%) due Term 1, Week 5, Day 2
  • Take-home translation assignment of 1000 words of English text (20%) due Term 1, Week 9, Day 2
  • Translation and commentary essay of 3000 words (60%) due Term 2 Week 1, Day 2.

Suggested reading

  • Mona Baker, In Other Words (London: Routledge, 1992)
  • James Dickins, Sandor Hervey and Ian Higgins, Thinking Arabic Translation (London: Routledge, 2002) Ian
  • B. Hatim, English–Arabic–English Translation: A Practical Text-Linguistic Guide (London, 1997)
  • B. Hatim and I. Mason, Discourse and the Translator (New York, 1990)
  • Ronak Husni and Daniel L Newman, Arabic-English-Arabic Translation: Issues and Strategies (Routledge, 2015)
  • Hans Wehr, ed. J M Cowan,  Arabic-English Dictionary
  • The Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary
  • Al-Mawrid English-Arabic Dictionary
  • Collins English Thesaurus


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules