Translating Cultures 1

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Linguistics

Module overview

This module focuses on understanding and applying the concepts of culture, otherness, and cultural translation. These will be approached from the perspectives of anthropology and translation studies.

Translation activities require not only language ability; translators are also mediators between cultures. The wider concept of translation requires understanding culture and otherness; and almost any intercultural communication involves translation.

Visiting museums, students study how otherness is translated and represented there. This fieldwork is compulsory for the module.

By taking this module, students can locate themselves in the wider context as translators/interpreters. But the module will also teach highly transferrable skills with applications in a globalised, multicultural society far beyond the work of translators or interpreters.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  • learn about translation theories and methods relating to translation of cultures
  • confidently and effectively mediate across cultural differences in the real world
  • understand otherness and communicate beyond borders


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with a 2-hour lecture per week.

Scope and syllabus

  • Week 1: Introduction, Explanation of the course
  • Week 2: Anthropology and Translation
  • Week 3: Translation and Representation
  • Week 4: Translation and Myths
  • Week 5: Translation and Museum
  • Week 6: Translating Oral Tradition
  • Week 7: Thick Description and Thick Translation
  • Week 8: Translation and Power
  • Week 9: Translation and Ideology
  • Week 10: Student Presentations

The running order is subject to change.

Method of assessment

  • 40% - Museum report (1500 words) OR video presentation (10¬†minutes)
  • 60% - Essay (2500 words)
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page.

Suggested reading

  • Katan, David. 2014. Translating Cultures. New York: Routledge
  • Sturge, Kate. 2007. Representating Others. New York: Routledge
  • Clifford, James. 1997. Routes. Cambridge: Harvard University
  • Geertz, Clifford. 1977. The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books
  • Bassnett, Susan and Lefevre, Andre. 1997. Constructing Culture. Bristol: Multilingual Matters
  • Tymoczko, Maria. 1999. Translation in a Postcolonial Context. New York: Routledge
  • Beatriz Hale, Sandra. 2008. Community Interpreting. London: Palgrave School
  • Said, Edward. 1994. Culture and Imperialism. London: Vintage Dear Alice


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.