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High-Level Translation French-English - Translation Practice

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This is the first of two online modules designed primarily for students who require an intensive, highly practical run-up to the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) examination.

We strongly recommend that you  complete this application form prior to enrolling on this course. It enables you to submit a paragraph outlining any qualification, translation experience and personal aims, so you can receive advice from the tutor regarding whether this course would meet your requirements.

The annual DipTrans examination is set by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIoL) and takes place in January.

The objective of our course is to develop your skill and speed in applying specific translation techniques and to provide regular practice on representative source texts, so that you are trained to translate to a professional standard under examination conditions.

This first module runs for ten weeks from April to July and is designed to provide the building blocks for the second module, which runs in the following autumn and focuses specifically on examination papers.

The course is designed for students for whom English is their mother tongue or has been their language of habitual use for over ten years, and are graduates (or equivalent) of French.

Learning and teaching

You will be asked to translate five texts. For each of them, the Tutor will give you feedback and advice on how to improve your translation technique. All the source texts used in this first module are taken from areas that mirror the general and specialised fields tested in the Diploma in Translation examinations.

In addition to translation pieces for assessment, you will be provided with a series of self-check exercises to underpin the development of translation technique. To provide a basis for discussion and feedback, you will also be encouraged to provide annotations for your translations, highlighting the translation difficulties identified and solutions applied.

Coursework and assessment

Completed translations are sent every fortnight to the Cardiff University virtual learning platform Learning Central (Blackboard), where they are read and marked in detail according to the criteria from the Diploma in Translation Marking Guidelines.

Comments and suggestions will aim to help you to progress towards bringing your work into line with the demands of the rigorous CIoL standard. For us, the most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives. To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

This course bears 30 credits; this is not sufficient to gain a qualification from Cardiff University.

Reading suggestions

  • Thinking French Translation, Hervey and Higgins, Routledge, 1992.
  • Le Nom propre en traduction, M. Ballard, Ophrys, 2001.
  • Using French Vocabulary, J. Duffy, Cambridge, 1999.
  • A textbook of translation (P. Newmark) Longman, pp.xii-292, paper, 2001, ISBN 0-13-912593-0.
  • About translation (P. Newmark), Multilingual Matters Ltd, 2001, ISBN 1-85359-117-3.
  • Paragraphs on Translation (P. Newmark), Multilingual Matters Ltd, 1993, ISBN 1-85359-191-2.
  • Annotations explained: a workbook (E. Reisinger, et al.), City University, London, Revised Edition, 2000, ISBN 0-9526783-0-6. Good, but no longer required reading.
  • A Practical Guide for Translators (G. Samuelsson-Brown), ISBN 1-85349-428-8, 1998, Multilingual Matters.
  • The Translator's Handbook (M. Sofer), ISBN 1-887563-48-2, 1999, Schreiber Publishing Rockville, Maryland.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.