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Aspects of the Profession (IT7014)

Option coordinator: 
Dr Peter Arnds

Students are expected to

  • gain an insight into the profession of literary translation, including processes of editing, publishing, marketing, promotion, and reviewing;
  • understand that beyond the delights of translating literature there lie serious challenges involved in getting their translations published;
  • thus form a realistic image of what to expect from the profession;
  • gain hands-on experience with the profession by being exposed to the work of our translator-in-residence, his/her country/language specific market challenges;
  • critically discuss their experience with these practitioners by way of a written journal.

The aims of the module include the following: to provide students with an overall knowledge of the practical implications in the field of literary translation; to equip them with the ability to assess career possibilities in literary translation; to allow them insight into the editing process, the market realities, the professional networks available to literary translators, and career opportunities.

The module will consist of a series of lectures given by prominent people in the field of literary translation and the world of publishing. These may include but are not limited to publishers, editors, directors of literary translation centres and associations, as well as prominent practitioners. There will be an average of three to four lectures each HT. The lectures are accompanied by a seminar with the translator-in-residence who is invited from a different country each year. The seminar topic typically builds on the translator’s experience and expertise, and will provide an insight into his language-specific work, his career path, and the market for translations in his or her specific area and location. It is envisioned to invite translators from China, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan in the coming years.

Baker, Mona. In Other Words: A Coursebook of Translation. London & New York: Routledge, 2013.
Boase-Beier, Jean & Holman, Michael (eds). The Practices of Literary Translation. Constraints and Creativity. Manchester: St Jerome, 1999.
Robinson, Douglas. Becoming a Translator. London: Routledge, 2003



Students will keep a reflective journal of the lectures and seminar with the translator in residence, consisting of approx.. 5000 words