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Translation Studies


Admission requirements

This course is open only to students registered for the Translation specialization.


We do not know for sure how long translators have been around. What we do know is that the earliest available evidence of translation activity is a translation of an Egyptian hieroglyphic text into Hittite cuneiform, which goes back to 1270 BC. It is quite probable that this first translator already asked himself the question: what is translation? (this is a question that we still have not answered today). And translation theory was born. For a long time, translators have wondered about the best approach to translation. Does one religiously stick to the source text – respecting its grammar and style and convention – and try to render this in the target text? Or does the translator have a large degree of freedom? In other words, does one translate literally or freely, and what then do literally and freely mean? Is translation a skill, something that can be learnt? Or is it an art form, requiring more inspiration than perspiration? What can translation theory teach us – if anything? These are some of the questions that we will explore in this course by turning to a number of canonical texts in translation theory and by trying to apply translation theory to translation practice.

Course objectives

  • Course objective 1: Knowledge and understanding of various areas of translation theory

  • Course objective 2: Ability to assess the value of translation theories and to critically apply these theories to translation problems.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • Attending tutorials: 28 hours;

  • Studying compulsory literature: 60 hours;

  • Preparation for the exams and/or assignments (including reading / research): 50 hours

  • Exam: 2 hours

Assessment method

Corpus-based research project: 60%
End-of-term exam: 40%


To pass the course, all of the course components have to be a 6.0. There will be one resit session for both components in the resit period. Students can only resit a course component if the mark for the component is a fail.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Reading materials

  • Announcements

Reading list

  • Naaijkens, T., C. Koster, H. Bloemen and C. Meijer (2010), eds., Denken over Vertalen: Tekstboek Vertaalwetenschap, Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2nd or later edition.

  • Venuti, L. (2012), eds. The Translation Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 3rd or later edition.

  • Additional reading materials to be made available through the university library.

Students are expected to be in possession of the course book prescribed for the BA Course Introduction to Translation Studies: Munday, Jeremy. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. London/New York: Routledge. 4th or later edition.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Only students from the MA Linguistics: Translation can enrol.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof