Module Details

LA267-6-FY-CO: German Translation, Interpreting And Subtitling Skills

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2016/17
Department: Language and Linguistics
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: Yes
Outside Option: Yes
Pre-requisites: LA250
Comments: LA250 Comments: For non-native speakers of German: German LA250 or equivalent, plus either LA257 or equivalent, or 8 weeks in a German speaking country in the past two years, or a 3 week intensive language course in a German speaking country. This module can also be taken by native speakers of German with excellent command of English (a test may be given to those students to ascertain their level of English).

Supervisor: Mrs Claudia Nehmzow
Teaching Staff: Mrs Claudia Nehmzow
Contact details: Mrs C. Nehmzow, Office: 3.302, Tel: 01206 872 212, Email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module is a practical introduction to translation and interpreting skills from and into German, with an opportunity try some subtitling work. We will work on a wide variety of short German and English texts (from poems and business correspondence to manuals, advertising and newspaper clips), reflecting on context, target audience and style, analysing different alternatives, always with the practical aspects of "real life" translation work in mind.

While the main emphasis of this module will be on translation, students will also be introduced to liaison and consecutive conference interpreting, looking at practical issues like body language, professional neutrality, anticipation, note-taking, condensing, diplomacy, problem solving and confident presentation with opportunities to practise these skills in role-play. Students will further be introduced to the principles of subtitling and learn the practical skills to subtitle a short film-clip, using a professional subtitling software.

Learning outcomes

Students will have the opportunity to:
1. refine their writing skills in both languages to a high level in different registers
2. improve awareness and reflect on context, purpose, target audience and style of texts
3. practise commenting succinctly on translation choices
4. extend the skills of listening actively and analytically, memorising sizeable statements, note- taking, predicting the flow of argument, summarising and condensing, formal expression, and facilitating communication effectively in both languages.
5. gain an insight into the principles of subtitling and learn the basics using professional software.
6. practise and expand transferable study skills like independent learning, creative and analytical thinking, problem-solving, team-working, presenting ideas, disciplined time-management, use of electronic media.

Learning and Teaching Methods

3 contact hours per week (1x2hr seminar, 1x1hr class) plus at least 5 hrs self-study per week (detailed work plan and self-access material available at the start of term).

Students have the opportunity of lab work, group work and presentations in class. Emphasis is on the development of practical skills together with the reflection on underlying issues.


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information

This module is open to native speakers of German.
Details of Exam : Three hour written exam during summer examination period
(translation both ways, English to German & German to English) plus a short oral exam in bilateral consecutive interpreting


  • To buy:
  • Hervey, Sándor G. J., Thinking German translation : a course in translation method, German to English, London : Routledge, c2006. Library PF 3498.
  • Further reading:
  • Translator and interpreter training : ideas, methods and debates, edited by John Kearns. London : Continuum, 2008. Library P 137.T7.

Further information