Introduction to Translation Studies
Cod: 51195
Department: DH
Scientific area: Language and Culture
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

This curricular unit's main objective is to provide a substantiated understanding of the theoretical currents of translation throughout History and the main translation theories. This course also intends to deepen the reflection on the translator's socio-cultural role and evaluate the importance of theoretical considerations in translators' practice. Students will get acquainted with the meta-language of translation. They will develop parameters for reflection on a wide variety of texts and communicative situations.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

- have a theoretical-practical understanding of translation as a process and a product;

- recognise the historical-contextual nature of Translation Studies;

- deepen the main currents that marked the history of Translation Theory;

- understand the relationship between language, culture, textual convention and translation;

- know a set of fundamental methods, techniques and tools.

Translation; models; theories; theoretical-practical reflection

This course aims to provide students with a grounded critical reflection on the concept of translation. Students will first explore Translation Studies, disciplinary influences, terminology, currents, and central debates about translation. Students will then deepen a critical reflection on the different methodologies concerning translation and the translators' role over time. Third, students will analyse the intrinsic relationship between translation and culture, both through a synchronic and diachronic perspective, focusing on the importance of translation in our daily lives. Fourth, students will get acquainted with the key terms and concepts of this course. Finally, the translation process itself is also the object of reflection.


This course's syllabus aims to examine the different historical and contemporary theoretical writings on Translation Studies and establish a critical discussion involving the theories and their implications. It also considers the nature of the translation act and the translator's status alongside the analysis of current issues in translation studies.

The following topics will be covered:

1. Definition and problematisation of translation

    1.1. Key issues

    1.2. Nature and complexity

2. Historical-theoretical approach to the role of translation and translators over time

    2.1. Translation up until the twentieth century

    2.2. Translation in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries

3. Translation as intercultural communication

    3.1. Translation and Culture

    3.2. Translation and Everyday Life

4. Translation arrangements and processes

    4.1. Translation Processes

    4.2. Key terms and concepts

5. Analysis and evaluation of translation

    5.1. Textual typologies

    5.2. Language and style

    5.3. Translation review

ARROJO, Rosemary (2000). Oficina de Tradução: A teoria na prática. 5ª ed. São Paulo: Ática.

BAKER, Mona, SALDANHA Gabriela (eds) (2009) Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies. London/New York: Routledge.

BASSNETT, Susan (2003). Estudos de tradução. Trad. V. Figueiredo, Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

DESLISLE, J.; WOODSWORTH, J. (ed) (2012) Translators through History. Revised edition. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins

GAMBIER, Yves, VAN DOORSLAER, Luc (eds) (2010-2011-2012) Handbook of translation studies. 3 vols. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

MUNDAY, Jeremy (2008). Introducing translation studies. Theories and applications. Second edition. London/New York: Routledge.

PAIS, Carlos Castilho (1997). Teoria Diacrónica da Tradução Portuguesa. Antologia (Séc. XV-XX). Lisboa: Universidade Aberta.

PEETERS Jean (ed.) (2005) On the Relationships between Translation Theory and Translation Practice, Peter Lang.

The Moodle e-learning platform is the environment where all learning activities take place. An introductory text, framing each topic and contextualising the pedagogical resources, precedes each thematic unit.

The study presupposes the reading and critical reasoning of the resources proposed by the teacher (essays, articles, web pages, full or partial reading of thematic works). Each unit has a discussion forum (supervised by the teacher) that students use for several purposes: to debate, to post their contributions on the summary sheets provided by the teacher on central aspects of the subject, to share their reflections and difficulties, to ask questions, therefore enhancing the collaborative learning process central to the UAb pedagogical model. The activities, resulting from this curricular unit's nature and objectives, favour the correct application of concepts, an appropriate transfer of knowledge, and the comparative analysis/commentary of contemporary texts or those from earlier times. The teacher provides final feedback for each activity, helping the student structure the knowledge and consolidate the predefined competencies.

Students who opt for the continuous assessment methodology must also carry out, during the semester, two assignments in digital format (e-folios) that consist of a practical application (textual or other) of themes and problems under study. These activities make it possible to broaden the students' skills and knowledge by deepening aspects of the syllabus. The teacher will guide the students’ work in a forum dedicated to the assignments’ completion. On their respective learning card (CAP), the students have access to the teacher’s comments on their assignments, guiding them progress in their learning.

As the principles underlying the assessment, the activities' organisation and management are defined in the Course Plan provided to the students at the beginning of the academic semester.

Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).