Course Title: Advanced Theory of Translating and Interpreting

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Theory of Translating and Interpreting

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Erika Gonzalez

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61) 3 9925 0428

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5.17

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In the first half of the semester this course undertakes a brief historical overview of modern translation theory post the 1950s and introduces a range of “classical” theoretical approaches to Translating & Interpreting [T&I ] from the international literature. It engages with the central “debates” in the theory –the nature of meaning, equivalence, translatability, etc- and focuses on translation as a process rather than product. It looks at the contributions of related disciplines –linguistics, pragmatics, semiotics etc- to T&I theory. It looks at the effects of globalisation on world cultures and their stock of concepts and how this may affect the work of the professional T & I. It encourages students to adopt appropriate theoretical frameworks for their T&I practice. In the second half of the semester, this course looks into interpreting studies and focuses on the theory regarding interpreting from its ancient roots until the modern era. The course will cover the theories regarding different interpreting modes and techniques, and will  analyse interpreting as a cognitive process.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the central debates in the translation theory
  • Examine the contribution of T&I theory to related disciplines (e.g. linguistics, pragmatics, semiotics)
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in applying range of theoretical approaches to translating and interpreting based on professional practice and discipline knowledge locally and globally.
  • Apply knowledge of global best practice in interpretation and translation in diverse professional contexts
  • Use appropriate frameworks and metalanguage in evaluating and discussing T & I performance

Overview of Learning Activities

Classes will be based on set reading each week from the theoretical and linguistic literature, examining the historical development of T&I theories, their central contemporary debates and the growing contribution of related disciplines to our understanding of Translating and Interpreting as theory and practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course draws on the substantial literature on T&I theory in the RMIT University collection and contemporary journal and professional articles and conference proceedings.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course will test and give feedback on your understanding of the historical development of T&I and your ability to use metalanguage in addressing contemporary theoretical issues, and will consist of written assignments.