Course Title: Context and Practice of Translation 1A (English into LOTE) Mandarin

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: LANG5449

Course Title: Context and Practice of Translation 1A (English into LOTE) Mandarin

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6067 - Advanced Diploma of Translating and Interpreting

Course Contact : Miranda Lai

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 992523523

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Ms. Karen Gao

Ms. Miranda Lai


Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Successfully complete the bilingual intake test.

Course Description

This course aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge in written transfer, the primary competency of the Professional Translator, and the ability to apply relevant theoretical frameworks and contextual knowledge required of the particular assignment.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBN927 Context and Practice of Translation 1A (English into LOTE) Mandarin

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you will be expected to be able to: 

  1. Translate passages that embody a reasonable level of linguistic and conceptual difficulty from English into LOTE, exhibiting appropriate use of transfer skills and achieving acceptable meaning-based renderings. Produce renderings in the Target Language that are appropriate to the context of the text in lexis, idiom, register, collocation, style, etc. 
  2. Examine in depth a range of institutional and professional contexts in which interpreting and translating take place as professional activities, and apply related concepts and vocabulary within more complex translation practice. 
    • Research Australia’s and the LOTE-speaking country’s institutional and professional contexts that arise in a substantial translation text. 
    • Collaborate in developing acceptable equivalences (in English or the LOTE as applicable) for terminology relating to these contexts. 
    • Apply a variety of techniques for translating words and terms that are difficult to transfer due to cultural factors. 
    • Provide a comprehensive rationale for each equivalence. 
  3. Translate passages under formal NAATI conditions.

Details of Learning Activities

In small groups you will develop the skills and knowledge to perform complex translation tasks. In particular, the instruction will aim to assist you to: 

  • Undertake translation tasks from English into the LOTE, involving a range of ancillary skills as incorporated into aspects of textual analysis: context, idiom, collocation, register, stylistics, etc. 
  • Use monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, glossaries, thesauri and other appropriate databases used by professional translators in an appropriate manner. 
  • Compile monolingual and bilingual glossaries and databases in line with Australian and international professional practices. 
  • Develop appropriate translation techniques, such as transference, cultural equivalence, functional equivalence, transposition and ability to evaluate the merits and demerits of such techniques. 
  • Link translation practice to the theoretical frameworks studied in Theoretical Bases of Interpreting & Translating, and to the ethical, professional and role aspects studied in Ethics and Professional Practice of Interpreting & Translating. 
  • Understand and apply the meaning-based approach to translation. 
  • Produce highly accurate translations containing no major errors, particularly those that extend beyond the word / phrase level and lead a student into making subsequent significant errors of cause / effect, etc. 
  • Produce complete translations (no ‘censoring’, summarising or providing extraneous information). 
  • Make appropriate choice of vocabulary, particularly medium- and high-frequency vocabulary. 
  • Ensure correct spelling, punctuation and capitalisation, and where applicable, correct formation of script or ideographs. 
  • Choose appropriate register. 
  • Transfer lines of cohesion (causes and effects, and inter-relationships between elements) and maintain the logical order of the original argument. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in grammar of both languages and general absence of systemic grammar errors that permeate the entire translation (eg in English, consistently choosing inappropriate tenses, singular/plural, articles, etc). 
  • Recognise and understand idioms in the source language and apply appropriate strategies to translate idioms. 
  • Avoid non-idiomatic language, particularly where it would impede understanding of the target text. 
  • Avoid collocational errors, including use of inappropriate collocations from the source language (eg when translating into English, choosing the source-language collocation ‘hard money’ in¬stead of the English word ‘coins’). 
  • Deal proficiently with problems at and above the word level in the source text. 
  • Proofread to eliminate errors such as missed words or phrases. 
  • Use translator’s notes appropriately (i.e. neither under-used nor over-used, and clearly identified as translator’s notes in one of the commonly accepted ways) 
  • Use available resources, including the Internet, to research contextual issues relevant to translation projects.

You will also need to devote 2 hours per week of your own time on assignments / tasks allocated by your teacher and bring them back to class for discussion and feedback.

Teaching Schedule


Week number / Week startingContext & Practice of Translating 1A
(English into LOTE)
WEEK 1 / 08-FebOrientation/Introduction to Course
WEEK 2 / 15-FebWelfare/Social Issues/Education
WEEK 3 / 22-FebWelfare/Social Issues/Education
WEEK 4 / 01-MarHealth/Medical
WEEK 5 / 08-MarHealth/Medical
WEEK 6 / 15-MarImmigration
WEEK 7 / 22-MarLO1: Contextual Exercise
WEEK 8 / 29, 30, 31-Mar Environment /Science & Technology
Semester Break Semester Break
01 April – 07th April
WEEK 8 / 08, 09-Apr Environment /Science & Technology
WEEK 9 / 12-AprEnvironment /Science & Technology
WEEK 10 / 19-AprLO2: Practice Exam
Australian Issues/Politics/Industrial Relations
WEEK 11 / 26-AprAustralian Issues/Politics/Industrial Relations
WEEK 12 / 03-MayInternational Issues
WEEK 13 / 10-MayReview LO2
WEEK 14 / 17-MayBusiness/Trade/Finance/Insurance
WEEK 15 / 24-MayLaw
WEEK 16 / 31-MayLaw
Review & Consolidation
WEEK 17 / 07-JunExam Period Commences
WEEK 18 / 14-JunExam Period


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Baker, M., In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, Routledge, London, 1999.

Other Resources

Learning Resources

Learning materials will largely be generated by the teachers involving a range of written materials (from the press, Internet, media and government publications, etc.) as the module is specifically targeted to developing practical translation skills appropriate to NAATI * professional practice.

* NAATI: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters


The Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) is RMIT’s core e-learning tool. It provides a variety of online learning resources and communication tools including:

  • a centralised area to upload and manage course content and practice materials
  • tools creating course content in the Blackboard environment
  • tests (quizzes) and surveys
  • discussion boards and chat rooms
  • assignment submission tools
  • group work spaces

Overview of Assessment

Three Learning Outcome tasks. 

Assessment Tasks

Learning Outcome 1 (25%, conducted in week 7 or otherwise advised by teacher)

  • Application of contextual knowledge to a translation text: A short class presentation on a translated text, identifying contextual factors and their role in the translation process.
  • This learning outcome relates to contextual issues and will be assessed through a home translation task and class presentation involving analysis and assessing the extent to which contextual factors affect the translation process.

Learning Outcome 2 (25%, conducted in week 10 or otherwise advised by teacher)

  • Class test: Reflecting NAATI* formal exam conditions, translate two out of three passages of 250 words out of three embodying a reasonable degree of difficulty from English into LOTE.

Learning Outcome 3 (50%, conducted During the University’s formal examination period immediately following the end of semester)

  • Formal examination. Translate two out of three passages of 250 words embodying a reasonable degree of difficulty from English into LOTE under NAATI exam conditions.

* NAATI: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters


Assessment Criteria

To be able to study the higher course (Context and Practice of Translation 2A) in the following semester, you must at least achieve at least 50% overall marks in this course.

In LO2 and LO3, your translation skills will be assessed by tests that reflect the conditions of NAATI accreditation testing; i.e. the translation of two 250-word passages out of three on two different topics from English into the LOTE, appropriate to practice at the NAATI Professional level. 

To achieve NAATI Accreditation, you must obtain:

  • 35 out of 50 for each passage (min. of 32.5 per passage)
  • 70 out of 100 for both passages (RMIT Distinction grade) with no single passage below 32.5 out of 50

Key assessment areas and reason for deduction of marks: 

1. Accuracy

Significant omissions
Significant mistranslations
Significant unjustified insertions
Failure to complete passage

2. Resources of Language - Comprehension of Original Text

Misunderstanding vocabulary
Misunderstanding grammatical features
Misunderstanding sentence structures

3. Resources of Language - Expression of Translation

Inappropriate / inexaxt wrod choices
Grammatical errors
Inappropriate / awkard sentence structures
Non-idiomatic usage
Spelling errors
Errors of punctuation / capital letters

4. Technique

Translated too literally in some segments
Translated too freely
Excessive and / or incorrect paraphrasing

Assessment Matrix

Other Information


What do I do if I need help in this course?
You are advised to contact your teacher as soon as any difficulties arise. The Program Coordinator is available for academic advice and support. Once the issue has been identified, the Program Coordinator, in consultation with your teacher and yourself, will put in place an individual study plan. This might include supplementary assessment, consultation during the conduct of assessment or granting an extension. Where these measures are inadequate, the Rrogram Coordinator may refer you to University student support services such as student counselling or the Learning Skills Unit.

How can I have my relevant previous study or work/life experience assessed as a way of gaining credit in this course?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means recognition of competencies currently held, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred. This includes any combination of formal or informal training and education, work experience or general life experience.
For RPL to be granted, the applicant must provide evidence that he/she:
• has attained the competencies described in the modules that are being claimed
• possesses current competency in the modules that are being claimed, including underpinning skills and knowledge
• has applied the relevant modules in a context that is applicable to this qualification.
Contact the Program Coordinator for further advice about applying for RPL and suitable evidence requirements.

What are my responsibilities in undertaking this course?
All students are expected to attend classes regularly and complete all set learning and assessment tasks. You are encouraged to seek support in relation to any difficulties you may have at the program level via the Program Coordinator. Students are expected to act as professionals in the learning environment, a critical capability expected of graduates in their employment.

Special Consideration
You may apply for Special Consideration by using the RMIT Application Form for Special Consideration, which is available from RMIT website. The application, with relevant documentation, must be lodged with the Student Hub prior to or within 48 hours of the commencement of the assessment task in question. Applications for special consideration are considered by the expert panel convened by the Academic Registrar (or nominee).

You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism in oral, written or visual presentations is the presentation of the work, idea, or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. The use of another person’s work or ideas must be acknowledged. Failure to do so may result in charges of academic misconduct, which carry a range of penalties including cancellation of result and exclusion from your course.
You are responsible for ensuring that your work is kept in a secure place. It is also a disciplinary offence for you to allow your work to be plagiarised by another student. You should be aware of all rights and responsibilities regarding the use of copyright material.


How can I let my teacher know about my experience of this course?
You may discuss this with your teacher at a mutually convenient time. The School distributes confidential course assessment forms at the end of each semester for students to complete. These are analysed and action is taken to remedy defects in teaching or course administration as required. The College also conducts student experience and satisfaction surveys during semester.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview