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French through Translation (LL297)

(Equivalent to level 6)

This module runs in Term 2, please also see French Language through Film for Term 1.



Advanced. The module is offered to undergraduates who already have an advanced knowledge of French: i.e. good A level + 1 year of further study (or equivalent), or who have successfully completed French 5 or French Language through Films.

Main Objectives:

This module is designed to meet the needs of undergraduates who wish to acquire basic translation skills. Students wil work on translation from both French to English and English to French. The module is built around translating and discussing the translation of a variety of texts in both languages, to enable students to develop their translation skills, and in doing so to reach a high level of language proficiency, and to foster a greater understanding of the culture and language of both France and Britain.


15 CREDITS, also available for 12 CREDITS


One 2-hour language class each week for 9 weeks.

Students are reminded that 1 credit = 10 hours of study, so the minimum expected amount of study is 120 hours. A substantial amount of independent study is therefore required.

Students can make use of Moodle to facilitate this.


Magali Toscan

Course Text

No textbook is required. Selected texts will be provided.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

• demonstrate a high level of language proficiency by writing clear, well-structured translations of a variety of texts in French and in English.

• demonstrate an extended knowledge of French grammatical, lexical and idiomatic structures by applying a high level of analytical, reading and writing skills.

• appreciate distinctions of style and register in written texts and select appropriate style and register in their own translations, taking into account their target readers.

• show a higher degree of intercultural awareness by recognising and identifying elements, values and references proper to the cultures represented in the written documents studied.

• evaluate and present critical analyses of linguistic and cultural issues and debate questions of style, register, syntax and vocabulary in a variety of written documents.

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at approximately Level C1 Proficient user (operational proficiency) of the Common European Framework.

Course Description

The module:

• is taught entirely in French

• is organised around translating a set text per week, taken from a variety of sources, on varied subjects and in a variety of styles and registers

• requires students to complete a translation each week, after making a careful and detailed study of the stylistic, linguistic and intercultural elements in the text, and to reflect upon and justify their own translations

The syllabus will draw on a variety of sources of texts in French (and in English) for translation, e.g. newspapers, food writing, novel/play excerpts, business correspondence, tourist literature etc., in order to enable students to build and increase their language proficiency, cultural awareness and appreciation of France and of Britain.