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Course content

Should translated literature be entirely faithful to the original text, or should the translation be creative in its attempt not to lose the poetry of the work? How can translation account for double entendre or other wordplay? Is it possible to translate experimental literature which ignores conventional grammar rules?

Building on the internationally recognised expertise of both our Departments of Language and Linguistics, and our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, our MA Translation and Literature course will allow you to further specialise in literature and general translation. In the second term you will also learn techniques of professional literary translation. You develop your own personal translation skills, allowing you to translate a literary work accurately and creatively from one language to another for your dissertation.

Our course is offered with the combination of English and one of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. You can be a native or near-native speaker of any of these languages, as you learn to translate to and from both languages. You work with native speakers in developing your ability to move accurately and quickly between your chosen language and English.

Explore our hands-on, practical modules, including:
-Principles of Translation
-US and Caribbean literatures in dialogue
-Translation Portfolios
-Technologies of Translation

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK (REF 2014)

Our Department of Language and Linguistics is ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet and our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is ranked among the top 200 departments on the planet, according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016].

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our lecturers are skilled interpreters and translators, experienced in training students with the necessary skills for professional practice. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

Our lecturers come from around the world including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Cuba, China, and the UK. They will share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation.

Within our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, Professor Karin Littau specialises in book and film history, reception, adaptation and translation studies, and is especially interested in the effects of print, cinematograph, and computers on practices of reading, writing and translation. Dr Clare Finburgh has translated several plays from French into English, and worked as dramaturg for productions of British plays in France, and French works in the UK.

Specialist facilities

-24-hour self-access to our translation lab dedicated to translation students
-Use specialist software such as SDL Trados Studio 2015
-Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at the department’s Myth Reading Group
-Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
-Weekly multilingual workshops led by internationally renowned experts from the industry
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost

Your future

If you love literature and languages and would like to acquire professional translation skills, then our MA Translation and Literature is for you. Takers of our courses in translation can use the skills gained to further their future career in this area.

You develop a range of key employability skills including researching, writing for specific purposes, and translation. Our course typically leads to a career in translation, but could also lead to a career in education, publishing and administration.

We work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Example structure

-Principles of Translation and Interpreting
-Technologies of Translation
-Dissertation
-Translation Portfolio I (French) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio II (French) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio I (German) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio II (German) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio I (Portuguese) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio II (Portuguese) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio I (Spanish) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio II (Spanish) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio I (Italian) (optional)
-Translation Portfolio II (Italian) (optional)
-Writing the Novel (optional)
-Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography (optional)
-The Tale: Tellings and Re-Tellings (optional)
-Dramatic Structure (optional)
-Literature and Performance in the Modern City
-Early Modern to Eighteenth Century Literature
-Georgian and Romantic Literature and Drama
-Adaptation (optional)
-Documentary and the Avant-garde: Film, Video, Digital (optional)
-Film and Video Production Workshop (optional)
-Advanced Film and Industry: Production and Industry
-US Nationalism and Regionalism (optional)
-African American Literature
-Sea of Lentils: Modernity, Literature, and Film in the Caribbean
-Writing Magic (optional)
-"There is a Continent Outside My Window" : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue (optional)
-Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose

Visit the Translation and Literature - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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