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Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting (MA)


Course Description

This course is ideal both for prospective professional translators and for those wishing to go on to further academic study, and it is internationally well respected for both of those purposes. The course is designed for both native speakers of Arabic, and speakers of English who have near-native competence in Arabic.

The MA lasts for twelve months and it combines training in English to Arabic and Arabic to English translation with a special consideration of the theoretical issues involved in the process of translation. The MA modules are mainly taught in the Department of Arabic. Translation Theory and Research Methods and Resources (RMR) are offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC).

Course structure

The MA involves a combination of core modules, which are taken by all students, plus a number of optional modules, where students have a choice.

The course structure of the MA is as follows:

Core Courses: obligatory for all students
In 2015, core modules included:

•Research Skills for Translation Studies (15 UCUs)
•Translation Theory (30 UCUs)
•Translation practical Arabic>English, English>Arabic (30 UCUs)
•Dissertation (60 UCUs)

Optional modules 1
Students choose one module. In 2015, modules included:

-History of Translation (15 credits)
-Intercultural Project Management (15 credits)
-Revising and Editing for Translators (15 credits)
-Sociology of Translation (15 credits)
-Translation Ethics (15 credits)

Optional modules 2
Students choose two modules. In 2015, modules included:

-Business and Technical Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
-Legal Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
-Interpreting, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs).

Part-time study

It is possible to do the MA on a part-time basis by spreading the workload over two years instead of one. Please note, however, that this does not exempt you from day-time attendance as the MA cannot be taken through evening classes or by correspondence.

Learning and Teaching

The main emphasis of this programme is on the development of translation and interpreting skills, which are reinforced by the provision of a general introduction to translation theory, as well as to more general academic, research and bibliographical techniques. Students attend on average six hours of translation and/or interpreting classes per week during the first two terms of the year. These classes, which are spread over three separate modules, are held in small groups, and alternate between Arabic>English and English>Arabic work. The classes are prepared for by independent learning in the form of preparation and reading (131 hours per module). The structure of the classes allows for extensive student participation, and for the provision of timely feedback on students’ home assignments in an interactive environment.

The practical orientation of these classes is supplemented and reinforced by the Translation Theory module, taught on a School-wide basis, which typically involves an average of one hour’s attendance per week at either a lecture or a seminar. This should be supported by 282 hours of preparation and reading.

In addition, students receive instruction in general academic, presentational and bibliographical skills through participation in the School-based Research Skills module. Research Skills for Translation Studies provides interactive lectures on research skills and training sessions on the use of library and other resources over the course of the first two terms and, in the early part of the programme, a series of user-focused workshops in which students work intensively to consolidate their knowledge of selected translation technologies.

Over the final few months of the programme, students are able to apply the skills and theory learned over the year to a larger project (either a dissertation or an extended, annotated translation) in a more independent way. Each student is allocated a supervisor, who provides up to five hours of supervision / consultation on an individual basis. This exercise enables the student to apply the results of their studies during the year to a text or topic of particular interest to themselves (595 hours of independent study).

In addition to the formal provision detailed above, all students have access to the MA Course Director and to other members of the teaching staff during weekly office hours. Feedback on formative course assignments may also be provided to students on an individual basis outside these hours. Outside their particular programme, all students are also strongly encouraged to participate in other activities of the School and Department (for example research seminars) as appropriate.

Visit the Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting (MA) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be expected to have a BA degree (upper-second class degree or equivalent, that is, 60% or above overall) in a relevant subject, such as language, literature or linguistics. If you hold your degree in a non-language-related field, you may be admitted provided you can demonstrate that you have the required competence in English and Arabic. We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications and further information on English language requirements, please contact our International Office.

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