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PL50805: English to Russian simultaneous interpreting

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: This unit is designed to introduce students to the principles and techniques of simultaneous interpreting, with a view to equipping them for a career as a professional linguist in this particular field. The aim is to maximise each student's potential so that as many as possible of the group progress to the next stage of preparation for professional work.

Learning Outcomes: After completing the unit, students will have assimilated all the principles and techniques of this area of professional work. They will therefore have developed an expertise that enables them to tackle a wide range of simultaneous interpreting assignments with confidence and success, including those of a more specialised nature.
Students will also have gained a comprehensive understanding of the role of simultaneous interpreters and their relationship with particular clients or users. They will thus know how to meet the expectations of the latter and be able to deal effectively with all the various practical issues that these entail.
They will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights into multicultural society and communication.
In practice, students will be able to produce competent interpretations of speeches lasting several minutes.
They will continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

Skills: Simultaneous interpreting is an exercise in direct communication between individuals that involves transferable key skills such as listening, analysing arguments, oral expression and an awareness of one's own performance.
The main intellectual skill developed in this unit is the ability to cope with the highly challenging task of conveying the substance of a spoken message in one language while it is being delivered in another, applying sophisticated linguistic knowledge to provide a satisfactory service for the audience.
All these skills are developed progressively through classwork and constructive feedback.
After completing the unit students will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex situations and the independent learning ability.

Content: The teaching programme begins with a short series of classes involving listening skills and discourse analysis, as an introduction to the practical exercise of simultaneous interpreting. Students move quickly on to "shadowing", on-sight exercises and then interpreting in the booth.
The materials used are graduated in difficulty. A programme of practice materials will be provided for students to work on in their own time; as they become more proficient, the simulated conferences are a further opportunity for realistic practice.
The programme of simulated conferences runs from week 1 in Semester 2 to the end of Semester. The different language groups take turns to draw up an agenda and then chair the meeting. Students are organised into teams for the combinations of languages used at each conference (to cover all of these, four conferences are normally held on each topic, with students attending those at which their languages are represented). Delegates play appropriate roles during the proceedings. The original speeches are recorded for subsequent student practice.
By the end of the unit, students will be expected to have enhanced their ability to convey shades of meaning, tone and register. The focus of the methodology is to enable students to evolve their own practical interpreting techniques.

Programme availability:

PL50805 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • THPL-AFM05 : MA Interpreting and Translating (Path 2 - Russian)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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