French into English: translation in practice

Course Dates: 07/10/19 - 02/12/19
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Trista Selous

Do you enjoy translating, reading in French and writing in English? Come and join this interactive translation course.

Classes every other week: 7/10-21/10-4/11-18/11-02/12.


What is the course about?

Enhance your understanding of French language and culture and develop your English writing style by doing and discussing translations.

What will we cover?

This is primarily a practical translation course with a focus on literature, although there will be opportunities to work with other forms of writing, depending on student interest. You will translate a range of short passages and discuss your work in class. We will also look at short extracts from published English translations alongside their French originals.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- acquired practical experience of translating from and into a range of different writing styles.
- enhanced your knowledge and understanding of the French language and French-speaking cultures.
- developed your own skills as a writer of English, particularly your ability to write in different “voices”.
- acquired a better understanding of the work of the professional literary translator.
There may be other outcomes, depending on the needs and interests of the group of students.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Students should have a good knowledge of French language and culture and be comfortable with reading literature in French. They should also be able to write in fluent, idiomatic English (at least English level C1 if not a native Englih speaker)s. It is also essential that you have knowledge of more complex grammar terminology such as: the subjunctive, the conditional, pronouns, direct and indirect speech.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This is a practical, participative course in which students will be required to prepare translations for discussion in class. Homework will be set every week, which students should be willing and able to do in order to benefit fully from the course.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Based on tutor's material. The tutor will discussed material as appropriate.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

To be discussed with your tutor for a continuation of this course. You could also do another course related to French, creative writing, journalism, etc.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This course has given me confidence and has fed my enthusiasm for translating from French to English. The tutor is sensitive and encouraging, and she introduced us to a wide range of French literature. The group discussions were lively and stimulating, and I was very sorry when it came to an end.
Course Rating
Review by AS / (Posted on 14/04/2017)
This is a great course which thoroughly exceeded my expectations. We worked on a range of mostly literary texts which all offered different translation challenges. The format of the course worked really well and the tutor had bags of professional experience. She was also very warm and welcoming, and took the time to review and provide written comments, suggestions and encouragement on each piece of translation work we submitted. I was really sorry when the course ended. If there had been another course this term I'd have certainly signed up for it.
Course Rating
Review by Viv / (Posted on 25/04/2016)
This twelve week course was excellent in many ways: translation, like creative writing, tends to be a solitary occupation and so any chance to share and discuss the different solutions with other people working on the same text are invaluable. Right from the start, the tutor set the tone by establishing that translation is subjective so that we could then begin to explore the subtleties of nuance and consistency freely and openly. And this exploration was helped by a very good choice of texts - from contemporary literature to dialogue in a theatre script to magazine journalism. The format of the class varied from presentations to small group working and over time the confidence of the group increased so that discussions were both respectful and supportive. I was also impressed by the work the tutor had done to prepare for the course and also her commitment during the course to comment in detail on all our work. She was very inspiring and helpful throughout. We all would be very keen to have this course repeated on a regular basis so we hope City Lit will consider this, please! Thank you.
Course Rating
Review by Hannah / (Posted on 25/03/2016)
Thoroughly enjoyable course- a good range of texts and overall extremely well facilitated by a professional translator, who provided constructive feedback and created a supportive interactive learning environment for the whole group.
Course Rating
Review by vladivostock / (Posted on 25/03/2016)
Great atmosphere in class. The tutor was very generous with her time, and gave each of us detailed and constructive feedback on our translations. Very much enjoyed the carefully selected texts, including a wide range of fiction, plus ads and an advertorial. A hugely satisfying and stimulating course which made me long for more. I want to build on the skills the tutor helped me develop. I'd want the same tutor again. I also liked the way the tutor provided translations of the passages we'd worked on, at the end of the class. There were some excellent exercises too.
Course Rating
Review by My name's Vera. I don't know what people call me behind my back. / (Posted on 24/03/2016)
This course exceeded my expectations. The teacher was an expert professional teacher and translator. We translated a wide variety of enjoyable and challenging texts. The pace was quite intensive, but the ambiance informal. Feedback was detailed, useful and supportive.
Course Rating
Review by Jean / (Posted on 25/03/2015)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: LF541

Please choose a course date 

Mon, day, 07 Oct - 02 Dec '19

Duration: 5 sessions (over 9 weeks)

Full fee: £99.00
Senior fee: £99.00
Concession: £60.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2644

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.