French into English: translation in practice

Course Dates: 09/10/23 - 27/11/23
Time: 18:15 - 20:15
Location: Online
Do you enjoy reading in French and writing in English? Are you interested in the similarities and differences between the two cultures? Come and join this interactive translation course.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00

Course Code: LF541

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Mon, eve, 09 Oct - 27 Nov '23

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

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

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

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...

- recognise a range of different writing styles in French and set about recreating them in English.
- interpret French writing with greater subtlety, and with enhanced knowledge of French-speaking cultures.
- write in English exploring different “voices”.
- understand the work of the professional literary translator in more depth.

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?

This class involves reading passages from a range of French literary texts and teasing out their subtleties in order to recreate them as closely as possible in English. Students should have at least a strong level B2 in French, be comfortable reading French literature and have a good knowledge of French language and culture. They must be able to write fluent, idiomatic English (native or near-native speaker, C1 English as an absolute minimum) and be willing to explore different registers and styles.

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.

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

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

Trista Selous

Trista studied French at UCL and, in 1988 published a book on the French writer Marguerite Duras, based on her PhD thesis: “The Other Woman” (Yale UP). Since then she has led a double professional life as a freelance translator and teacher. As a translator she works mainly in literary non-fiction, fiction and academic writing. Her translation of Gwenaëlle’s autofiction “Personne” was shortlisted for the French-American Foundation Translation Prize in 2013. For 30 years she also worked for the British Film Institute as a translator, performer and subtitles of film soundtracks and as an interpreter for actors, directors and producers from the French-speaking world. In parallel to translation she has always been a teacher, on courses in French language, literature, cinema and translation at various universities in London and, since 2005, also at City Lit. She greatly enjoys sharing her French-related interests with students and learning from the ideas and experiences that they bring.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.