SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

Practical Translation: English into Japanese

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 1

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of this course is to help students acquire advanced translation skills in translation from English to Japanese. Students will be helped to develop intellectual perspectives on the activity of translation and expand topic-based vocabulary. By the end of the course, the students will be able to translate a variety of text-types including literary, academic, media, business and technical texts.


A total of 11 weeks teaching with two hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

The course aims to familiarise students with the process and techniques of translating from English into Japanese, developing their skills to a high level of proficiency, and provide them with much practical experience of translation. The course consists of 3 hours per week of translation from English into Japanese and commentary.

Texts from various sources, including newspapers, magazines, the internet, government documents, and academic journals/books, and in various styles and genres (literary, academic, media, business and technical texts) will be assigned for class practice and homework.

The course will raise students’ awareness of issues relating to literal and free styles of translation, to targeted readership, to degree of formality, and to cultural implications. Classroom time will be divided between translation and discussion of translation choices made by students. Built into the course is a systematic comparative analysis of linguistics and methodological aspects of translation between English and Japanese.

Method of assessment

One 2-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%); one 3,000 word essay due on day 1, week 1 of term after the which the course is taught (20%); three translation tests throughout the course (30% overall, 10% per piece).

Suggested reading

A downloadable word version of the is available here


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules