Skip to content
Generic filters
Exact matches only

Translation in Practice (Coursera)

This course offers you basic but valuable techniques used by a good translator in the translation between English and Chinese. We’ll discuss what is translation, what is good translation, and learn about how to produce good translations.

All the examples used in this course are taken from the course instructor’s own translations of various genres and topics of writing. These examples are elaborated on to show you how to understand the idea, style and tone of the writer, the historical and cultural context of the writing, as well as the explicit and implied meanings of words, the grammatical structures of sentences, and the logic of sentences and paragraphs in order to achieve faithfulness, expressiveness, and elegance in the translation.

After completing this course, you will know what makes a qualified professional translator and acquire the abilities and skills that such a translator needs

Who is this class for: This course is primarily aimed at undergraduate and graduate students of English departments. Teachers of translation, providers of translation service, and anyone interested in translation will also find useful and interesting information in this course.



A Brief Introduction to Translation

This module discusses why translation matters, what is translation, and what is good translation. It also gives an overview of the content of the entire course.


The Process of Translation

This module discusses the four-step process of translation. Each step is discussed in detail.

Graded: The Process of Translation

Graded: Deciding on the Word Meaning

Graded: Expressing Word Meanings Appropriately


Understanding and Expressing Word Meaning

This module discusses how to understand word meaning in the source language and how to express word meaning in the target language.

Graded: Identifying Specialized Vocabulary

Graded: Analyzing Grammar and Logic

Graded: Making Conversions

Graded: Adding or Omitting Words, Phrases, Clauses

Graded: Considering Connotations and Tones

Graded: Flexibility in Expression


Sentence Translation: Word Order, Division, and Combination

This module discusses the techniques often used in the translation of sentences: keeping/changing the original word order and dividing/combining sentences.

Graded: Changing Word Order

Graded: Keeping the Word Order

Graded: Dividing a Sentence

Graded: Combining Sentences


Cultural Elements in Translation

This module discusses the awareness of cultural elements in the source language and the translation of these cultural elements.


Translation of Different Genres of Writing

This module discusses the translation of different genres of writing, including scientific writings, legal documents, public speeches, and literary works.

Graded: Translation of Scientific Writings

Graded: Legal Document Translation