Course title:

Theory and Practice of Literary Translation


Tutor: Atanas Manchorov, Ph.D.


Mode of delivery: seminars

Course place and status within the program

Plovdiv University, an elective course

Competence expectations


Students acquire knowledge through reading and discussing the major theoretical works that make up the field of translation studies and through doing translation work. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Deal with and comprehend source and target texts as well as their cultures

2. Ensure translation fidelity.

3. Produce target texts fulfilling the expectations of the target text reader

4. Resolve translation-related problems in view of the cross-cultural transfer of the text

5. Use library and electronic resources to complete assignments.


Aims and objectives of the course


This course has the following aims and objectives:


Personal: improved language and translation proficiency

greater insight into key theoretical issues in the field of literary translation

performing analysis and problem-solving tasks

current trends with regard to the politics and ethics of translation

making decisions of language, style, translatability, cultural equivalency


Interactive: team-working, communication skills


Weekly organization of topics & reading assignments




1. Introduction to Translation Theory.

2. Culture-Specific Items for Translation.

a) the term and concept of "realia."

b) classification of cultural implications.

3. Historical Implications for Translation.

4. Local color and the "Fading" of Local Color.

5. Translation of Units of Measurement.

6. Translation of Monetary Units.

7. Translation of Situation-Bound Cultural Implications.

8. Translation of Phraseological Units.

9. Translation of Proper Names.

10. Translation of Forms of Address.

11. Translation of Onomatopoeias and Interjections.

12. Departures from the Literary Norm in Translation.

13. Translation of Foreign Language Elements.

14. Translation of Special Terms.

15. Translation of Puns (Paronomasia).


Course requirements


1. Attendance. Attendance is mandatory. For the fourth and each subsequent unexcused absence, the final average will be lowered by 1 point. The options listed below are considered acceptable reasons for excused absences:

  • serious illness;

  • illness or death of family member;

  • university-related trips;

  • major religious holidays;

  • other circumstances you find to be reasonable cause for nonattendance.

2. Make-up opportunity. When there is an excused absence, students must be given the opportunity to make up missed work and/or exams. It is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of the absence preferably in advance, but no later than one week after it.

3. Classroom Behavior, Decorum, and Civility. Acts of classroom incivility will not be tolerated. Students are expected to be polite and respectful while attending the course of lectures or participating in class discussions.

4. Academic Integrity. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated, and those suspected of academic dishonesty will face disciplinary proceedings in accordance with published Plovdiv University guidelines.


Mode of assessment


I. Theory of Literary Translation – type of assessment (regular practical work).

II. Practice of Literary Translation – quality assessment criteria (fail standard – levels 1 and 2; pass standard – levels 3 and 4; high standard – level 5).




Alexieva, Bistra, ed. Readings in the Special Theories of Translation. Sofia: Sofia UP, 1987. Print.

Baker, Mona, and Gabriela Saldanha, eds. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 1998. Print.

Bassnett-McGuire, Susan. Translation Studies. 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Brislin, R. W., ed. Translation: Applications and Research. New York: Gardner P, 1976. Print.

Brower, Reuben A., ed. On Translation. New York: Oxford UP, 1966. Print.

Catford, John C. A Linguistic Theory of Translation: An Essay in Applied Liguistics. London: Oxford UP, 1969. Print.

Leuven-Zwart, K. van, and Ton Naaijkens, eds. Translation Studies: The State of the Art. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991. Print.

Nida, Е. A., and C. A. Taber. The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden: Brill, 1969. Print.

Postgate, John P. Translation and Translations: Theory and Practice. London: Bell, 1922. Print.

Rose, M. G, ed. Translation Spectrum. Essays in Theory and Practice. Albany: State U of New York, 1981. Print.

Snell-Hornby, Mary. Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1995. Print.

Venuti, Lawrence, ed. The Translation Studies Reader. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2000. Print.

Данчев, Андрей. Българска транскрипция на английски имена. София: Народна просвета, 1982. Печ. изд.

Данчев А., ред. Езикови проблеми на превода. София: Наука и изкуство, 1986. Печ. изд.

Ликоманова, Искра. Преводът между теорията и практиката. София: УИ „Св. Кл. Охридски", 2002. Печ. изд.

Лилова, А. Увод в общата теория на превода. София: Народна култура, 1981. Печ. изд.

Аристов, Н. Б. Основы перевода. Москва: Издательство литературы на иностранных языках, 1959. Печ. изд.

Бархударов, Л. С. Язык и перевод. Москва: Международные отношения, 1975. Печ. изд.

Васева, Ив. Теория и практика перевода. София: Наука и изкуство, 1980. Печ. изд.

Влахов, Сергей, и Сидер Флорин. Непреводимото в превода. София: Наука и изкуство, 1990. Печ. изд.  

Федоров, А. В. Основы общей теории перевода (лингвистические проблемы). Москва: Высшая школа, 1983. Печ. изд.