Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2008-2009 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (German)


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2008/09 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • B in German at A level (or its equivalent).


  • Modern European Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: German Language 1(I) (GERM1011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To improve translation skills by encouraging students to increase their command of vocabulary and syntax, and to develop their awareness of German idiom.


  • Students are introduced to techniques of translation from German to English and English to German.
  • Both 'seen' and 'unseen' translations are undertaken - the first with the help of dictionaries and other reference works, the second without previous sight of the material.
  • Practice and theory are interlinked throughout the module.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the year students should have increased and reinforced not only their passive knowledge of German (i.e. what you recognise and can understand), but also their active command of German (i.e. what they themselves can express and render accurately into German).
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will sharpen and enhance their awareness of English vocabulary and usage. These skills will lead to an increased awareness of the problems posed by translation, and of the solutions that can be found to address them.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Students will be divided into groups of approximately 9-13 students, depending on numbers; and each group will have TWO contact hours per week. The course proceeds in cycles alternating between hours devoted to class translation work based on the dossier, with some set work at home; vocabulary work; and feedback tutorials on submitted work which is marked. During this part of the cycle students will be allocated an individual slot to discuss your work in detail with your tutor. Tests involving prepared or unseen translations will be set from time to time. All groups work to the same pattern, so that everyone has consistent teaching. This pattern continues for two terms; the final term is devoted to revision classes and examinations.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Seminars 21 1 Per Week 1 Hour 21
    Tutorials 11 2 Weekly 1 Hour 22
    Preparation and Reading 159
    Total 200

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    three hour written examination 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Regular practice translations.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University