Introduction to Translation

Objectives and competences

The primary goal of this course is to familiarize the student with the role of translation and of translation skills in everyday life, and to provide them with knowledge of the basic translation techniques and awareness of the most common dilemmas and traps faced by translators. A secondary goal is to use this introduction to the core concepts of translation and the central translation techniques as a vehicle for training the student to always actively consider text intention, target audience, etc., also when writing, critically reading or editing non-translation texts, which represents one of the core skills that graduates of this program should develop.


No special prerequisites for enrolment.


This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of translation. We will highlight the role of translation in everyday life; we will cover text analysis and translation process; we will introduce concepts such as translation unit, translation equivalence, free and loyal translation, literal and communicative translation, text intention, target audience, written and oral translation, negative transfer, false friends, translation as norm-governed behaviour; we will assess the usefulness of linguistic concepts in translation practice; we will contrast human and machine translation. As this is a course in a single-subject program, we will always use Slovenian as the target language, whereas the source language will partly be English, partly it will depend on the students, and we will also use dialectal and genre varieties of Slovenian to serve as the combination of source and target language.

Intended learning outcomes

The student will be trained in the theoretical background of translation as well as in the practical basics of translation techniques. Having internalized certain concepts that are particularly prominent in the theory and practice of translation, such as target audience, text intention and language varieties, the student will be better aware of these factors also when authoring, editing or otherwise reshaping non-translation texts.


  • Newmark, Peter. 2000. Učbenik prevajanja. (Prev./prir. M. Gajgar in D. Gabrovšek). Ljubljana: Krtina. Catalogue
  • De Beaugrande, Robert & Wolfgang Dressler. 1992. Uvod v besediloslovje. (Prev./prir. A. Derganc in T. Miklič). Ljubljana: Park. Catalogue
  • Queneau, Raymond. 2017. Vaje v slogu (2. izdaja). (Prev. A. Berger). Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba. Catalogue
  • Baker, Mona. 2018. In other words. A coursebook on translation. (Third edition.) New York: Routledge. Catalogue E-version
  • Millán, Carmen in Francesca Bartrina (ur.) 2013. The Routledge handbook of translation studies. New York: Routledge. Catalogue
  • Malmkjær, Kirsten in Kevin Windle. 2011. The Oxford handbook of translation studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. E-version
  • Materials handed out during the course


Active participation in the course, home assignments, an in-class presentation of an assigned article about aspect of translation theory or practice, final exam.

Lecturer's references

Rok Žaucer has a BA in English translation and is associate professor of linguistics at the School of Humanities and the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Nova Gorica. His research topics include morphology and syntax (especially on the basis of Slovenian data) as well as language policy and language consulting.

Selected articles:
MARUŠIČ, Franc, MIŠMAŠ, Petra, ŽAUCER, Rok. Zakaj velika okrogla rdeča čestitka in ne rdeča velika okrogla čestitka?: poskus razlage nezaznamovane stave pridevnikov. V: KRAJNC IVIČ, Mira (ur.), ŽELE, Andreja (ur.). Pogled v jezik in iz jezika: Adi Vidovič Muha ob jubileju, (Mednarodna knjižna zbirka Zora, 133). Maribor: Univerzitetna založba: = University Press. 2020, str. 103-115. [COBISS.SI-ID 21145603]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. On the nature of prenumeral adjectives. V: STANKOVIĆ, Branimir (ur.), JANIĆ, Aleksandra (ur.). SinFonIJA 6 proceedings, (Library Scientific Conferences). Niš: Faculty of Philosophy University. 2019, str. 39-61, ilustr. [COBISS.SI-ID 5477371]
MIŠMAŠ, Petra, POPOVIĆ, Tjaša, ŽAUCER, Rok. Kaj nam usvajanje nejezikovnih prvin pove o ustroju jezika. V: BIZJAK KONČAR, Aleksandra (ur.), DOBROVOLJC, Helena (ur.). Zbornik prispevkov s simpozija 2017. V Novi Gorici: Založba Univerze. 2018, str. 125-136, ilustr. [COBISS.SI-ID 5276411]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. The modal cycle vs. negation in Slovenian. V: MARUŠIČ, Franc (ur.), ŽAUCER, Rok (ur.). Formal studies in Slovenian syntax: in honor of Janez Orešnik, (Linguistik aktuell, ISSN 0166-0829, vol. 236). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: J. Benjamins Publishing Company. cop. 2016, str. 167-191, ilustr. [COBISS.SI-ID 4602363]
MIŠMAŠ, Petra, MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok, GRGIČ, Matejka (urednik). Spletna jezikovna svetovalnica za slovenski jezik : izbor gradiva = Servizio di consulenza linguistica on-line per la lingua slovena : materiali scelti. Gorica: Ciljno začasno združenje "Jezik-Lingua" = Gorizia: Associazione temporanea di scopo "Jezik-Lingua", 2014. 198 str.