Designing a course in Translation Studies to respond to students' questions

Anthony Pym*, Esther Torres-Simón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We invited students beginning BA and MA courses in Translation Studies in Monterey and Vienna to formulate questions that they would like to see answered. The categorisation and analysis of 662 of their questions indicates that (1) by far the most questions concern financial and business aspects of the translation professions, (2) there is a widespread pessimistic discourse about the social status and future of these professions, (3) new technologies are predominantly seen as rivals of human translators rather than a set of aids, although this fear is less pronounced in the US context than in the European institution, (4) there is a persistent concern with the ways in which translation theory can help practice, with the widespread assumption in the US groups that it cannot, (5) there is genuine interest in the cognitive processes of translators and interpreters, and (6) the distribution of concerns varies significantly between institutions and sometimes between different years at the same institution. When taking account of such questions, course designers should be aware of the areas where professional advice does better than any academic discipline, where hands-on experimentation is the most valuable form of learning and where a few theoretical terms and concepts can be used to focus exchanges rather than being presented as a body of knowledge in themselves.

Translated title of the contributionDiseño de un curso en Teoría de la Traducción que responda a las preguntas de los estudiantes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Translation research
  • Translation studies
  • Translation theory
  • Translator training


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