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SLC1: Translation from and Into Russian

This paper is available for the academic year 2023-24.


In this paper you will translate both from Russian into English and from English into Russian.

You will work with non-specialised texts of different styles. This exercise will  help you to hone your ability to manipulate Russian grammatical structures and idiom with a high degree of accuracy and to convey  to a certain extent nuances of style and register. You will be encouraged to reflect on problems of translation and to develop strategies of dealing with them. 

Aims and objectives: 

The aims of this course, applicable in various degrees to translation from and into Russian, are:

  • to consolidate your knowledge of advanced Russian grammar and vocabulary;
  • to enhance your ability to manipulate complex grammatical structures and idiom in order to produce convincingly authentic renderings into the target language;
  • to give you confidence to employ paraphrase effectively when dealing with vocabulary gaps;
  • to develop the skill of conveying stylistic nuances and effects.
Course materials: 

The most useful preparation for this paper is to read as widely and as actively as possible authentic Russian texts and to continue to develop systematically your command of Russian grammar. Working on one or more of the following texts, both over the summer and during the academic year, will help you to expand your vocabulary and grasp of linguistic nuance:

  • Gary Browning et al., Leveraging Your Russian With Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes (Slavica Publishers, 2001).
  • Natalia Strelkova, Introduction to Russian-English Translation:  Tactics and Techniques for the Translator (Hippocrene Books, 2012)
  • Terence Wade and Nichole White, Using Russian Synonyms  (Cambridge UP, 2004)
  • Terence Wade, Using Russian Vocabulary (Cambridge UP, 2009)
Teaching and learning: 

You will be assigned to a group and teaching will be arranged in weekly classes for a total of 20 classes over the year; of these, ten will focus on translation into Russian and ten on translation from Russian. For the 'Translation from Russian' element, you will work on a range of passages of different periods, styles and registers, with particular attention to syntax, vocabulary and style. For the 'Translation into Russian' element, you will practice translating from various styles and registers of English, developing a command of Russian grammar, vocabulary and idiom.

For the SLC1 Moodle site, please see here


SLC1 is a three-hour examination and will consist of two exercises: (a) one passage of English prose, amounting to 300 words in total, for translation into the foreign language; (b) one passage in the foreign language, amounting to not more than 450 words in total, for translation into English. Both exercises must be attempted. These texts will normally be linguistically more demanding than those set in Part IB.  This paper is weighted as 70% of a full paper.

Course Contacts: 
Dr Elena Filimonova
Dr Bryan Karetnyk