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SPC1: Translation from and into Spanish

In this paper you will be translating from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish. You will work with literary as well as some non-technical non fiction passages. The class offers you an opportunity to reflect on your translation practice and to improve your understanding of translation problems and your ability to tackle them successfully.

Aims and objectives: 

The aims of this paper are to:

  • Enhance your understanding of the complexities involved in translating literary or non-fictional passages of a non-specialized nature.
  • Equip you with the basic concepts and terminology to enable you to analyse and discuss translation problems.
  • Sensitize you to the relative nature of the notion of equivalence in translation.
  • Give you the confidence to make well-informed translation choices and defend them.
  • Hone your awareness of stylistic nuance.

The above aims apply, to varying degrees, to translation in both directions. The translation from English into Spanish component has the following additional aims:

  • Consolidate your knowledge of advanced Spanish grammar.
  • Enhance the range of your vocabulary in Spanish.
  • Sensitize you to language variation (social, geographical, societal)
Teaching and learning: 

This is a weekly class, which means that you will have a total of 20 one-hour sessions throughout the year, eight in Michaelmas, eight in Lent and four in Easter. The into English and into Spanish components alternate (some of you will have translation into English in weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7 and translation into Spanish in weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8, while others will have the into Spanish in odd weeks and the into English in even weeks).  It is essential that you supplement the work done in class with independent work. You will find additional materials and suggestions on the paper's Moodle site.


This paper is assessed in a three-hour exam. The exam consists of one passage in English (300 words) for translation into Spanish, and one passage in Spanish (450 words) for translation into English. You can access the marking criteria for this paper here.

Past papers and examiners reports are available on the MML Moodle website. When consulting past papers and reports, please bear in mind that from Tripos 2013 to Tripos 2017 this was a two-hour paper and passages for translation were shorter.

The SPC1 paper is one of three language papers you are required to take in your final year. Together, papers C1, C2 (which you can take in Spanish or in another language) and the Part II Oral make up the equivalent weighting of two full papers. The weight distribution is as follows:

Paper Weighting
C1 70% of a whole paper
C2 70% of a whole paper
CO (oral) 60% of a whole paper

You can take C1 and C2 in the same or in different languages. You must take the C Oral in the same language as either paper C1 or C2.

Course Contacts: 
Prof Ángeles Carreres (Translation into Spanish)
Dr Louise Haywood (Translation into English)