Zsófia Gombár

Language of instruction



Course description

The main objective of this course is to familiarise students with the seminal texts of translation theory from Cicero to the twentieth century. It will explore the changing attitudes towards translation and review the different classifications that have been proposed throughout history. While the focus will be on the history of translation theory, certain aspects of the history of translation practice (mainly in the Portuguese context) will also be addressed. Students will be required to read and analyse a selected number of texts on translation theory as well as to participate in group discussions and presentations. Readings are arranged in sections featuring major movements in their historical progression: 1) Antiquity (Bible translation, translation of religious texts, word-for-word or sense-for-sense translation), 2) The Middle Ages (Toledo School of Translators, translation and the vernacular) 3) The Renaissance (Reformation, cultural identity), 4) 17th and 18th centuries (national literature, faithfulness and transparency), 5) 19th century (non-transparent translation, Schleiermacher), 6) 20th century (translation under democratic and dictatorial regimes, translation studies, and new directions).


Grading and Assessment

The students will be assessed on oral and written work. They will be asked to make oral and written presentations on the different items of the syllabus and on the selected bibliography.


Weighting will be as follows:

• oral presentations (40%)

• end-term test (40%)

• attendance, punctuality, commitment, and participation in class (20%)


Readings (selection)

•Delisle, Jean, and Judith Woodsworth. 2012. Translators through History. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

• Munday, Jeremy. 2008. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. New York: Routledge.

• Pym, Anthony. 1998. Method in Translation History. Manchester: St. Jerome.

• Venuti, Lawrence. ed. 1995. The Translator's Invisibility. London: Routledge.

• Venuti, Lawrence. 2012. The Translation Studies Reader. London: Routledge.


For more information, see the educational blog created within the framework of the seminar: