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                                   Humanities Programme

           MScTrans Module One: Language and Translation
                                        Examination 2004-5
2.30 p.m. Wednesday 1st June 2005, Room ME220. Time allowed: three hours.

Answer two questions. Your examination answers and your assessed essay must all focus on different
material. This question paper consists of TWO pages, and there are THIRTEEN questions in all.


1.   Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of bilingual corpora by translators. In what
     ways would you consider the following to be a corpus as well: a translation memory, a
     terminology database and a multilingual website?

2.   Why would a typology of languages and its proposition of universals be of interest to translators?

3.   Discuss the various Skopos rules and how the Informationsangebot [information offer] which a
     text makes has its implications for the equivalence between the translation and its source text.

4.   The field of ethics is a peculiar one for every kind of profession, but in what ways are the ethics of
     translation more complex?

5.   What possible ethical issues could a translator encounter while using technology in translation?

6.   In what ways are cultural issues involved in localisation? Provide a theoretical background to the
     topic and discuss the issues as exhaustively as possible.

7.   Describe some ways in which noun phrases (NPs) and prepositional phrases (PPs) can be related in
     English phrase structures. Give examples of NPs occurring inside PPs and of PPs occurring inside
     NPs. Explain the distinction between PPs which are complements and PPs which are modifiers,
     giving examples. Use context-free grammar rules and phrase structure tree diagrams to explain
     your examples.

8.   Discuss the use of indexed logical forms as semantic representations. Distinguish between
     representations that use indices only for entities, and representations that use indices also for
     events, giving examples. Compare the use of recursive nesting to show the scope of predicates
     with the use of non-recursive “flat” lists of predicates, giving examples. Which of these alternative
     representations do you consider more suitable for machine translation, and why?

9.   In terms their applicability to different types of translation, just how versatile are current
     translation memory tools?

10. In their Analysis, Transfer and Restructuring model, what do you think Nida (and Taber) mean by
    the term kernels? What role do the kernel sentences of their model play in the translation process?

11. The sentence “As water, or springs, whiteness moves downward” is Whorf’s suggested back-
    translation of the Apache sentence which, we are told, translates into natural English as “It is a
    dripping spring”. What conclusions about language, thought and reality can one draw from this
    kind of very literal translation – and in what ways can it mislead?
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12. “As far as idioms are concerned, the first difficulty that a translator comes across is being able to
    recognise that s/he is dealing with an idiomatic expression.” Mona Baker, In Other Words. Say to
    what extent you think this true and illustrate with examples.

13. Lexicography is the art or craft of writing dictionaries. Describe the processes involved in the
    design and compilation of general language dictionaries. Would the same design and compilation
    principles also apply to specialised (LSP) dictionaries?




END
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                                   Humanities Programme

                MScTrans Module Two: Translation Theories
                                    Examination 2004-2005

9.30 a.m. Monday 10th January 2005, ME309. Time allowed: two hours.

Answer two questions. You should ensure that in your answers you specifically address the question
asked rather than writing a general essay on the broad topic of the question. Your examination essays
and your assessed project must all focus on different material.

This question paper consists of ONE page, and there are NINE questions in all.


1.   Why do you think it is so difficult to formulate a comprehensive, all-embracing theory of
     translation?

2.   What can the study of norms tell us about translation?

3.   Why is the notion of equivalence such a problematic one?

4.   How helpful is the notion of shifts to the study of translation, and what are its limitations?

5.   In your view, is the term universal of translation really justified? Your answer should include a
     general discussion of the so-called universals as well as a closer examination of one or two of
     these phenomena.

6.   “Either the translator leaves the author in peace as much as possible, and moves the reader towards
     him; or he leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author towards him”
     (Friedrich Schleiermacher, 1813). Discuss.

7.   How useful is the concept of metonymics as a way of explaining cultural transfer in translation?
     Support your answer with examples.

8.   Discuss the potential of corpus-based translation research to provide new insights into translation
     phenomena.

9.   What are some of the problems and potential pitfalls of planning and implementing a corpus-based
     research project?




END
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                                 Humanities Programme

            MScTrans Module Three: History of Translation
                                     Examination 2004-5
9.30 a.m. Monday 17th January 2005, ME309. Time allowed: two hours.

Answer two questions. You should ensure that in your answers you specifically address the question
asked rather than writing a general essay on the broad topic of the question. Your examination essays
and your assessed project must all focus on different material.

This question paper consists of ONE page, and there are ELEVEN questions in all.


10. How would you typify translation in Ancient Rome?

11. How significant and far-reaching was Constantine the African’s contribution to the translation of
    ancient medical texts into Latin?

12. Of all astronomical works progressing from East to West via Arabic the
    Indian/Toledan/Alphonsine Handy Tables were perhaps the most influential. How do you account
    for the enormous importance of astronomical knowledge to Western Christendom in the early
    Middle Ages?

13. Illustrate some instances of how vernacular languages in the Christian West profited from the
    process of translation from Arabic to Latin.

14. Describe the geographical and political context of EITHER the international phase of cultural
    transfer from Arabic to Latin in 11th and 12th century Iberia OR that of the romance phase as
    epitomised by Alfonso X in the latter part of the 13 th century.

15. Explain how the collaboration between Renaissance authors, translators and the flourishing Italian
    printing presses affected translation into the vernacular in Renaissance Italy.

16. Discuss the unique contribution made by humanist translators such as Bruni and Manetti to the
    Hellenic revival and to the translation of Greek texts in Renaissance Italy.

17. Characterise some of the forms which the search for the perfect language has taken over the
    centuries. What kinds of concepts have been behind this ongoing quest?

18. How did the increased power of EITHER the Church OR national governments affect the work of
    translators during EITHER the pre-Enlightenment OR the Enlightenment period?

19. Discuss the work of a translator, or translators, whose translations helped to disseminate new ideas
    in EITHER sixteenth OR seventeenth OR eighteenth century Europe.

20. Discuss the role played by female translators within the male-dominated discourse of EITHER
    Tudor England OR 18th century Britain. How successful were women translators of the time in
    subverting the original texts and thus succeeding in giving voice to their personal reflections?
    (Illustrate your answer by referring to specific translators and their work.)


END
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                                 Humanities Programme

  MScTrans Module Six: Language Engineering for Translators
                                     Examination 2004-5
2.30 p.m. Wednesday 8th June 2005, Room ME220. Time allowed: three hours.

Answer two questions. Your examination answers and your assessed essay must all focus on different
material. (NB This does not mean that you may only answer one question on machine translation.) This
question paper consists of ONE page, and there are SEVEN questions in all.


14. What is Language Engineering, and is it relevant to the work of a translator?

15. In what ways would you consider XML to be an improvement on HTML as a means of encoding
    information for the WWW?

16. “The use of (semi)-automated term extraction tools has helped minimize some of the repetitive and
    laborious tasks associated with the manual highlighting of terms”. Bearing in mind the features,
    performance and limitations of existing TE tools, would you agree with this statement?

17. How could concepts and techniques from natural language generation systems be used to improve
    the quality of machine translation systems?

18. Explain the problems, and some possible solutions, associated with the terms “argument-
    switching” and “head-switching” in machine translation. Illustrate your answer with specific
    examples.

19. Discuss the comparative advantages and disadvantages of any TWO approaches to machine
    translation.

20. Assume that you are asked by a client to give a professional evaluation of a machine translation
    system. How will you proceed?


END

								
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