Theory and Techniques of Russian Translation

A.Y. 2023/2024
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide the students with some of the main issues in Translation Studies, in theoretical terms, but also in the specific Italian context, looking at their relevance to translating practice through the analysis of specific case studies and translation of selected literary texts.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will have developed a full awareness of the main issues in Translation Studies and of their practical relevance.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Course syllabus
The course, whose title is Theory and Techniques of Russian Literary Translation, consists of the following three units:

A: Contemporary translation theories and history of literary Russian translation in Italy (20 hours, 3 credits)
B: Translating Russian Literature (20 hours, 3 credits)
C: Translating Russian Literature (20 hours, 3 credits)

Students who want to acquire 6 credits should study units A and B; students intending to acquire 9 credits should study the whole program (units A, B and C).
Unit C will be taught in the second semester.
The course program is accepted until February 2022.

Unit A will provide an overview of the main contemporary theories on Translation Studies, with particular reference to the context of Russian Literary Translation in Italy, examining some specific case studies and comparing different translations.
Unit B and C will take into account the specific steps and skills required during the translation process: the preliminary work on different references, linguistic and cultural specific interrelation between Russian and Italian culture. Some specific information about publishing houses will be also considered. This work will stimulate a critical approach and a good methodological competence.
Prerequisites for admission
The course, taught in Italian and Russian, requires a B1 competence in Russian and C1 in Italian and a general knowledge of Russian Literature and culture (XIX - XX centuries).
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: lectures, translation practical work, group reading and analysis of target texts.
Teaching Resources
The course has a website on the Ariel online teaching platform, on which students can find all the texts and materials provided during the lessons.
The following list contains the optional and compulsory bibliography for the three units of the course. Editions of reference are indicated.
Bibliography for attending students
Introductory texts about translation
- B.Osimo, Propedeutica della traduzione. Hoepli.
or: Laura Salmon, Teoria della Traduzione (on line)
- Susan Bassnett, Translation Studies, London; New York, Routledge, 2013 OR
- S.Bassnett, Constructing Cultures. Essays on Literary Translation, 1998.

Bibliography for each unit
Unit A
- L. Béghin, Da Gobetti a Ginzburg. Diffusione e ricezione della cultura russa nella Torino del primo dopoguerra, Istituto Storico Belga, Roma, Bruxelles — Roma, 2007, pp. 9-121.
- Percorsi russi a Milano. La mediazione editoriale per la diffusione della letteratura russa nel Novecento, a cura di S. Mazzucchelli, serie Carte Raccontate, Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori, Milano 2013
- E. Garetto, Editoria milanese e letteratura russa, in: Milano città delle culture, a cura di Maria Vittoria Calvi e Emilia Perassi, Roma, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2015, pp. 271-280.

Unit B
- M.Bricchi, La lingua è un'orchestra - Piccola grammatica italiana per traduttori (e scriventi), Il Saggiatore, 2018

Unit C
F. Cavagnoli, La voce del testo. L'arte e il mestiere di tradurre, Feltrinelli, 2012.

Bibliography for non-attending students
Non attending students are asked to read both the texts by B. Osimo and L. Salmon.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is made up of a preliminary written test (with a provisional grade assigned) and of an oral test (grading of which is combined with the written test mark for final grade). The written test consists of the translation of an excerpt from a literary text of about 800/1000 characters and a shorter excerpt from an essay or non literary text. The time allowed is 3 hours. Students can use their laptops or dictionaries - both bilingual
and monolingual. The oral test includes open questions , a critical discussion and analysis of one or more texts from the bibliography, an analysis of two translations. This part has a variable duration and is carried out in Italian.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours