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Translation in practice

This module aims to consolidate your understanding of translation theories studied previously by applying them to the practical task of translating. You will engage in professional and collaborative translation, peer review, quality control, and specialised translation. You will use and evaluate the latest cloud-based translation technologies, including translation memories, machine translation and term bases, and undertake a range of complex translation tasks to and from your main language and English. Translation professionals will contribute to the module, and you will put their advice into practice when engaging in authentic tasks, for example, audiovisual translation and volunteering with open translation communities.

Vocational relevance

This module can be taken as part of the MA in Translation (F79) which provides an academic qualification for those intending to become, or who already are, professional translators.


L802 is a compulsory module in our:

Postgraduate Loans

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. For more information, see Fees and funding.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

This module aims to consolidate your understanding of the translation theories and concepts studied previously by applying them to the practical task of translating. You will engage with a variety of professional aspects of translation, such as analysis of text and brief; text, task and genre conventions; peer review, team working and collaborative translation; revision and quality assurance mechanisms; and features of specialised translation.

Through various activities and exercises, you will use and evaluate the latest cloud-based translation technologies, and manage a wide range of complex translation tasks to and from your main language and English with online tools and packages, such as translation memory software, machine translation and term bases. Translation professionals will be invited as guest speakers on the module, and you will put their advice into practice when engaging in authentic tasks, such as audiovisual translation, web and games localisation, and volunteering with well-established open translation communities.

The module content and practical tasks will introduce you to the different roles of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice, including ethical considerations and electronic tools training, to prepare you for entry into the profession. 

The texts to be translated will be taken from various domains and areas: advertising, charity work, tourist literature, medical, legal, financial, business, etc. Working with a wide range of texts will promote an understanding of different text-types, genres, textual features and functions, and the best ways to tackle these. You will learn to analyse source texts effectively so as to produce functionally adequate target texts that meet the requirements of clients and the expectations of different target readerships.

In addition, you will be trained in the use of parallel texts and other supporting documentation, with guidance on how to find - and assess the reliability of - available resources. This will enhance your ability to defend your translation decisions and to carry out effective revisions on other translators’ work.

By the end of the module, you will be a reflective practitioner, having developed a keen awareness of the differences and similarities between source and target cultures, as well as what is required for professional text-production. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other and with the rest of the students on your tutor group through the online tutor group forum. There will also be forums for all the students on the course, and these will be facilitated by a number of tutors on the module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Translation in practice (L802) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    To register for this postgraduate module, you should normally hold a UK honours degree or recognised equivalent from another country. You should be aware that a degree classification of at least 2:1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, please contact us for advice before registering on a module. 

    You can study Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, in combination with English. To successfully pass this module one of your languages (English or your other language) needs to be at a native or near-native level of proficiency (level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR), whilst the other must be at least at level C1 (Proficient user) of the CEFR. The Europass website can assist with assessing your European language proficiency. You are strongly advised that you should have the required linguistic competence in the two languages at the start of your study. 

    If your main language is English and you have successfully studied an OU level 3 language module, your language level should be appropriate, as the exit level of our OU level 3 language modules Mises au point: advanced French (L310), Variationen: advanced German (L313) and A buen puerto: advanced Spanish (L314) is C1.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End Fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Jun 2020 Not yet available

    Registration closes 12/09/19 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2026.

    Future availability

    Translation in practice (L802) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options. To find out more see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    All study materials are provided on the module website. This includes the module study guide and activities, audio/video material and a range of tools to support your study, including real-time conferencing and online forums.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (and where applicable: musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

    This module makes use of third-party translation software that is freely available on the web. The module team has chosen software which is as accessible as possible, but may not be fully accessible, particularly if you use assistive technology. Further information will be available via the Student Support Team to help you make a decision on your ability to study the module before registering.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.