Interpretation I: Translation

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
INTR 2155
Interpretation I: Translation
Sign Language Interpretation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 1 hour per week

Seminar: 3 hours per week

Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • lecture/seminar
  • small group work
  • translation practice tasks
  • course readings/videos
Course Description
This course provides opportunities to practically apply a cognitive model of interpreting in which the interpreter actively constructs meaning based on cues provided by others. Students will develop skills in analyzing and translating ASL and English texts, exploring multiple parameters of discourse and message analysis. These may include speaker/signer intent, implied and explicit content, emotional affect, culturally-bound elements, and the impact of contextual factors.
Course Content

Key linguistic differences between English and ASL: 

  • Use of face and space 
  • Common sentence types, syntactical structures and discourse markers
  • Time/tense markers
  • Pronominalization
  • Prepositional and adverbial information
  • Pluralization
  • Contextualization and topicalization

Analysis parameters in English and ASL texts:

  • Variables of the cultural, situational, relational, psychological context(s)
  • Implied and explicit propositions, main points and supporting details
  • Culturally-linked elements
  • Linguistic register
  • Speaker/signer characteristics and goals
  • Emotional affect and tone
  • Metanotative qualities/style of the speaker/signer
  • Contextual force relative to target audience characteristics and goals

Power and responsibility inherent in the tasks of translation/interpretation:

  • Meaning-making as a shared process of co-construction
  • Linguistic and cultural mediation
  • Awareness of positionality and bias
  • Challenges in aiming for dynamic equivalence and impartiality

Steps and sub-processes in translation/interpretation:

  • Predicting what to expect from the discourse
  • Concentrating and attending to source message
  • Representing meaning, dropping source language form
  • Preparing to express meaning using target language form
  • Producing target message
  • Monitoring and critiquing one’s own process and results


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Use contextual cues to predict discourse content and intent
  • Use discourse mapping to represent meaning
  • Analyze English and ASL texts to identify speaker goals, linguistic register, emotional affect and culturally-linked elements
  • Prioritize text content, identifying main points and supporting details
  • Identify both implied and explicit propositions in source texts
  • Apply contextual factors to the process of meaning-based translation
  • Compose equivalent messages in the target language
  • Demonstrate the creation of culturally mediated translation texts
  • Explain the steps involved in the processes of discourse analysis and translation
  • Critically evaluate the relative success/effectiveness of a translation
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Evaluation will be based on a combination of individual and group work, and at the instructor’s discretion may include presentations, written assignments, papers, quizzes and/or exams. 

A typical distribution of graded assignments follows:

  • English to ASL Translation Assignment: 35%
  • ASL to English Translation Assignment: 35%
  • Quizzes: 15%
  • Written Reflection/Analyses: 15%

This is a letter graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.