Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Translation in Practice

Nanjing University via Coursera


This course offers you basic but valuable techniques used by a good translator in the translation between English and Chinese. We’ll discuss what is translation, what is good translation, and learn about how to produce good translations.

All the examples used in this course are taken from the course instructor's own translations of various genres and topics of writing. These examples are elaborated on to show you how to understand the idea, style and tone of the writer, the historical and cultural context of the writing, as well as the explicit and implied meanings of words, the grammatical structures of sentences, and the logic of sentences and paragraphs in order to achieve faithfulness, expressiveness, and elegance in the translation.

After completing this course, you will know what makes a qualified professional translator and acquire the abilities and skills that such a translator needs


  • A Brief Introduction to Translation
    • This module discusses why translation matters, what is translation, and what is good translation. It also gives an overview of the content of the entire course.
  • The Process of Translation
    • This module discusses the four-step process of translation. Each step is discussed in detail.
  • Understanding and Expressing Word Meaning
    • This module discusses how to understand word meaning in the source language and how to express word meaning in the target language.
  • Sentence Translation: Word Order, Division, and Combination
    • This module discusses the techniques often used in the translation of sentences: keeping/changing the original word order and dividing/combining sentences.
  • Cultural Elements in Translation
    • This module discusses the awareness of cultural elements in the source language and the translation of these cultural elements.
  • Translation of Different Genres of Writing
    • This module discusses the translation of different genres of writing, including scientific writings, legal documents, public speeches, and literary works.

Taught by

Yuan Yao


3.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.3 rating at Coursera based on 143 ratings

Start your review of Translation in Practice

  • Sharon Lake

    Sharon Lake is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.

    The facilitator was very good and the course well presented. I could not continue because it treated English and Mandarin, I do not know Mandarin. Please do a Translation course in English/Spanish or English/French. Thank you!

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.