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BAModern Languages

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Overview

If you want to focus on gaining fluency in one, two or three modern languages, our BA Modern Languages degree is for you. You will combine language study with translation and cultural courses in a ratio which suits you and your ambitions. Choose to study French, German, Italian and / or Spanish at beginners’, advanced or native speaker level, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening. You will study the core language components for each of the languages you have chosen, being taught by native speakers.

The remainder of your course will give you an opportunity to explore the literature, art, culture and history of the language areas you are studying, from seventeenth-century French theatre to representations of childhood and youth in German culture, and from Italian fashion and design to visual arts from all the corners of the Spanish-speaking world. As a modern linguist, you will develop excellent communication and research skills, and combine proficiency in multiple languages with cross-cultural perspectives.

In your third year you will have the opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying abroad, where you will immerse yourself in another language and culture, truly broadening your horizons in the process. You also have the choice to combine experiences in up to three different countries.

Programme structure

Year 1

Depending on which languages you have studied prior to starting at Royal Holloway, or are a native speaker of, you may choose to study up to three from:

French
German
Italian
Spanish.
All languages we teach have a beginners’, post-A Level, and native speaker level pathway, allowing you to study one ab initio (from scratch).

If you chose to study a language at post-A Level (or equivalent) or native speaker level, you will will be encouraged to take another ab initio (from scratch) in Year 1, which you may then continue in Years 2 and 4.

As a Modern Languages student you will take:

Critical Analysis for Linguists
In this module you will develop an understanding of the practice of critical analysis. You will look at examples from literature, film and visual arts, considering a range of cultural and historial contexts, with all passages given in English transalation alongside the original. You will examine techniques and approaches that are required for modern languages study, with an awareness of the cultural specificities of the language areas covered.

If you speak one (or more) language at native speaker level you will take:

Introduction to Translation – Professional Skills
In this module you will develop an understanding of the terminology and techniques of inter-lingual translation. You will look at the the roles and challenges of the professional translator across different translation scenarios, considering a number of text types, such as literature, journals, reports, manuals, marketing materials, business correpsondence and web content. You will examine the specificities of target language syntax and style, translaton scenarios and strategies, and communicative and sematic translation.

If you choose to study French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 1. If you have studied the language to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take French Language – Culture and Translation.

Intensive French for Beginners I
In this module you will develop your core skills in French without prior knowledge of the language. You will look at the basic French grammatical structures and examine the diversity of culture in Francophone countries. You will gain confidence in conversing everyday matters with clear pronounciation, and read simple written texts in French. You will become familiar with writing short paragraphs in French on everyday matters, or in answer to reading comprehension questions, and enhance your comprehension skills to understand simple recordings and conversations.

Pratique du Français I
In this module you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language, building a wide and specific vocabulary. In written French, you will look at a range of themes, including French Institutions, the French Revolution, ‘Laïcité’ and ‘La francophonie’. In spoken French, you will discuss and present on a variety of audio-visual materials as well as texts, with topics linked to French current affairs, media, cultural issues in French and other Francophone countries. In the practice seminars, you will gain enhanced listening comprehension skills, oral skills and knowledge of grammatical structure.

French Language – Culture and Translation
In this module you will develop an understanding of both French-English translation and critical analysis of French-language material. You will look at a range of source material, which may include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and / or newspaper and magazine articles. You will closely examine the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of French-language text types, and explore published translations of French material to discern the translation strategies adopted. You will consider a range of translation issues, including cultural specificity, untranslatability, intercultural communication, as well as stylistic features, idioms, techniques of linguistic compensation, and word order.

If you choose to study German ab initio (from scratch) then you will take Intensive German for Beginners 1. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard then you will take German Language 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take German Language – Culture and Translation.

Intensive German for Beginners 1
In this module you will develop you ability to understand common phrases and expressions in written and spoken German relating to basic personal and familial information, employment, and local geography. You will look at the structure of the German language and learn to write complex texts. You will also examine the culture and diversity of German-speaking countries.

German Language 1
In this module you will develop a broad general vocabulary and be able to understand natural, idiomatic spoken German. You will become familar with reading simple written passages of authentic German, identifying and analyising the syntactical and grammatical structures in these. You will look at a range of modern written styles and conventions, writing your own short passages on a variety of set topics, and discuss personal and cultural issues in written and spoken German.

German Language – Culture and Translation
In this module you will develop an understanding of both German-English translation and critical analysis of German-language material. You will look at a range of source material, which may include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and / or newspaper and magazine articles. You will closely examine the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of German-language text types, and explore published translations of German material to discern the translation strategies adopted. You will consider a range of translation issues, including cultural specificity, untranslatability, intercultural communication, as well as stylistic features, idioms, techniques of linguistic compensation, and word order.

If you choose to study Italian ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive Italian for Beginners 1. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Advanced Italian Language 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take Italian Language – Culture and Translation.

Intensive Italian for Beginners I


Advanced Italian Language 1


Italian Language – Culture and Translation


If you choose to study Spanish ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive Spanish 1. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Spanish 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take Spanish Language – Culture and Translation

Intensive Spanish I


Spanish 1


Spanish Language – Culture and Translation


Year 2

If you speak one (or more language) at native speaker level you will take:

Questions of Translation and Transcultural Communication
In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of communication and translation, and the key trends and tendencies within these fields. You will look intercultural cummincation and its political, economic and social implications, considering how meaning are carried between and affect different cultural contexts, undergoing shifts in the process. You will also examine broader questions of language and representaton in the globalised world.

You may continue with one, two, or three languages, depending on those taken in Year 1.

If you are stuyding French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced French Translation – Skills and Practice.

Intensive French for Beginners 2
In this module you will further develop your ability to communicate effectively in French, in writing or orally, with good grammatical and lexical accuracy. You will look at texts from a variety of sources and examine authentic recordings from a range of subjects. Much of the content is delivered in French, with the exception of grammar classes, which are taught in English.

Pratique du Français 2
In this module you will further develop your ability to communicate effectively in French, enhancing your linguistic and analytical skills. You will learn to write concisely, accurately and effectively, paying particular attention to style and register as well as to specific methods of analysis. You will study key themes, such as ‘Le travail en France’, ‘le malaise social’, and ‘les jeunes et la société’, gaining an enhanced understanding of contemporary French cultural and social issues. You will read and analyse texts from a variety of sources, ranging from literature to journalism, with particular focus on how to structure an argument. You will also look at the techniques of film analysis.

Advanced French Translation – Skills and Practice
In this module you will develop an understanding of translation from French to English through sustained translation practice. You will look at the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific problems generated when translating from French source text to English target text in a range of translation scenarios and across range of text types. You will consider common translation challenges, such as conversion, transfer, compensation, gloss, exoticism, deceptive cognates, lexical gaps and cultural specificities, as well as examining the constraints of character count and house style.

If you are stuyding German ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive German for Beginners 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take German Langauge 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced German Translation – Skills and Practice.

Intensive German for Beginners 2


German Langauge 2


Advanced German Translation – Skills and Practice


If you are stuyding Italian ab initio (from scratch) you will take Advanced Italian 2 for Post-Beginners. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Advanced Italian 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced Italian Translation – Skills and Practice.

Advanced Italian 2 for Post-Beginners


Advanced Italian 2


Advanced Italian Translation – Skills and Practice


If you are stuyding Spanish ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive Spanish 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Spanish 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced Spanish Translation – Skills and Practice.

Intensive Spanish 2


Spanish 2


Advanced Spanish Translation – Skills and Practice


Year 3

The third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying, working, or both. It is usually expected that you will spend at least 9 months in a country where the native language is the same as the language you are studying. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will support you in finding a suitable study or work placement, but you will also be expected to explore opportunities independently. Ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with yourself. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol for modules at a partner university in your chosen country. This year forms an integral part of your degree programme. If you undertake a placement then you will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards your degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for modules taken will be credited towards your degree. The same applies to your practical oral assessment on return to Royal Holloway from your year abroad.

Year 4

You may continue with one, two, or three languages, depending on those taken in Year 2.

If you are stuyding French then you will take Pratique du Français 3.

Pratique du Français 3
In this module you will enhance your ability to analyse and compare written material from different sources. You will develop competence in accurate and discursive French, and extend your oral presentation skills, with particular emphasis on the formal spoken register. You will look at extracts from French documentaries and feature films, and listen to recordings and podcasts, such as the France Inter and France Culture programmes. You will also look at a range of of cultural questions and examine the key features of French culture and society.

If you are stuyding German then you will take German Language 3.

German Language 3


If you are stuyding Italian then you will take Advanced Italian 3.

Advanced Italian 3


If you are stuyding Spanish then you will take Spanish 3.

Spanish 3


Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

As a modern linguist you will have excellent communication, analytical and research skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. You will have developed the kind of sensitivity to different cultures that is highly prized in the workplace. This experience and the skills gained will make you highly employable and ready to pursue a career in international business, finance, media and communications, the arts, law translation, travel, consultancy and teaching, both in Britain and abroad.

Graduates have entered a wide range of careers including many language-related fields, such as: international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting. Other graduates have gone on to be language assistants and teacher trainers, and many have gone on to advanced study in a variety of fields.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States