Department of Translation


Translation Project

Translation Project Record: 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19


Guidelines to the Translation Project (E-C and/or C-E)

1. Selection of Text
2. Working on the Project
3. Supervision
4. Format of Final Draft
5. Submission of Final Draft
6. Samples
7. Assessment Exercise
8. Assessment Guidelines

9. Assessment Rubrics
10. Translation Project Prize

1. Selection of Text


1.1. Briefing


The Project Coordinator will brief you on the project and give you a Project Approval Form towards the end of the first term previous to your final year.


1.2. Selection of Topics


You may choose material on any topic that interests you. However, you must remember that these projects are part of the third year of a university degree programme, and the material you select must be of a standard and content appropriate to this level of study.


Nevertheless, the translation projects should be a challenge, not a torture. While texts that are too easy are clearly not acceptable, you should consider whether or not the text(s) you are thinking of might be too difficult, especially if it contains a large amount of specialized vocabulary or is written in an abstruse style.


It is extremely important that you consider who might constitute your potential readership. This will help you decide whether the piece(s) you are considering is worth translating or not.


You are encouraged to look for whole texts, collections of texts by the same authors or on the same themes, or self-contained parts of a work, such as chapters from a book or acts from a play.


You should not choose material that has already been translated, unless you believe that you will produce a substantially different version. Of course, it is impossible to know exactly what has been translated and what has not, but you should search the Internet, look in bookshops and libraries, and consult members of staff. It is a good idea to avoid pieces by authors who are very well known, especially for the E-C direction, as these are very likely to have been translated. Of course, if you choose material from recent issues of scholarly journals, literary magazines, or other such places where quality writing is published, it is highly unlikely that it has been translated.


In normal circumstances you are not allowed to translate texts that are translations themselves.


You are encouraged to discuss possible texts individually with a member of staff, preferably with your first choice of a supervisor. When choosing your advisor and potential supervisor please consult the table at Sub-Section 1.6, which lists the interests of each member of staff.


1.3. Length


If you choose to translate from English for the long project, the length of the text should normally be at least 9,000 words (excluding punctuation marks). If you translate a Chinese text, it should normally be at least 10,000 characters in length (including punctuation marks). You may also choose to translate two half-length texts, one in each direction.


If two or more students are interested in doing the same text, they may opt to divide it up between themselves, provided that the text is long enough.


1.4. Submission of Project Approval Form


You are required to write a short piece (approximately one typed page) justifying your choice of a text or texts to translate. You should consider the merits of the text(s) and the potential readership of your translation.


You are also required to attach to your proposal a sample of your translation (about 200 English words or 300 Chinese characters) of each text you have chosen. This will help you and your advisor decide whether the piece is in fact appropriate to your interests and capabilities.


When you have had your project text(s) approved and signed by a member of staff, you should take your signed approval form, the written justifications for your choice, the sample translation(s), and a clean photocopy of the text(s) you have chosen to the Department Office and have your name checked off on the master list.


The deadline for submission of the Project Approval Form is the first weekday after the end of the examination period in the preceding term.


1.5. Allocation of Supervisors


Your may put down in the approval form up to four names as your choices of a supervisor. However, there is no guarantee that any one of them will be allocated to you. Teachers will start choosing supervisees during term break, and the list of supervisors will be published at or before the beginning of the term. You may start translating before the publication of the list, but there will be a small risk that your supervisor may ask you to change the text if it is a highly specialized one and the staff member who has approved your text is not able to supervise you for whatever reasons.


1.6. Full-time Project Supervisors' Areas of Interest (for 2019-20)


Name Preferred Direction Genres of Interest

Prof. Bai Liping

Literature, Current Affairs, Culture

Prof. Chan Lung-jan, Andy

Popular Fiction, History, Current Affairs

Prof. Chan Tak-hung, Leo


Literature, Psychology, Current Affairs

Dr. Cheung Yu-kit

Literature, Current Affairs, Confucianism, Hong Kong

Prof. Hui Ting-yan, Isaac

Literature, Popular Culture, Current Affairs

Prof. Liang Wen-chun, Wayne

Anything especially Literature (Fiction and Non-fiction), Culture and Current Affairs

Prof. Bunzel Linder, Birgit

Literature (comparative and Chinese), Culture, Psychology, Cross-cultural studies, Film, Poetry, Other humanities

Prof. Lung Wai-chu, Rachel

Anything but Religion, Science, History and Technology

Prof. Sterk Darryl Cameron

Anything especially Literature and Natural Science

Dr. Tang Kin-ling

Anything especially Culture, History, Current Affairs, China

Dr. Tong Man, Jasmine

Literature, Popular Fiction, Culture, Current Affairs


2. Working on the Project


2.1. Back-up Copies


It is very important that you keep back-up copies of your work. If you lose the only copy of your work that you have, supervisors have the right to refuse to correct or comment on work which replaces work they have corrected or commented on already.


2.2. First Draft


It is advisable for you to submit your first draft to your supervisor by several instalments. After you have discussed your first instalment with your supervisor, you should translate or revise the second instalment taking into consideration your supervisor’s comments, and so on and so forth. That way you may be able to show some improvement in your translation skills when you are working on the second half of your first draft, which is important for second assessment.


2.3. The Supervised Part


Under normal circumstances you are expected to produce one draft of the whole supervised part under supervision.


2.4. The Unsupervised Part


The last part of the project is to be done unsupervised. The length of this part is 3,000 English words or Chinese characters for texts that are 9,000 words or 10,000 characters in length, and 1,500 for texts that are 4,500 words or 5,000 characters in length.


You should start working on the unsupervised part about two months before the deadline for the submission of the final draft. If this part is done in a hurry, you are likely to forget what you have learned from the course and consequently unable to show any improvement at the end of the day.


This part must entirely be your own work. You should not discuss it with your supervisor or other teachers.


2.5. The Introduction


You are required to write an introduction with about 2,000 English words for an English translation and 3,000 Chinese characters for a Chinese translation. Those who have chosen to translate two half-length texts may decide for themselves which text to write an introduction to.


The introduction may include any or all of the following, depending upon the individual project:


a) A brief introduction to the source text, its background, and the author.


b) Why you chose this particular text to translate.


c) A textual analysis of the source text.


d) A section on strategies, methods, principles or theories learned in the Translation programme that have been utilised in the translation.


e) A section on difficulties in the translation process and how you handled those difficulties.


f) What you have learned during the course of the project.


2.6. Academic Integrity


You should bear in mind that the project represents your own work. Occasional consultations with your peers or teachers about overall translation strategies or the treatment of some small portions of the supervised part may facilitate the learning process and should therefore be permissible or even encouraged. However, to seek help in doing a substantial part of your project, especially from professionals such as professional editors or the staff of Lingnan's Writing Tutorial Service, will constitute plagiarism.


3. Supervision


3.1. Importance of Supervision Sessions


Since a substantial proportion of the Department's teaching resources are allocated to the Project, which is the cornerstone course of the whole Translation Programme, project supervision sessions should be taken as seriously as, or even more seriously than, regular classes. This means that once a session is fixed, it should not be cancelled either by you or your supervisor unless there are reasons at least as important as those that may justify the cancellation of a regular class. If a session is cancelled or severely interrupted (say, for more than 10 minutes), an extra session should be arranged to make up for it as soon as possible.


3.2. Appointment Matters


You should contact your supervisor as soon as possible, and fix a time for supervision within two weeks after the start of term. The teaching load allocated for project supervision is 15 minutes per week. This means that you and your supervisor should have at least seven 50-minute supervision sessions. If necessary, extra sessions may be arranged by mutual agreement.


You should arrive punctually for each session. If you arrive late or do not show up without a proper reason, the session will be regarded as having taken place starting from the appointed time.


As assessments by teachers other than your supervisor will be based solely on your final product, you will have to bear the consequence if the quality of your work is affected by insufficient supervision. If you are found to have failed repeatedly to submit your work to your supervisor in good time or make yourself available for the supervision meeting, your project may face a penalty of 10-100% of the mark.


4. Format of Final Draft


The following guidelines are set out in order to assist you to present your project in an acceptable format. Students who submit work that is not in accordance with these guidelines might be asked to re-submit their work and/or be penalised during assessment. Students who, for exceptional reasons, wish to present work in a different format must seek permission from their supervisor well before the submission date.


4.1. Order of Presentation


The different parts of the project that you are required to submit should be bound in the following order:


a) Title page;


b) Introduction;


c) Table of contents (optional);


d) Final version of your translation, with the source text on the opposite page. The source text should be on the left-hand page, and the corresponding translation on the right-hand page. Both the source text and the corresponding page of your translation should have the same page number, so there are two page 1's, two page 2's and so on. The two texts on the same page should correspond to each other line by line wherever this is possible.


The supervised and unsupervised parts should be separated by a page with the words "Unsupervised Part (未經指導部分)" written on it, together with the following declaration in both English and Chinese:


I declare that I have done the following part entirely on my own, without any help from my supervisor or any other person.




Date 日期:


e) Earlier drafts. These should be submitted in their originals with your supervisor's corrections on them so that the second assessor and the external examiner can clearly see the corrections and comments that have been made. Do not lose these drafts. Photocopies of drafts are not acceptable for submission. You must remove all traces of your name and the name of your supervisor from the drafts by cutting them off or blackening them completely. Do not just cover them with correction fluid or tapes. Failure to comply with this requirement may entail a penalty. These draft should be put in another folder.


4.2. Typing/Printing


Projects should be printed on A4 size paper (297mm x 210mm). The paper must be white and the print must be black. Ensure that the printing of the final version is of good quality.


Double spacing or one-and-a-half spacing may be used. Single spacing is not acceptable, except in footnotes or indented quotations. The type face should be easy to read and appropriate to an academic project. The Department suggests Times New Roman for English and 細明體 for Chinese. If in doubt, consult your supervisor, and present him/her with a sample of your work. Do not use sans serif typefaces, e.g. Arial, for your main text, though they are acceptable in headings. The print sizes should be 12 points for main text and 10 points for footnote text.


A new paragraph should only be indicated by the use of a three-to- five-space indentation in the first line, with the space between paragraphs being the same as that between lines. Leaving a whole blank line between paragraphs with no indentation of the first line is becoming more widespread in business and administration, but it is rarely used in academic or literary writing, and thus should not be used in your projects. A blank line between paragraphs and indentation is only used sparingly to indicate a major break within a chapter or part, and it is definitely wrong to mark all paragraph breaks in this way.


The left hand margin should be 4cm (so as to ensure that the text is not too close to the spine of the bound project), whereas the top, right and bottom margins should be 2cm.


Page numbers should be at the top right margin, or bottom centre or right margin, and should be in the same typeface as the main text. They should neither be too close to the edge of the page nor too close to the text.


Footnotes should be indicated with numbers rather than symbols, and the number should appear as superscript after the section that is being footnoted in the main text. However, in cases where there are both footnotes in the source text as well as your own annotations, it is best to present one as footnotes and the other as endnotes, using symbols (normally asterisks) for the footnotes. If the source text uses numbers, it is better to have your notes as footnotes and present the notes in the source text as endnotes with their original numbering. If the source text uses symbols, it is better if you use numbered endnotes for your annotations.


You may reproduce the source text by scanning or photocopying provided that the final product is clean. The advantage of these methods is that they are error-free. If you choose to re-type the source text, you need to be extremely careful in your proofreading.


4.3. Title Page


The title page must be clear, well set out, and carry all the information that is required.


Please do not add additional ornamentation here or elsewhere in the copy for submission.


The following details must be provided:


a) The words "LINGNAN UNIVERSITY" in capital letters across the top;


b) "Department of Translation" directly below;


c) The course code and title, e.g. "TRA318 Translation Project (E-C & C-E)";


d) The title of the piece you have translated in the target language. You may wish to highlight this by using larger print, but 18 points should be the maximum;


e) The title of the piece in the source language. This need only be in the normal print size;


f) The author's name in both languages, with that in the target language first;


g) The title of the book, journal or magazine from which your piece came, in both the target and source languages, with page references. Normal size print;


h) The name of the publisher of the book, place of publication, and date of publication, in both languages;


i) The date (month and year) of submission of the project;


Please click here to see a sample of the title page.


4.4. Binding


The final draft of your project must be bound in a way that looks formal and tidy. You should use transparent covers so that the title page can be read without opening the front cover.


Plastic rings should be used for binding. There must be no loose pages, and the bind should not be too easily undone. No pages should protrude outside the edges of the cover. Before binding make certain the pages are in the correct order.


Each of the earlier drafts should also be bound separately and securely. You must make sure that pages will not fall out, and you should still include a title page under a transparent plastic cover.


5. Submission of Final Draft


You must submit your project to the Department Office in person, so that a number can be assigned to each project.


The deadline for submission of the final draft is 3:00 pm on the first weekday of the week after the end of term. Projects submitted 1-14 days late may face a penalty of 20% of the mark. Submissions more than 14 days late may not be accepted.


6. Samples


If you would like to see samples of completed projects, please contact your supervisor. Each supervisor keeps a few samples, which can be inspected on the spot, but are not to be taken away.


7. Assessment Exercise


Your project will be assessed by your supervisor and at least one other teacher. The procedure for the assessment of the project is as follows:


a) After supervisors submit their marks, a double-blind second assessment exercise will be conducted for all projects--assessors do not know the names of the students or the supervisors, and supervisors do not know the names of the assessors.


b) All staff members except the one who has been elected the "Judge of Final Appeal" will take part in the exercise. The second assessor for each project will be assigned by the Department Office. Second assessment will be mainly based on the unsupervised part and the second half of the first draft, but reference may be made to the supervised part if deemed necessary.


c) When the grade given by the supervisor and that by the second assessor differ by one sub-grade, the former will usually prevail (but the Project Assessment Panel, consisting of about half of the teaching staff, may decide that the higher grades should prevail for that particular year). When they differ by two sub-grades, the middle grade will be taken.


d) If the two grades differ by more than two sub-grades, the project will be subjected to third assessment conducted by members of the Project Assessment Panel. Third assessors will also be assigned by the Department Office.


e) Supervisors may appeal against any upward or downward adjustment resulting from second or third assessment. These appeals are also handled by the Panel.


f) The grades given by the Panel will be final, no matter whether they fall inside or outside the range between the grades given by the supervisor and the assessor(s).


g) The Panel may refer difficult cases to the "Judge of Final Appeal", who is not involved in second and third assessments.


h) The "Judge of Final Appeal" also handles appeals lodged by students.


i) Cases mentioned in Points g) and h) will be handled by another member of staff if the project concerned was supervised by the "Judge of final Appeal".


j) The Project Assessment Panel or its representative(s) reserves the right to request any project student suspected of not having done the unsupervised part entirely on his/her own to attend an oral and/or a written examination.


8. Assessment Guidelines


a) The introduction is not assessed separately but is rather an integral part of the project. If it explains clearly the purposes and the corresponding strategies of translation and these are carried out in the translation, the project may be upgraded. If, on the contrary, the translation work conflicts with, or does not utilise, the strategies or aims laid out in the introduction, this may bring down the overall grade. The quality of writing in the introduction is as important as it is in the translation.


b) The supervised part shall be assessed based on the following:


i) The basic quality of writing in the target text (e.g. mistakes in grammar, syntax, etc.). Projects in the C-E direction will be graded more leniently in this regard.
ii) the overall quality of the translation (e.g. diction, syntax, style, etc.).
iii) The accuracy of the translation (i.e. did the student mistranslate sections of the text?).
iv) The level of difficulty of the source text.
v) The implementation of the various strategies, theories, etc. that the student discussed in the introduction.
vi) How much the student improved during the course of the year.
vii) The completion of the supervision process, i.e. going through the entire supervised part with the supervisor, either in one-on-one meetings or by email in the case of students on exchange.


c) The unsupervised part shall be assessed based on the same criteria as the supervised part, with the exception of items vi) and vii), which apply only to the supervised part.


9. Assessment Rubrics


Project Assessment Rubrics


A. The appropriateness and academic value of the purposes of translation and the translation strategies formulated in the Introduction, and the clarity of the formulation;

B. The quality of the target text and the extent to which it fits the purposes;

C. The degree of difficulty of the translation task; and

D. Completion of the supervision process.


Total Mark:

A (≦1.1) × B (≦100) × C (0.8—1.2) × D (≦1)


Notes on Items A-D:

A. The project should be given 1 mark if the introduction is fairly well written and if the purposes of translation do not require very special strategies. A mark of 1.1 may be considered if it has excellent academic quality. A zero mark shall be given if there is no introduction.

B. It is recommended that Assessment Rubrics for Translation Courses Version A1 be used for assessing the quality of the target text.

C. 1.1 should be the norm for projects in the C-E direction, but 1.05 and 1.15 may also be considered. 0.8 and 1.2 should be very rarely used.

D. Supervisees who have gone through the supervision process for the entire first draft or have meetings with the supervisor for a total of 7 hours should be given a full mark, while those who have gone through only half of the supervision process should be given 0.7, and those who have met their supervisors for less than 2 hours should be given 0.


Assessment Rubrics for Translation Courses Version A1

Aspect of Performance

Assessment Criteria

Max. Marks

Min. Marks to Pass

Marks obtained by Student


1. Completeness, Content, and Genre

  • Has the student completed the translation task?
  • How well has the student understood the source text?
  • Accuracy of names, figures etc. (if any)
  • Are the choices of language and register appropriate to the subject matter, genre and to the spirit and intention of the original as well as to the purpose of the target text?





2. Use of Language, and Technical aspects

The student’s command of the target language, including:

  • the grasp of the rules of grammar and usage
  • the quality of writing
  • their active vocabulary

Technical aspects include without limitation the following points:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Paragraphing

Legibility (for handwritten assignments)





Final Mark


Final Grade



10. Translation Project Prize


A maximum of four prizes of HK$1,000 each may be given each year to the best of the projects that score A- or above. The selection of projects to receive prizes will be made at the discretion of the Project Assessment Panel.



(Last revised on 26 April 2019.)