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Culture Studies for Translators


Admission requirements

Students should be sufficiently proficient in English and Dutch. This course is part of the minor Translation and cannot be taken separately.


Why do Albanians have 27 different words for moustache? Why is there no word for “understatement” in the Dutch language? Whatever the answer to these questions may be, it can surely not be denied that language is inextricably bound up with culture. There are countless examples of concepts in one language that simply do not exist in the other, such as the British phenomenon of “opting-out schools”, or concepts that have no exact equivalent in other languages, like the Dutch word “notaris”, or the American word “ranger”. The above are just a few xamples to illustrate the problems a translator has to tackle every day. In order to be able to produce correct and readable translations, a translator must have a comprehensive knowledge not only of the source and target languages themselves, but also of the cultures of both the source and target language. In this course, you will not only learn many things about the United Kingdom and the United States, but you will also learn how to apply your knowledge about the cultures of the Netherlands, the UK and the US to translation problems that may result from cultural differences between these countries.

Course objectives

  • comprehensive knowledge of American and British culture

  • insight into the differences between source and target cultures

  • ability to apply the above knowledge and insight in translations, and tackle translation problems resulting from differences between source and target cultures


The timetable is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Tutorials: 28

  • Study of compulsory literature: 75

  • Preparation tutorials / assignments: 100

  • Preparation exam: 75

  • Exam(s): 2

Assessment method


  • written examination (including essay questions)




  • written examination (including essay questions)

Students are only allowed to resit the exam if their mark is a 5,0 or lower

Exam review

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class..


Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than three tutorials means that students will be excluded from taking exam (or essay or other assignments) and resits. Consequently, the course cannot be completed during that particular academic year. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Is Blackboard used in the course? Yes/No. If so, in what manner?

Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting course materials

  • announcements

Reading list

  • Reader Culture Studies for Translators. Blackboard

  • Oakland, John. American Civilization. New York: Routledge. (latest edition)

  • Oakland, John. British Civilization. London: Routledge. (latest edition)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.


Routledge, the publisher of American Civilization and British Civilization, regularly publishes new editions. You are recommended to buy the latest edition available.