Singapore University of Social Sciences

Translation and Socio-Cultural Differences

Translation and Socio-Cultural Differences (CTI113)


CTI113e Translation and Socio-Cultural Differences aims to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural relationship between China and the English-speaking countries, with a special emphasis on its relations to translation. Through analyzing the socio-cultural differences between Chinese-speaking and the English-speaking countries and regions, students will develop awareness of key issues in cross-cultural communication between the East and the West and understand how translation plays a role in constructing socio-cultural identities and bridging cross-cultural communication. The course places a special emphasis on the unique socio-cultural contexts in Singapore and trains students to address such uniqueness in Chinese to English and English to Chinese translation.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, This will be administered on-campus.


  • Culture, Language and Translation
  • Cultural Differences and Similarities
  • Semantic Asymmetry and Culturally-Specific Words
  • Translation of Colours and Idioms
  • Translation of Religious Text
  • Food and Beverage Translation

Learning Outcome

  • Describe the basic issues in cultural relations between China and the Western countries
  • Identify analogies, false analogies and differences between the Chinese and Western cultures
  • Apply such knowledge in communication, translation and negotiation
  • Discuss how extra-linguistic forces can influence the way a text is translated and how a translator negotiates with these forces
  • Determine the presence and absence of the key cultural features in the translated texts and evaluate the effectiveness of the translation, given the original texts
  • Recognize the key cultural features in the translated texts and review the effectiveness of the translation, given the original texts
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