Master of Arts in Translating and Interpreting (MATI)

[This curriculum is applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2016/17.] 

The subject list is subject to revision. Offering of subjects is subject to the availability of teaching staff and viable enrolment number. Some elective subjects will not be offered every year. The Department has the discretion on the offering semester and class quota, which is limited by classroom capacity. 

Compulsory Subjects


Subject Code
Subject Title
No of Credits
Translation: Text and Context

This subject aims to introduce practical issues in translation through translating general, legal, business, scientific and technical texts, and using modern tools of translation. It will guide students to resolve different types of equivalence problems (e.g., by comparing parallel Chinese and English texts). It will also familiarise students with different approaches to translation, practice in translation of basic texts in various registers, using information technology to build up personal bilingual glossaries, and using general and specialised dictionaries. There will be a clear progression in the order of difficulty of tasks undertaken.

Translation: Discourse and the Translator
Aims to cover the following issues, from the point of view of the practising professional translator: Discourse Analysis and the practising translator; context & register vs. discourse; scientific & technical discourse; literature and creative writing. It will examine different text types & media, through the use of technical texts, financial & economic texts, and journalistic Texts. Attention will also be given to professional issues, such as translation management, documentation and record keeping. There will be a clear progression in the order of difficulty of tasks undertaken.
Interpreting: Principles
Aims to produce students able to undertake simple interpreting tasks, and to assist students to be confident in their ability to interpret, confident in their ability to improvise, thorough and self-reliant in their background research skills, familiar with interpreting skills and strategies, and able to manage their time effectively and be familiar with note-taking and memory skills. There will be a clear progression in the order of difficulty of tasks undertaken.
Interpreting: Consecutive
Aims to extend and develop student’s skills in the following areas: the nature of consecutive interpreting, glossary building, topical research, note-taking, the ethics of interpreting, and consecutive interpreting, where there will be an emphasis on accuracy, fluency, focus, cohesion, logic, tone, style, and register. There will be a clear progression in the order of difficulty of tasks undertaken.
Translation Studies

This subject aims to produce students who (i) understand the factors involved in communication across two languages; (ii) are aware of different levels of meaning in a text; (iii) can apply this awareness to evaluate both source texts and their translations; and (iv) are informed about basic issues concerning translation as a profession and technology-driven resources available to translators. It will also assist students to examine texts and analyze the linguistic and sociolinguistic issues underlying communication across cultures.

Advanced Translation
Aims to extend and develop students’ awareness of the pragmatics of professional translation, through a wide variety of text types and topics, in a variety of text media. Issues of theory will be tested against practice to assist students to develop a high level of awareness of their own skills as practitioners, and a greater confidence in their own ability to work to professional standards. Emphasis will be on the various issues related to editing and revising, such as: copy editing, content checking, consistency, stylistic editing, structural editing, procedures, parameters and degrees of revision, and techniques of self-revision.

* CBS587 and CBS597 are mutually exclusive.

Elective Subjects


Subject Code
Subject Title
No of Credits
Elective subjects in translation/interpreting/language studies (English):
Specialised Interpreting Programme I
This subject aims to provide an advanced level of training in consecutive interpreting (CI), using different kinds of speeches on a variety of topics. Practice will focus on interpreting into the two target languages: Chinese and English via practice of consecutive interpreting at full length or at various summarized lengths of the original. Attention will also be given to the compilation of glossaries of different subject matters.
Specialised Interpreting Programme II
This subject aims to provide an intermediate level of training in simultaneous interpreting (SI), using different kinds of speeches on a variety of topics. Practice will focus on interpreting into the two target languages: Chinese and English via practice of simultaneous interpreting of impromptu speeches and prepared speeches (aided with text).
Advanced Legal Translation
This subject aims to introduce students to the practice of legal translation. This subject establishes a theoretical framework for legal translation and offers extensive practice in translating key documents in a wide range of legal fields. The purpose of this subject is to enable students to gain insights into legal translation at postgraduate level.
Advanced Translation for Media
This subject aims to introduce students to the practice of translation for the media. This subject establishes a theoretical framework for media translation and offers extensive practice in translating materials in a wide range of media. The purpose of this subject is to enable learners to gain insights into media translation at postgraduate level.
Advanced Translation for Business and Commerce
This subject aims to train students in the practice of translation for business and commerce. Students will be introduced to basic concepts and principles relating to business and commercial translation. Through a variety of hands-on tasks and extensive practice in translating materials in business and commerce, students will acquire and apply specific strategies and techniques to tackle translation problems in various types of business and commercial texts. Students will also learn to think critically about ethical issues that professional translators face in the industry.
CBS587 *
Advanced Interpreting
This subject, being offered to students from the interpreting stream, aims to a introduce students to a more advanced level of interpreting skills, with focus on minimizing faux-sens and contre-sens, improving delivery in Cantonese, English and Putonghua; emphasis will be on aiding students to be able to perform while retaining all nuances, and on improving students’ public speaking skills in Cantonese, English and Putonghua. Attention will also be devoted to assisting students to achieve a higher level of awareness of the professional code of ethics.
MATI Dissertation
The MA Dissertation aims to give students the opportunity to work closely with a supervisor on the translation of a longer text of the student’s own choice. For English into Chinese, a total of 12,000 Chinese characters. For Chinese into English, a total of 10,000 English words.
Multimedia Applications for Language Professionals and Translators
This subject introduces the use of computer software and electronic resources in language-related academic activities. Students will learn about language processing on computers (with a special focus on the processing of the Chinese language), online language resources, and computerized language databases. The course will also touch upon some advanced applications, such as computer-assisted language learning and teaching, and computer-assisted machine translation. Techniques on sound recording and editing, animation, video editing will also be introduced. By the end of this course, students will have experience with both using language-related computer resources and generating multimedia materials for language learning and teaching.
CBS597 *
Advanced Liaison Interpreting
This subject builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in the prerequisite courses. Students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. The course also reinforces the ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques, and emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation.
Other elective subjects under MA scheme
Action through Text in Japanese, Chinese and English
This subject introduces a language-based approach to develop an comprehensive map of a variety of registers, genres and styles that is used and encountered in Japanese, Chinese and English. This approach enables users to capture social and cultural contexts according to which our experiences of the world are logically and sometimes subjectively exchanged among human beings with different and complex social roles and relationships in the form of spoken or written texts. Together with functional descriptions of languages as devices for linguistic exploration, the subject aims to enable students to chart their courses for the individual developments of academic and professional discourse and engagement for social life as a critical language user. Medium of instruction is both Japanese and English.
Contrasting Japanese, Chinese and English Discourse
This subject aims to enable students to systematically access meaning, function, structure and system of the Japanese, Chinese and English languages and to identify languages' different ways of making meaning in the structure of discourse. It adopts system-based and theory-based approach to discourse in order to compare and contrast functional workings of the languages in representing human experiences, establishing social roles and relationships, constructing logic and weaving texture into discourse. Students will not only grasp language specific characteristics of these languages through contrasting and comparing but also become able to acquire working knowledge of the ways in which such characteristics are put into actual use in discourse.
Special Education Needs in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing

This course will introduce to participant the causes and profiles of individuals with special education needs from childhood to adolescent. The course will introduce the following types of special education needs (1) developmental language delay and disorders; (2) developmental speech delay and disorders; (3) cleft lip and palate; (4) voice disorders; (5) fluency disorders; (6) specific learning difficulties in reading and writing; and their correspondence principles of assessment and management.

This course also aims at training students to critically evaluate relevant literature to promote lifelong learning.

Special Education Needs associated with Cognitive, Physical and Sensory Disorders

This course will introduce to participant the causes and profiles of individuals with special education needs from childhood to adolescent. The course will introduce the following types of special education needs (1) intellectual disabilities; (2) autism spectrum disorders; (3) attention deficit and hyperactive disorders; (4) physical disabilities; (5) sensory disabilities; (6) emotional and behavioural disorders; and their correspondence principles of assessment and management.

This course also aims at training students to critically evaluate relevant literature to promote lifelong learning.

Research Methods in Language Teaching and Language Studies
This subject aims to provide a systematic training on research methodology in language studies and language teaching, especially in second language teaching, which is indispensable for students wishing to conduct research on language-related study topics at postgraduate level, such as practicing as a teacher. The focus of this course will be on quantitative linguistic research keeping future and in-service teachers in view.
Introduction to Educational Linguistics
Students who have not taken subjects on pedagogical linguistics could learn the basic concepts of Linguistics, research areas and applications by taking this subject. For students who have taken general Linguistics classes before, by taking this subject, they will review and update their knowledge, enhancing it by learning about the pedagogical applications of the traditional areas of the study of sounds, words, sentences and meanings, as required to become competent Chinese teachers, who can deal with foreign students needs coming from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Teaching Chinese Vocabulary to Non-Native Learners
Students will get acquainted with recent research on foreign language vocabulary teaching/learning in general (mostly based on English) and on Chinese vocabulary building and acquisition in particular. A general introduction of vocabulary knowledge and the cognitive process related to learning words is followed by practical/pedagogical examples and techniques of building up foreign learners’ vocabulary skills. The students will learn how to prepare suitable graded teaching materials for the learners (readers with exercises and audiovisual materials) and how to develop the best assessment methods for the growth of vocabulary. This course also encourages them to experiment with their new methods, so that they can make the strenuous procedure of word learning more pleasant and motivating for foreigners.
Sign Language and Linguistics
This subject provides an overview of hearing impairment from two perspectives: the medical perspective (e.g., mechanism of hearing, hearing aids) and the cultural perspective (e.g., sign language, deaf culture). It will also introduce the students to the development of children with hearing impairment in areas of language, cognition and literacy.
Introduction to Chinese Language Testing
Principle of language measurement, Development of language tests, Assessing listening, Assessing speaking, Assessing reading, Assessing writing, Measurement scales, Language test validity, Language test reliability, Item analysis, Basic descriptive statistics, Item and test relatedness, Assessing language for specific purposes (LSP), Bilingual measurement.
Introduction to Cantonese Studies
This subject introduces students to various linguistic properties of Cantonese in a principled manner, so as to enable them to understand the differences between Cantonese and Putonghua and to pursue comparative study between the two in the future. Topics include the classification of Chinese dialects; Cantonese sound system and Romanization schemes; standard pronunciation; written forms of Cantonese; word formation; syntax and semantics of Cantonese particles; and the major syntactic differences between Cantonese and Putonghua.
Contrastive Analysis

This subject aims to provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of contrastive analysis and to familiarize them with the methods of applying these principles to a number of similarities and differences between Chinese and English. The emphasis of the subject will be on the basic grammatical properties of these two languages, drawing from current research findings in language typology in particular. Students are trained to analyze and solve linguistic problems they may encounter in the workplace, including but not limited to language teaching and translation. This subject will also contribute to the development of critical thinking, global outlook and cultural appreciation, and life-long learning.

Chinese Lexical Semantics and Corpus Linguistics

This subject introduces lexical semantics and corpus linguistics with focus on the Chinese language based on the perspective of language as knowledge system. Language as knowledge system is one of the most comprehensive perspectives to account for the complex system of language. To understand the knowledge system of language, it is essential to explore how concepts are conventionalized and represented in language, and what are the underling structure and possible cognitive motivations of linguistic meaning. And the linguistic approaches to these issues are lexical semantics and corpus linguistics.

The main objectives are to familiarize students with these two newly developed fields of linguistics, to help them to acquire the skills to analyze linguistic meaning based on empirical data, and to provide empirically verified understanding of how language works to support a wide range of applications and cross-disciplinary studies in language sciences, including but not limited to educational, computational, cognitive, clinical, cultural, neuro-, psycho-, socio- linguistics.

Digital Media Communication

In a highly competitive and globlaized environoment, the distinct characteristics of digital media communication can present both challenges and opportunities to corporations. Communication professionals are expected to understand the digital langauge and media landscape when strengthening coporate-stakeholder relationship.

Recognising the cruicial role of digital media for effective corporate communication in a globalized society, this subject offers a critical understanding and analysis of the theories, strategies, functions, use, and ramifications of digital media, particularly social media from an applied linguistics perspective.

Selected Readings of the Eight Writers of the Tang and Song Era
In classical prose writing, the Tang and Song era is considered the peak, serving as a link between the previous era and the following era. Eight writers have been acclaimed as masters of the art: Han Yu, Liu Zongyuan of the Tang Dynasty, and Ouyang Xiu, Zeng Gong, Wang Anshi, Su Xun, Su Shi, and Su Zhe of the Song Dynasty. To have a comprehensive understanding of their works, a wide range of genres from each writer are selected to be studied in three ways: the uniqueness of their writing; their styles in contrast with that in the previous era; and how these writers inherited the tradition and how they influenced the late comers.
Poetry of the Tang and Song Era
This subject offers a critical study of selected works of Tang poetry and Song ci with a focus on their stylistic development and artistic achievement. The subject is divided into two parts. In the first part, poems in different periods of Tang Dynasty (early, high, middle and late) are selected for reading. The emphasis will be on the works of Li Bai, Du Fu, Gao Shi and Wang Wei. In the second part, Song ci of Liu Yong, Su Shi, Zhou Bangyan (of Northern Song), Jiang Kui and Xin Qiji (of Southern Song) will be selected for in-depth study. The course also covers works of the distinguished female ci author Li Qingzhao. Students are encouraged to get familiar with their works and style.
Hong Kong Literature

This subject aims to provide students with general knowledge of Hong Kong literature with a focus on popular literature as reflected in selected works from poetry, prose and fiction. Students will familiarize themselves with the development of poetry, prose, novel and drama in Hong Kong literature; to develop an ability to appreciate and analyze Hong Kong literary works from different angles; to understand the relationship between Hong Kong literary works and society; and to improve their teaching ability of Chinese literature.

Teaching Chinese Grammar to Non-native Speakers
Teaching Chinese Grammar to Non-native Speakers is a practical subject which builds on the foundational knowledge of Chinese grammar. It aims to help students to explore various ways in which knowledge about Chinese grammar can be applied to Chinese language teaching. It also helps students to understand the implications of pedagogical grammar and to master its practical classroom applications.
Using Reading to Teach Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages
This course has two directions: It provides an overview of recent research on reading theories applied to foreign language teaching, and leads to their applications for Chinese instructors. The theoretical reflection points students to their own research and dissertations, while the practical application trains them to work out intensive reading programs for international students.
Teaching of Chinese Characters and Words to Non-native Learners
This course introduces to students the basic structure and evolvement of Chinese characters, the morphological pattern of Chinese words, the psychological processes of character and word acquisition, analysis and explanation of word meaning, and analysis & compilation of teaching materials on Chinese characters and words.
Chinese Language and Culture
This course aims to provide students with opportunities to explore and examine various social, cultural and scientific aspects in the study of Chinese language, to gain a general understanding of the Chinese society and cultural tradition, and to learn to appreciate the intra- and inter-social and cultural values of Chinese language.
Intercultural Communication
This subject offers a general introduction to the key theories of the field of intercultural communication, their applications for Chinese instructors (translators, interpreters) working at the focal point of international encounters. Through an overview of the development of the critical reflection on the functioning of different cultures and civilizations in an increasingly globalized world, our students should become aware of the roots of intercultural problems, and how to resolve them peacefully and fruitfully. They will learn to appreciate socio-cultural values of their own society, as opposed to those of people coming from other lingua-cultural communities. The subject will also develop students' ability to move between cultures, produce interculturally acceptable teaching materials and demonstrate high quality intercultural instruction more easily.
Psycholinguistics studies the psychological and neurobiological factors that allow humans to acquire, use, understand and produce language. The first part of the subject offers a systematic introduction to the key topics in psycholinguistics, examining the mental processes involved in speech perception, word recognition, language comprehension and production. The second part of the subject focuses on Chinese psycholinguistics, differences between processing Chinese and processing English, and bilingual processing in relation to translation and interpretation. The subject intends to stimulate students' interest in psycholinguistics and help them recognize how the mind and brain deal with language in general, and Chinese and English in particular, in daily life communication and in professional contexts such as language teaching, translation and interpretation.
This subject provides an overview of the cognitive and neural processes that are critical for the production and comprehension of language, and the influence of language disorders on those processes. It will help students to develop an understanding of diverse topics including brain models of language processing, language acquisition and development, and language disorders. An emphasis will be placed on the Chinese language such as Cantonese and Mandarin.
Experimental Phonetics
This subject provides a solid foundation in phonetics and phonology. The scope of the subject covers articulatory phonetics (how speech sounds are produced), acoustic phonetics (i.e. the physical properties of speech sounds), auditory phonetics (i.e. how speech sounds are perceived by the listener), and basics of phonology (i.e. the system of speech sounds of a language). Language materials used in this subject mostly come from English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Students will also learn about basic experimental methods and tools for research in phonetics and phonology.
Statistical Methods in Language Research
This is an introductory course to statistical analysis used in language studies. This course includes fundamental concepts in statistics, methods of descriptive and inferential statistics with application in analyzing quantitative linguistic data and solving linguistic problems. In particular, we focus on experimental designs, simple linear regression, hypothesis testing and statistical modeling of linguistic data. It offers hands-on experience with statistical analysis software, and provides students with theoretical background in statistics enough to understand the software output, and make a critical review of the results in a qualitative study. Students are also trained to report statistical results of linguistic data for their own projects.

Remarks: Some translation subjects are taught in English and Mandarin.

Credit transfer can be granted for compulsory subjects on a case-by-case basis subject to prior approval.