Lesson 13 development

Poetry translation

Person writing different types of text on a piece of paper.
Figure 2. Person writing different types of text on a piece of paper via PxHere. Retrieved on October 17, 2022.


  50 mins            Teacher-Learners

Teacher asks learners to read the text about external aids for translation and discusses/reflects on such aids.
* Suggestion: Magalhães, Celia. Estratégias de Análise Microtextual: os níveis lexical e gramatical. In: Alves, Fábio; Magalhães, Célia; Pagano, Adriana. Traduzir com Autonomia – Estratégias para o Tradutor am Formação.

Students read the information about the poetry genre, the challenges of poetry translation, and some approaches to dealing with these difficulties in “The Translation of Poetry,”.JONES, F.R. Translation of Poetry. In: DALVAI, M.The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Teacher and learners then discuss the resources and strategies for the translation of poems, including:

  1. Characteristics of the poem genre for translation
  2. Holmes’s approaches for poetry translation

  50 mins            Teacher-Learners

Teacher and learners reflect on resources and strategies for translating poems – micro and macro analysis: parallel texts, lexicon development (lexical scales, grammatical class change, etc).

Teacher introduces the concept of corpora and demonstrates different types of corpora (parallel, static, reference).

Development and application

  50 mins            Teacher-Learners

Learners start their translations. Each learner is assigned a poem. The same poem can be given to different learners, depending on the number of learners and poems. Learners then start their translations with the analysis of the translation / annotation possibilities, taking notes of this process.

  30 mins          Individual

Learners start their translations, then write and revise the translation journals.

Guidelines for this activity: learners must translate the target poem using the tools presented in class and simultaneously describe the strategies, tools, resources and challenges found during the process.

  30 mins         Individual

In the final part of the activity, learners review and make the necessary adjustments to their translated text. Make sure learners are aware of the procedural nature of
translation. That is, both the translation and the revision can be revisited several times before the final product is achieved.

Final (feedback)

30 mins          Learners-Learners

Teacher shares with the class some highlights from students’ translations, pointing out to the terms and expressions that would require further research/ analysis and that presented more variations in the translation choices. Following each highlight, the contexts of the poems’ production, details and in-depth analysis of the source text are presented.


Analysis with teacher highlights on translation notes/translator diary.

Note: If you don’t have access to the texts suggested in this lesson, you may like to use another text and/or adapt the activities.


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