Courses & Units

Mixed Messages? The Everyday Art of Translation HUM310


This is a unit suitable for anyone curious about the challenges of communication in the 21st Century. Frequently, in our globalised society, we need to communicate with others across certain boundaries: space, different electronic mediums, time, culture and language. Even seemingly straightforward communication involves the translation of ideas between people regardless of whether they speak the same language. When multiple languages enter the mix, the potential for mixed messages and other communication glitches is heightened. This can leave us at crossed purposes, striving to translate and interpret meaning. Even within the confines of the English-speaking world we often encounter many of the same problems faced by translators and interpreters of foreign languages. In this unit, we seek to answer questions arising from communication across boundaries of all types: How do misunderstandings arise, even if we’re speaking the same language?; Do film subtitles really accurately reflect what actors in foreign films are saying?; How do you translate Donald Trump’s speeches in cultures where authority figures deserve unquestioned respect? What communication problems arise from the sudden unexpected relocations that result from of crises of all kinds? And what is the purpose of translation, what should we expect of it? For students with a language other than English, you can try your hand at your own translations, but this unit is suitable for all students, whether you are familiar with one language or many.


Unit name Mixed Messages? The Everyday Art of Translation
Unit code HUM310
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline Global Cultures and Languages
Coordinator Doctor Billy Badger
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse existing scholarship on the art of translation to produce a researched solution to specific, and complex, communication issues.
  • Implement analytical strategies and evaluation methodologies to produce a reasoned solution to complex communication issues.
  • Effectively communicate knowledge, methodologies and findings on the art of translation through a range of media (e.g. written, oral, visual).

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
091519 $555.00 $555.00 not applicable $2,324.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



25 credit points at Introductory level or higher


Teaching Pattern

Weekly 1 hour recorded lecture

On Campus:

Weekly 1.5 hour workshop

Off campus:

Weekly 1.5 hour zoom workshop

AssessmentProgress and Participation Portfolio (10%)|Project Proposal (10%)|Translation Assignment (30%)|Major Translation Project (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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