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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Translation in Practice by Nanjing University

173 ratings

About the Course

This course offers you basic but valuable techniques used by a good translator in the translation between English and Chinese. We’ll discuss what is translation, what is good translation, and learn about how to produce good translations. All the examples used in this course are taken from the course instructor's own translations of various genres and topics of writing. These examples are elaborated on to show you how to understand the idea, style and tone of the writer, the historical and cultural context of the writing, as well as the explicit and implied meanings of words, the grammatical structures of sentences, and the logic of sentences and paragraphs in order to achieve faithfulness, expressiveness, and elegance in the translation. After completing this course, you will know what makes a qualified professional translator and acquire the abilities and skills that such a translator needs...

Top reviews


Apr 6, 2020

Thanks for the efforts of Ms. Yuan, the instructor's and Coursera, the course is very good for improving my translation skills. It will be better to share some better translation in a specific thread.


Jun 16, 2019

The lecturer was very knowledgeable and skilful. The course content was very well planned and managed. On the overall, I am very happy to have participated in this course. Thanks!

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1 - 25 of 71 Reviews for Translation in Practice

By Gladis A

Feb 18, 2020

The course was misleading and disappointing.

I spent time on week 1 only to get to the assignment and find that it requires knowledge of Chinese. It could simply have been labelled English-Chinese Translation in Practice and saved me and other students a waste of time and effort. Not being clear as to the requirements of a course on such a high level platform geared towards professionals is serious mismanagement.

I also read the comments on the discussion board. Many enrolled students were mislead like me.

By Kristen S

Feb 18, 2018

This class was extremely informative and very comprehensive. I really gained a lot of practical knowledge about translation techniques that I’m sure I will be able to put into practice in the future. My biggest complaint about this course is that it is listed as a beginners course and requires only 3-5 hours per week of study. This is only true if you are fluent in both English and Chinese and well read with a large vocabulary in both languages. I have been studying Mandarin for over four years and have learned to an intermediate level, yet some weeks I had to spend 30 or more hours per week on assignments. One more area that could be improved are the content of the assignments. Some of them were very hard to understand even in our mother tongue and were taken out of context. A translator would always have the context of what they are translating and would likely have access to the entire work. So, in this regard translation in the real world may actually be easier than this course!

By Karam E

Apr 29, 2020

this review is for non Chinese, I haven't completed the course because its examples and illustrations are in Chinese which makes no sense for non Chinese.

By Carolina A

Oct 3, 2019

Although the course is aimed at Chinese translations, the professor manages to bridge that gap by introducing translation techniques that anyone can use.

By Deb

Feb 9, 2019

Very high quality materials. Easy to understand. Helpful to know Chinese,however.

By A. E H

Jun 25, 2019

Very useful tips for translating. I learnt a lot however, Ii was a shame that the activities were only in Chinese. Thank you! :)

By Maria G

Aug 31, 2020

This review is not about the course itself, but the following phrase of the teacher " ... a French translator named Gilles Ménage, formed the phrase, les belles infidèles, beautiful but unfaithful woman [FOREIGN}.To describe beautiful but faithful translation. Do we love women who are beautiful but not faithful or do we love women who are faithful but not beautiful?"

The teacher's comment is derogatory, stigmatizing towards women. To an equal degree of absurdity, it has zero context as even the interpretation of the french text is inaccurate. It is a discriminatory statement and should be removed for the purposes of education.

Secondly, the phrases 'les belles infidèles" is a poetic rhyme, the phrase in itself is unfaithful to the meaning, as it is a game of words. In French, Spanish, Portuguese our nouns and adjectives are feminine or masculine.

In 'les belles infideles" just as it stands with no surrounding context, the writer does not make it clear who is unfaithful, he plays and sensualizes the rhyme but he could be talking about: words, women, flowers, clouds, stars as all of these words are feminine and any of these words could complete the sentence. Personally, I interpret the phrase, "les belles infideles" just as it stands, that the poet is referring to the beautiful unfaithful - words - not beautiful women - that is a rudimentary analysis of the text. Poets tend to use female nature to sensualize text and color the meanings, nevertheless poets have never been famous for being factual.

A horrible choice of comment from the teacher about women,- Do we love women who are beautiful but not faithful or do we love women who are faithful but not beautiful? - it should be removed. It is denigrating and quite frankly a bit stupid. Is this what is called education these days?

By Gulbakyt K

May 5, 2020

Misleading description of the course. The Author should have written in prerequisites that the knowledge of Chinese is crucial for completing tasks. Only in Week 2 I understood that everything must be translated into or from Chinese. even if i translated from English into Russian or Kazakh I would not find reviewers. The main problem is that my university organized the access to Coursera and we as students were obliged to choose several courses and our marks are to be included into our general assessment, now this misunderstanding will lead to poorer marks for me. Very disappointing.

By Nafeesah A

May 31, 2020

Highly recommended for those interested in Chinese to English translation. This course is packed with a lot of useful and insightful information on key skills and knowledge required for Chinese translation, covering historical, legal and literary texts. The only downfall is that assignments are graded by other course-takers but not everyone has the same understanding of the marking criteria/language ability. Nonetheless, it is a great course worth the price and quality.

By Ahmad E

May 13, 2020

The assignments are all from English to Chinese so it should be mentioned that to enroll in this course you should be Chinese speaker.

moreover i can not unroll myself.

By pang v

Jun 17, 2019

The lecturer was very knowledgeable and skilful. The course content was very well planned and managed. On the overall, I am very happy to have participated in this course. Thanks!

By Fofana V

Feb 18, 2020

I am a francophone. can I apply for a certificate in this course? French is my first language and English my second one. I don't understand nor speak Chinese.

By Jazmine G

Jun 23, 2020

Misleading. Lessons are great but there is no specification that graded exercises will ONLY be valid for Chinese - English speakers.

By Luís A C

Oct 14, 2019

I have learned a lot in this course. Very objective and informative and carefully crafted.

I have only one remark to make: in the sign-up advertisement Coursera should make it clear that the students must have a good knowledge of the Chinese language, and their tasks will be evaluated by their peers, and that they should in turn evaluate them.

By Yugui W

Apr 7, 2020

Thanks for the efforts of Ms. Yuan, the instructor's and Coursera, the course is very good for improving my translation skills. It will be better to share some better translation in a specific thread.

By Jessica J

Nov 7, 2021

very intersting examples and vivid explanation. Good course to polish your translation skills

By Carol M L

Jul 11, 2020

Excellent course for translation training! Just what i have been looking for! The course teaches basic skills to translate from English language to Chinese Language and vice versa! It's a basic course yet VERY IN DEPTH and COMPREHENSIVE. The lectures are in English and the assignments focuses on practicing English to Chinese vice versa translations BUT the translation skills taught are also applicable for other language translations as well. The lecturer, Professor Yuan Yao is highly knowledgeable and explained all important translation points in detail. Enrolling for this course has helped me to build up my Chinese vocabulary and to gain knowledge about Chinese history. A big thank you to Nanjing University for creating this course, to Coursera for offering this course, to Professor Yuan Yao for her insightful explanations and tips, and last but not least to all my course peers for reviewing my assignments.

By David A J

Apr 28, 2021

Please be aware, this course is for people with high degrees of competence in both English and Mandarin Chinese. The course convener should change the name of the course to reflect this, as many people signed up for this course without considering this aspect.

This is a well-designed course for people with high degrees of competence in both English and Mandarin Chinese who want to explore the intricacies of Chinese<>English translation, either purely for interest or with a view to testing the waters before going on to do a full professional or academic qualification.

Dr. Yao's style of delivery was easy to understand and well-presented. Kudos to her (and no doubt her team of minions) for excellent presentation.

I enjoyed this course immensely.

By Chloe N R H

Jan 15, 2021

Excellent course for introducing people to the art of translation. However I do feel that deadline for assignments were rather tight especially for Week 3 and Week 4 syllabus. Week 3 has got six assignments to be completed all within the same date, while Week 4 has 4 assignments. I suggest the deadlines for assignments in the same week to be staggered. Topics covered in the whole course is very complete and I benefitted a lot from this course.

By Natalia

Aug 15, 2020

I found this course very helpful for the basics of my translation skills. However, sometimes it was very hard to complete the task, but I think this is definitely an asset. Some texts were very challenging and required a lot of research. What would I change? It would be very helpful if the tasks could be somehow reviewed by the qualified person, because sometimes, even if I got a high grade, I was completely unsure whether I deserve it or not.

By regina s

Mar 16, 2021

That was mesmerizing! Incredibly a lot of theory despite the fact that the target language is Chinese. I am getting the tertiary education as the philologist/translator. The course has become my stimulus to cultivate my knowledge of Chinese ! Feel motivated and blessed!

By 崔琳

Sep 17, 2018


By Federica C

Jan 2, 2021

I loved taking this course! The teacher is amazing in explaining everything clearly and with lots of examples! I learned a lot! The hardest part for me has beem writing the assignments: they are Chi-Eng and Eng-Chi translations of various lenghth and I'm not a native of neither of the two. Neverthless, I took them as a new challenge and tried my best to complete them. Thank you very much for offering this great course!

By Phillip T H

Aug 4, 2021

The teacher of this course is indeed very awesome! I have learned tons in this course. I love each courses for it specific purposes and translation skills. The peer review parts is amazing as well, from which I can learn a lot from my classmates. Love this course a lot indeed. Thank you Teacher!

By Jean B J

Nov 27, 2022

This course has helped me to be better at translation although I have not been a neophyte in that field.

I really enjoyed this course.