The End-of-Semester Test was held on Thursday 5th December from 11 am to 1 pm in Aula 14 VC. I gave back the invented tourist text for a holiday let Homework from last week. Anyone who hasn't yet handed that work in can leave it in my pigeon hole in VSR. 

It is going to take me a long time to mark this Test, but when I have done so I shall put up a Choice file in our section of the page for you to book an appointment to come to look at your Test with me and see how you have done.


Lesson 9 Thursday 28th November

Today was the last lesson. Next week during the lesson time and in the usual room (Aula 14, VC) we shall have the Test. Remember that there will be no use of Dictionaries or any other material except your own copy of the Dispense. Mobile phones will be put on the front text for the duration of the Test. No talking, chatting, copying, collaborating, etc., etc. will be allowed or tolerated. I shall give you a piece of paper on which to write the neat copies of the two texts. If you wish to make rough copies you may use a piece of your own paper, but this will also have to be handed in.

We corrected the Cloze Text which you had done for Homework, going through several variants for positive adjectives. Correct versions will be on the Moodle page shortly for anyone who missed the lesson.

We talked about the relationship between the SL and the TL text in Translation and pointed out that the Translator is a mediator between two languages and two cultures. S/he therefore will produce a TL text which meets the expectations of the TL readers and may have to omit or add information to the content depending on the knowledge which TL readers will bring to the TL text which will often be very different from that of the SL readers.

We went through the other Fiesole text which some of you had mistakenly done as Homework two weeks ago, stressing again the need to provide more information and a more direct, personal and enthusiastic tone for the TL reader. We then went through the Lincoln text which required considerable modulation and some omission in the TL text with respect to the SL text which was a fairly extreme example of the conventional English Tourist Text enthusiasm, direct address, personal and inviting tone and history obsession! For the more reserved conventions of Italian Tourist Texts, all the direct address (imperatives) and reference to ‘you’ and ‘we/us’ needed to be removed and replaced by impersonal forms and passives. All re fence to breathing, digesting, gems, hidden, happy and enjoy needed to be removed. Some more information (but very compact) needed to be added to the mention of the Magna Carta (in Italian Magna Charta) which forms part of the standard knowledge of almost all English language readers, but only a small proportion of potential Italian tourists. William the Conqueror is Guglielmo il Conquistatore in Italian and King John is Giovanni Senzaterra. ‘Uphill’ needed to have ‘la zona alta della città’ added to it.

I forgot to ask you to hand in the invented holiday let text which you had prepared for this week’s Homework. Some of you handed them in before leaving the lesson but for those who (like me!) had forgotten to hand them in, please leave them for me in my pigeon hole in VSR or bring them to hand in at the Test next week.


Revise for the Test next week Read the texts in the Dispense so that you know what might come in useful.

Lesson 8 Thursday 21st November

Today was the penultimate lesson, so we have one more next week and then the week after that, Thursday December 5th, we shall have the End-of Semester Test.

We corrected the Cloze Text which you had done for Homework, going through several variants for positive adjectives. I gave back your Fiesole Homework and collected in the Lincoln Homework. We finished going through the Pescia text which we had started but not had time to finish last week. The long sentence about the Museums needed to be shortened and once again made much more direct, personal and inviting for a potential tourist in English.

For the Fiesole text, there had obviously been some confusion about which text to translate. I had intended you to translate the very spare text on page 19/20/21 (or whatever!) since it was an extreme example of the typical Italian impersonal, factual tourist text and thus offered lots of opportunities to transform it into the appropriate style and tone in the English translation! Starting from the title, something more inviting and alluring needed to be provided, including also information on where Fiesole is, since not all tourists will know this. This information could also be added to a first sentence which could introduce the place, making it sound attractive and directly addressing the tourist. Each ‘section’ needed to be provided with subjects and verbs, positive adjectives and possible direct reference to the tourist. As with all the other texts we have dealt with, the centuries should be put using Arabic numerals (15th century) and the historical or artistic periods need to have capital initial letters (Roman). Once again there was the phrase “built on the site of a former …) -in this case, pagan temple. The “materiali di spogli” had created some problems, best solved with “using material from earlier Roman buildings”. With respect to the “Appuntamenti”, “Events”, or, “Things to do” could be used, but many more details and encouraging phrases needed to be added.

Homework for the next lesson (28.11.19)

(i) Do the latest Cloze Test in our Section of the page: Cloze Test 3-

(ii) Write a short Tourist Text in English about a holiday let, that is, a house or flat, or Farm Holiday where tourists rent accommodation for a short time for their holiday. Invent a place of this kind in Italy and describe it using the conventions of English Tourist Texts and the appropriate language for holiday lets.

Lesson 7 Thursday 14th November

We have two more lessons left now, after today, Lesson 8 on Thursday 21st November and Lesson 9 on Thursday 28th November. The week after that, Thursday 5th December, we shall have the End-of-Semester Test during the lesson time and in the usual lesson room (Aula 14, VC), The Test will consist of two short Tourist Texts to translate, one from Italian to English and one from English to Italian. No Dictionaries will be allowed, nor any use of mobile phones or computers. It will, however, be possible for students to consult their own copy of the Dispense during the Test, using it as a reference text.

We corrected the Word Formation Exercise you did for Homework and then did some more work on Word Formation of nouns from verbs and adjectives from nouns.

explain explanation

exclaim exclamation

proclaim proclamation


claim claim

complain complaint

maintain maintenance

remain remainder; remnant

except exception


accept acceptance

expect expectation

suspect suspicion; suspect

suppose supposition

compose composition; composure

propose proposition; proposal

suspend suspension; suspence (s in American English)

pretend pretension; pretence (s in American English)

recommend recommendation

save         safety; salvation; savings

conspire conspiracy

expire      expiry

vary          variety; variation

laugh         laughter; laugh

hate           hatred; hate


Adjectives can be formed from nouns by the addition of a suffix: ‘-ful’; ‘-less’

beauty beautiful

wonder wonderful

hope hopeful

harm harmful

use useful

help helpful

fruit fruitful

grace graceful

disgrace disgraceful

awe awful

Adjectives can be formed from nouns by the addition of a suffix: ‘-ful’; ‘-less’

hope hopeless

harm harmless

use useless

help helpless

fruit fruitless

doubt doubtless

end endless

home homeless

child childless

We looked together at some of the texts in the Dispense which deal with Accommodation in order to discover the appropriate language for this are of Tourist Texts. We looked at the Accommodation in Norwich text on page (approx.) 20 and noticed the convention of expressing distance in time: "a 3 minute walk from..." "within easy walking distance  [of]" as well as the standard phrase "How to get there" to introduce the section on travel and access details and the phrases "X is easily accessible from  ...". The technical language of Accommodation was "ensuite", "hospitality tray", "tea and coffee making facilities", "ironing facilities", "Vegetarians catered for". We noticed also the convention of stating that the place is "the perfect"and ideal base to explore the city", a phrase which is often also used for Farm Holiday locations. The text was also rich in the standard phrases and content for English Tourist Tests, using direct address ("Pamper yourself ...", "Indulge yourself ...", references to history ("steeped in history") and positive adjectives and adverbs: ("pretty riverside walks", "ideally located"). We also looked at the pages from the Citalia site (Approx. pp.6-8) and looked at the words and phrases used to describe Tuscany and its characteristics. The verb 'to be set' and the noun 'setting' are very characteristic for giving the location of a holiday place. We also looked at the bad translatlon of an 'agriturismo' (approx. p.19) and tried to correct it together.

I gave back the translations you had done for Homework on Pescia and collected in the Fiesole Homework. We didn’t have time to go through all of the Pescia text together, so we shall start next week’s lesson by completing that. It was a good idea to add a positive adjective to the title, to make it more inviting for an English-language tourist, for example, “Pescia and its stunning surroundings”, or even to use something like “Step back in time in the delightful Tuscan town of Pescia”. Part of the translation process in this kind of text is to fulfil the TL reader’s expectations, so quite a lot of modification of the SL text in order to achieve this is appropriate. The first sentence of the text was very difficult to deal with and create an attractive sentence in English. Making Pescia the subject (rather than ‘It seems ... ‘, impersonal structures are not generally used in English tourist texts) was a good idea, possibly with a positive , or at least informative, adjective as well: “The attractive/historic/Tuscan town of Pescia …. “. The very long sentence listing all the historic buildings needed to be divided into two or three shorter sentences. “centro storico” is best translated with “the old town centre” or “the old town”. The artistic period is “Romanesque” (”romanico”).

Homework for next lesson (21.11.19)

(i) Translate the text on Lincoln (page 29/30/31)

(ii) Do Cloze Test 2 on the Moodle page.

Lesson 6 Thursday 7th November

There was almost full attendance and you had even filled in the front row, so you had obviously benefitted from the break in lessons! We corrected the Cloze Test and Word Formation Exercise which you had done for homework. I told you again that it is essential to read the texts very carefully several times before you start filling in the blanks and particularly to notice any parallel phrases or lexis which might help in filling in one of the blanks. You should also read through the texts once you have filled in the blanks to judge the text as a coherent unit from both the sense and the grammatical point of view. The Answers are now visible in our section of the page for anyone who missed the lesson.

We then did some more material on Word Formation, on the suffixes used to make nouns from verbs, adjectives and other nouns: ‘ment’, ‘-ion’, ‘-ity’, ‘-ness’, ‘-hood’ and ‘-al’, ‘-ism’ and ‘ence’.


develop – development

state – statement

enjoy - enjoyment

require – requirement

manage – management

excite – excitement

invest – investment

‘-ion’ (‘-tion’ or ‘-sion’) This is the most common form:

If the verb ends in ‘e’, the ‘e’ disappears and is replaced by ‘a’:

create – creation

hesitate – hesitation

fluctuate – fluctuation

evaluate – evaluation

procrastinate – procrastination

If the verb ends in ‘e’, the ‘e’ disappears and is replaced by ‘a’:

explore – exploration

combine – combination


distribute – distribution

complete – completion

compete – competition

If the verb ends in ‘t’, ‘ion’ is added:

instruct – instruction

transact – transaction

If the verb ends in ‘m’ or ‘n’ ‘ation’ is added:

inform – information

resign – resignation

explain – explanation (+ ‘i’ disappears!)


decide – decision

explode - explosion

acquire – acquisition

modify – modification

administer – administration

tense – tension

‘-ness’ (nouns formed from adjectives):

happy – happiness (NB ‘y’ becomes ‘i’)

sad – sadness

useful – usefulness

‘-ity’ is another common form and follows the pattern of Italian ‘-ità’

equal – equality

responsible – responsibility

subjective - subjectivity

‘-ship’ or ‘-hood’ (nouns formed from other nouns):

relation – relationship

friend – friendship

partner – partnership

neighbour – neighbourhood

sister – sisterhood

Other forms:

‘-al’ , ‘-ism’ ‘-ence’

remove – removal

refuse – refusal

propose – proposal

try - trial

deny – denial

critic – criticism

interfere – interference

refer – reference

suspend – suspense

I then went over points connected with your homework on writing a tourist text in English which I had marked over the break. The point of the Exercise had been to use the various conventions of English tourist texts which we have been discovering both in the notes in the Dispense, as well as the numerous examples of authentic English tourist texts which are in there, since this is what you need to do when translating tourist texts from Italian into English. Not everyone had done this; a few students had done a little of this and several had made good use of the material, but many of the texts were Italian texts with English lexis! The style and tone of English tourist texts is markedly informal, familiar, direct

and inviting. The intention is to persuade the reader to want to visit the place by fulfilling their expectations of the style and the content of this kind of text – otherwise the text fails. So, lots of use of direct address (‘you’), positive adjectives, no use of passives or impersonal forms, conversational syntax and lexis (Germanic rather than Latinate), stress on re-living history, on food and drink and on the beauty of the landscape.

We also went over some common grammatical and lexical mistakes:

never use ‘suggestive’ or ‘peculiar’ since these are false friends and have negative meanings in English. Never use ‘touristic’, the adjective is ‘tourist’ In the 15th century, with Arabic, not Latin, numbers and the definite article (except when the phrase is being used as an adjective: a 15th century building). Tuscany and Tuscan both have the capital letter.

The superlative phrase “one of the most (adjective) (nouns) in the world/in Tuscany/in Italy” is a very suitable phrase to use but make sure you use the correct grammatical forms!

I gave back your homework texts and took in the Pescia translations which we shall go through together next week.

Homework for the next lesson (14.11.19)

(i) Do new Word Formation Exercise on Moodle page (Word Formation 2);

(ii) Translate the ‘Fiesole’ text on page 20/21/22, remembering to use the conventions of English tourist texts.

Lesson 5 Thursday 24th October

We decided not to have a lesson next week (31st October), so our next lesson will be Thursday 7th November.

I collected your English language Tourist texts which you had written for Homework and I gave back your 'Hever Castle ...' texts. We then went through the correction of this together. The SL (English) text is full of the characteristic elements of English tourist texts, direct address, participatory tone, positive adjectives, concentration on history, etc., and so in order to make a convincing translation of it into Italian, it is necessary to use the conventional elements of Italian tourist texts, which are none of the above! So a considerable amount of 're-structuring' of the text was necessary, even in as far as perhaps omitting certain phrases which would appear extraneous and confusing to an Italian reader. Certainly the person tone and direct address needs to be replaced with impersonal structures and factual description rather than emotive involvement.

We also investigated the essential role and function of History and Heritage in British culture where this idea of a shared national richness represented by places of historical interest and importance leads to a reverence for history and particularly its importance for the present. History is always to be experienced, re-lived. I suggested that this obsession with history might also be seen in the verb system in English, where there is no future tense as such (it has to be constructed through modal auxiliaries) but a plethora of past tenses, including the central present perfect, which is precisely this relating of past events to the present.

We also went through some of the strategies for Cloze Tests (reading whole text at least twice before attempting to fill in blanks; working out grammatical form of word to be found by looking at what comes before it and after it (article, preposition, subject pronoun; noun, verb form, participle ...); looking for patterns in the same sentence; reading the whole text again once you have filled in the blanks to check that it makes grammatical and logical sense. We then corrected the Cloze Test in the Dispense.

Homework for next lesson (07.11.19)

(i) Translate the text 'Pescia e i suoi dintorni', (p.16/17).

(ii) Do the Cloze Test which I shall put up in our section of the page (if I remember!)

Lesson 4 Thursday 17th October

We managed to do very little of all the things I had intended to do in this lesson! I gave back your Lucca homework texts and then we went through the possible versions together. We dealt with the problem of 'lucchese' which has to transformed into 'from Lucca' or 'from the Lucca area' or even 'local' with reference to the material in the museum. The churches in the title and in the first sentence require some kind of article in English, definite or indefinite, or even 'one'. The square needed to be oval in shape because it was built of the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheatre and after some discussion with students who had direct experience of the layout of this square, we decided that you can reach the centre of the square only through four arches or archways. For the Puccini Trail or Itinerary, it was necessary to give a little extra information to the English language tourists who will not know as much about opera and Puccini as Italian tourists do, so add that Puccini is the famous composer of 'Madame Butterfly'. It might be a good idea too to identify specific groups of tourists who might be interested in a particular sight mentioned, i.e. Opera-lovers will be fascinated by the Puccini Trail ... or If you are an opera enthusiast, .... Throughout the text you (!) need to make the style and tone more enthusiastic, warm and direct, addressing the potential tourist  and using positive adjectives, nouns and verbs.

We also managed to go through the Names of people and places exercise. I took in the Hever Castle and Gardens homework. Cloze Tests and History, which I had planned to do today, will have to wait for next week!

 Homework for next lesson (24.10.19)

Write a short tourist text in English on a place you know well in Tuscany (or another regione if you are not from Tuscany) following all the conventions appropriate for this kind of text in English.

Lesson 3 Thursday 10th October

We went over some more points for Word Formation, looking at adverbs. The conventional '-ful' is added to adjectives or possibly nouns, to create adverbs. The interesting thing here is how the spelling changes - or not! 

'-al' adjectives become '-ally' adverbs, with a doubling of the letter 'l'. The same thing occurs with adjectives which end in '-ful', where the adverb becomes '-fully'.

'-ble' adjectives lose the 'e' when transformed to adverbs: possible - possibly

probable- proabably

This is the only instance when the final 'e' of an adjective is lost:

separate - separately

negative - negatively

We did a short test on these forms.

We then looked at the characteristic words, phrases, convention, tone and style of English tourist texts as revelaed in the Sussex Top Attractions texts on pp.9-10 (10-11). We noted the direct address, involvement and consideration of the reader in this type of text, shown by the use of direct address and offers of types of things present at the sight to suit particular types of tourist. We also noted the plethora of positive adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs, . Alp these features are in contrast to the tone and style of Italian tourist texts. We also noted the conventions for giving opening times of the sights, using the 12-hour clock and the upper case initial letter for both days of the week and months of the year. Another striking point was the importance attached to history and 're-living' history in these texts. For British people, history is something to be experienced.

We then looked again at the Fiume Sieve text and completed the translation of it into English. I gave back your versions of this text which you had handed in as homework last lesson.

We corrected the Word Formation exercises you had done for homework and shall correct the cloze test exercise next lesson.

We went over together the notes on Translation of Names of people and places on p. 

Homework for next lesson (17.10.19)

(i) Do the Translation of Names Exercise in our section of the page

(ii) Translate the text Hever Castle and Gardens (p.17). Please prepare a loose neat copy to hand it at next week's lesson.

Lesson 2 Thursday 3rd October

I told you that the Dispense is now ready at Copisteria X and that everyone should obtain a copy and bring it to lessons. we discovered that unfortunately Copisteria X had put the numbers on the pages in an unconventional fashion, giving the cover page the number 1! This means that all my pages are now +1 with respect to yours!.

We went over some details about the C1-level Language Test which those students who are doing the LIngua 12 credits course will need to take (unless they already have external certification of C1 level in English). The plan is to hold the test in early January, probably Monday 13th, but this is yet to be confirmed. We shall be doing some practice work for this test during the course, particularly on Cloze tests and Word Formation exercises which usually present most problems for candidates. We went over the situation of the negative adjectives with 'in-' , 'im-' and 'un-'. Although the only way to be certain about which prefix to use is to learn all the words of this kind by heart, some helpful hints are that 'in-' is only used with latinate words and germanic words only have 'un.'. Just to complicate things a little, 'un-' can be used for some latinate words as well. We also looked at some verbs which have 'un-' as a prefix to give the meaning of reversing the action of a germanic material verb in the infinitive and all the tenses (not just the past participle): undo, unhook, untie, undress', 'unearth', unplug.

We looked through the Dispense together quickly looking at the notes, the examples texts in both English and Italian and the (many!) short texts which we shall use for translation practice. Authentic texts are essential in order to learn the lexis, register, formulae and tone of Tourist Tests in both languages. We began to look at the a destra del Fiume Sieve text which you had translated for homework and managed to go over the title and the first sentence! Comparing the title with that of the English text above it 'Lincoln. Steeped in History. Brimming with Life'), it was clear that there is a different style and intention in Tourist tests in each language. We therefore modified the Italian text title in order to make it conform to the stylistic conventions and intentions of Tourist texts in English.

I collected in your translations and shall mark five of them and give them all back next week, when we shall continue the collective correction of the test.

For the kind student who lent her Dispense to two students who didn't have one but forgot to reclaim it: it is in the Portineria in Via Capponi, waiting for you.

Homework for next lesson (10.10.19)

(i) Do the C1-level Exercises at the end of the Dispense (pp. 33-4 or 34-5) 

(ii) Read the "Sussex Top Attractions" texts (pp. 9-10 or 10-11) and underline the characteristic language of Tourist Texts

(iii)Translate the text "Lucca – la città delle cento chiese" (p.18 or 19). 

Lesson 1 Thursday 26th September

We went over the intended course programme: looking at and learning to recognise the conventions and expectations for Tourist Texts in both English and Italian and becoming competent in translating this type of text both from Italian to English and English to Italian. There will be 9 lessons with an end-of-semester test in what would have been Lesson 10. This will probably involve the translation of two short texts under exam conditions. Students who miss more than two lessons will need to do the Make Up Work before they can have a final mark for this course.We talked about the importance of both Form and Content in any kind of text and in Translation in particular. The two elements are inextricably connected.

As an extreme example of how not to translate Tourist Tests (and of what is unfortunately available on the web!), we looked together at a text on Monte Amiata which contained almost all the possible inappropriate ways to translate this kind of text from Italian to English.

Dispense now available at Copisteria X

Homework for the next lesson (03.10.19):

Translate the short text A destra del Fiume Sieve. Bring a typed  (on your computers, one-and-a-half spacing) copy of your translation to next week's lesson to hand in. We shall also discuss the problems or pints of interest you found while working on this text.

Ultime modifiche: venerdì, 23 ottobre 2020, 17:12