Please note: Registration begins on Monday, January 24th.
Please check this website periodically for specific class information and/or changes regarding the spring semester. All information you need for the first class meeting is available going to 'Spring 2022 courses' Registration
Level 1 textbooks: See registration page for the information. The textbooks for German 1 and Spanish 1 will be made available for free electronically by the course instructors. All other materials will be distributed by the instructor.
Level 2 texts: In Level 2 classes, the texts for translation are distributed by the instructor. A selection of dictionaries will be discussed early in each course.
Mission of the program
The mission of the Language Reading Program is to teach students from CUNY, other schools, and all walks of life to read scholarly and literary texts in languages other than English, and to produce a written translation reflecting academic English discourse. Absolutely no emphasis is placed on conversational skills. Graduate departments within Cuny as well as those across the country require a written translation adhering as close as possible to the source language, i. e. no paraphrasing or summary. This program prepares students to meet these departmental requirements and provide a foundation for future scholarly research.
Most graduate programs recognize success in the LRP Level 1 and Level 2 courses as satisfying their language requirements. For others, the LRP is good preparation for the departmental exam.
Level 1 courses assume no knowledge of the language. Grammar, syntax, idioms, and core vocabulary (determiners, prepositions, pronouns, etc.) are covered intensively in order to proceed rapidly to the translation of scholarly texts. Level 1 does not focus on lexical vocabulary, the focus is on grammatical words only. By the end of Level 1, students who succeed are able to translate scholarly texts with the aid of a dictionary, albeit with some difficulty.
Attendance is essential for success in Level 1. As a general guideline, the program discourages more than one absence during the fall and spring semesters. Any absence during the summer semester jeopardizes the success in the course. LRP policy regarding absences is largely up to the instructor with the exception of three or more absences. Three or more absences represents too great a loss of instruction and passing the final exam is unlikely.
The program is not responsible for information missed due to absences -- this includes homework, quizzes, and all topics discussed during the class. The instructor is not expected nor advised to notify [email or other] the student of homework assignments missed because of absences.
Level 2 classes assume that the equivalent of Level 1 has been completed successfully. In Level 2 courses we translate many scholarly articles reflecting the disciplines of individual students; grammar and other basics are briefly reviewed as needed. Students are encouraged to develop glossaries in their fields and to build their lexical vocabularies. By the end of Level 2, students who succeed are able to swiftly and accurately translate scholarly texts in their fields with the aid of a dictionary.
Most students require Level 1 and Level 2 to become competent. Please plan on spending twice as many hours for homework and study, than you spend in class. In summer this would mean planning for ten to twelve hours in addition to class hours. The study-time varies from language to language and from individual to individual. Remember, your goal is to move from zero knowledge to the point of being able to translate authors like Kafka, Camus and Schopenhauer. See here, for a discussion of the German Level 2 course in particular.
Once again, please consider before you enroll in the program that the program's mission is not to teach conversational skills .
Also, Level 1 and Level 2 courses do not focus on the aesthetics or style of translations, nor on theories of translation. Occasionally a Level 3 course is offered in German, in which such topics will be addressed.
Grading Policy and Reporting:
Two grades are given: 1] a final examination grade based 100% on the final exam translation and 2] a course grade composed of 30% final examination, 30% quizzes as well as the timely submission of assignments and 40% class contribution of homework solutions on a consistent basis and evidence of engaging intensively with the textbook.
The final exam texts are selected by the instructor taking into consideration the disciplines of individual students. The text is ca. 350 words to be translated with a dictionary. A printed and/or an electronic dictionary is to be used. The translation is to be rendered into idiomatic English keeping as close as possible to the original text.
Given the current online format, specific details regarding the final exam will be discussed in your class.
Each department or school has its own minimum grade for satisfying its requirements. Some departments request both the final exam and the course grade while others request only one or the other. Most departments require a minimum grade of B+ to satisfy their requirements. It is up to the student to obtain this information from their program.
Notification of Grades: LRP supplies official documentation of each student’s performance upon request. This documentation consists of one letter [.pdf] attached to an email to the person designated. If more than one person is to be notified, they will be copied on the same email. The student is always copied on such a notification and thus has a record of the official notification document. Grades are generally reported within three weeks of the final day of class.
Typical course offerings:
In Fall and Spring we generally offer French Level 1 & 2; German Level 1 & 2 and Spanish Level 1 & 2.
In Summer, we offer the same courses in addition to Italian Level 1 and 2, Latin Level 1 & 2 and Ancient Greek Level 1.
Non-credit, continuing education
The LRP is a special program and the courses are classified by CUNY as "continuing education". LRP courses are non-credit and do not appear on students' transcripts.
The LRP offers language examinations only to students who are registered for courses.
Registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. More rarely, some classes that are initially offered are withdrawn due to insufficient registration. Please see the Registration Page for more information (link to the registration page is to the left).
Last updated January 23, 2022