Wednesday, 20 December 2017 08:03

Abstracts & Roundtables



The Local Organizing Committee of the 6th IATIS Conference is pleased to provide the details of all abstracts* (thematic panels, individual communications and poster presentations) and roundtable proposals accepted to the conference at this stage.

*Remarks: These lists above may be subject to change without further notice.


Accepted Abstracts for Individual Communications within the General Conference

(in alphabetical order)


Crowdsourcing Translation for Digital Arabisation Projects: A Narrative Perspective

Abdulmohsen Alonayq (Lancaster University)


This paper introduces a work in progress researching the motivation that drives volunteer translators to participate in crowdsourcing initiatives. The concept of crowdsourcing has recently received attention among scholars in the field of translation studies as a result of its proliferation as a successful business model for many giant translation projects, for example Wikipedia.

The literature presents some attempts to define the term crowdsourcing from different perspectives. However, despite the great contributions of O’Brien and Schaler (2010), Dolmaya (2012) and Olohan (2012, 2014), the ongoing growth of crowdsourcing in the translation industry is still under-researched. Each study takes a different approach to explore motivations that actuate thousands of volunteers to join crowdsourcing projects.

This paper will present the hypothesis that, along with possible intrinsic and extrinsic motives, volunteer translators are motivated by certain narratives to join a crowder that employs and/or constructs those narratives. Consequently, the research question is: how would the focus on Arabisation narratives encourage Arab volunteer translators to join crowdsourcing initiatives? In other words, how are the stories about Arabisation and Arabic language employed for recruiting purposes?

Based on narrative theory, a mixed-methods approach is implemented to answer the research questions. The data examined will include interviews, surveys as well as textual materials published by the Taghreedat initiative (the case study). The findings will demonstrate how a narrative would function as a motive in crowdsourcing projects, thus broadening the vision of mobilising volunteer translators as well as enhancing their motivations.


Collaborative translation
Volunteer translation
Amateur translation



Translating English Political Metaphors into New Contexts: A Cognitive Perspective

Mohamed Alshniet (University College London)


One of the significant issues conceptual metaphor theory highlights is the sources that conceptualizers resort to when they construct metaphorical expressions. Kövecses (2015, xi) argues that it is not possible to account for the emergence and use of metaphor without taking seriously the close dependence of the metaphorical mind on the surrounding physical, social and mental environment.

Metaphors used by politicians are in fact by-products of the interaction between the discourse maker and various contexts. In the case of translation which is an act of recreating an original (Guldin.2016), translators should consider the fact that these metaphors have been created in different contexts. The question which this presentation attempts to answer is how translators translate metaphors into new contexts given that context is of paramount importance for metaphor motivation.

Using Kövecses’ (2015) concepts of global and immediate contexts, I will investigate the translation techniques used by translators to translate conceptual metaphors from English into Arabic. The exploration of the source language metaphors and their translated counterparts will cast light on how the global contextual factors (physical environment, social setting, cultural setting) or local contextual factors (the effect of the immediate physical setting, knowledge about major entities in the discourse, and the immediate cultural, and social context on metaphor usage) influence the selection of translation procedure.

Kövecses, Z. 2015. Where metaphors come from: Reconsidering context in metaphor. New York: Oxford University Press.
Guldin, R. 2016. Translation as metaphor. London: Routledge.





Inner Picture, Deeper Word in a World that Counts: Translating the Construction of Culture, Memory and Identity of Nigerian Proper Names

Moruwawon Babatunde Samuel (Ekiti State University)


Translating Nigerian proper names from Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages into English is a daunting task to the literary translators. This is due to the linguistic and cultural complexities of these names. The present study analyses the English translation of proper names from the three main ethnic groups in Nigeria: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.  The focus of the study is to show whether the naming practices are similar across Nigeria’s ethnicities and how this affects the practice of translation both within Nigeria and beyond. The data of the study consists of assorted Nigerian proper names from the three ethnic groups in the country. The data is analysed from the perspective of historical and cultural approach. The study equally adopts the operational framework of translation procedures developed by Vinay and Darbelnet (1958). Naming is part of the means of understanding people’s way of life, culture and beliefs. Much work has been done on proper names globally. However, only little scholarly research has been done on the translation of Nigerian proper names. This work is conceived in part to bridge this gap and therefore, depicts the inter-connectedness of Nigerian proper names between the view point of culture, memory and identity. The paper reveals how Nigerians value their world, thus, illustrating their onomastic essence and cultural liberty of the people. The paper concludes that the translation of Nigerian proper names should be carried out through adequate knowledge of Nigerian languages and culture.





Of Heteronymy and Historicity: Multilingual India in French Travel Texts

Sanjukta Banerjee (University of York)


Travel accounts are often described in terms of tensions integral to their construction—between “processes of affiliation and differentiation” (Youngs), dull dissertation and vivid fictionalization (Furst), individual and cultural identities (Polezzi), knowledge through observation and knowledge through immersion (Cronin). As a “medium of estrangement” operating through “familiar stereotypes and myths”(Holland & Huggan) travel texts have often been examined as representations or mimeses resulting from negotiations between what is, what others think and say, and what ought to be (Borm). In the context of India, one conspicuous site of such tensions/negotiations has been the travellers’ need to come to terms with the region’s multilingualism.

Situating itself at the nexus of travel writing, translation and mobility (Polezzi, Martin & Pickford), and drawing on semiotic descriptions of texts as objects having two sides, namely the dynamical and the immediate (Peirce, Stecconi), this paper will analyse a few eighteenth-century French accounts of India that shed light on its languages at a specific time and on the role of vernaculars in the shaping and circulation of its literature. It will focus on comments that are expressions of the traveller-translators’ fraught relation with multilingualism and can be read as articulations of authority as well as instruments of its dislodgment. The study will ultimately seek to underscore the importance of the texts under consideration in drawing attention to the following:

  1. the much-neglected role of heteronymy (Cronin) in travel writing and translation
  2. the historicity of language use in multilingual India


Language historicity



AVT and Multilingual Classroom in India: A Review of Pedagogy and Practice

Smita Banerjee (Delhi University)


Moving away from the Eurocentric studies focus on AVT this paper attempts a review of current status of AVT in India especially with regard to English language teaching in the multilingual classroom. Although globally AVT has emerged as a distinct field of study in the last decades, it is still not yet a topic of scholarly focus within the Indian public university system. Despite the booming media landscape in India where dubbed and subtitled foreign language content is ubiquitous on satellite television and cinema, AVT still remains a marginalized area of scholarly concern. Neither is AVT taught in any significant way at the graduate or post-graduate level. This scenario seems to echo Munday’s remark about “teaching programmes centered on the practice of translation but harbouring their own academic prejudices” (2001: 25). However AVT techniques are being deployed for English teaching in multilingual classrooms for undergraduate students in Delhi University through the use of film song subtitling thus enabling linguistic and cultural literacy through use of technology and blended pedagogy. My paper attempts to examine the status of AVT in classroom practices of English language teaching to ask: Why AVT seems to inhabit a liminal status in Indian academia? How does the use of Subtitling and technology aid students from multilingual backgrounds to acquire English competency? How can AVT help to bridge the gap between TS and Film Studies programmes in India in the way studied in European contexts (Bartrine 2004), Chaume (2000; 2003), Ramael (2000)?


Multilingual classroom



Autobiography, Women Translators, and Social Mobility

Özlem Berk Albachten (Bogazici University)


Many of the women translators who played an important role in the development of translated literature in Turkey have remained invisible in translation and cultural history despite the numerous translations they left behind.

Mebrure Alevok (1907-1992) was one of these women translators who has been almost forgotten in the literary world and has never been the subject of any academic study for her translations. Alevok was known for her popular romance novels, but she also translated numerous novels by authors including Pearl S. Buck, Daudet, Balzac, and Steinbeck, as well as plays that were staged by various Turkish theater companies in the 1940s and 1950s.

Bringing together autobiography, gender, and translation studies, this paper aims at discussing the links between Mebrure Alevok's identities as a woman and as a translator, taking her two-volume autobiography Geçmişte Yolculuk (Journey in the Past, 1971 and 1972) as the departure point. More specifically, this paper will investigate the factors that influenced her to start translating and the role translation played in the formation of her identity and status as a woman translator, enabling her social mobility within the male dominated world of letters.

The paper also argues that autobiographical works by women translators, whose lives have otherwise remained unknown, can shed light on the historical period and cultural milieu they lived in. Perhaps more importantly, autobiographical works can highlight the ways women entered the translation world and how translation as a profession changed their role in society.


Women translators
Social mobility



Describing Patterns in Literary Translation: A Case Study of Translator’s Style

Carolina Barcellos (University of Brasília)


This research draws on Corpus-based Translation Studies and on the Appraisal system, within Systemic-Functional Linguistics, to investigate the style of a literary translator. First, it examines patterns of linguistic choices made by a translator in Brazilian Portuguese regarding conventionality (Baker, 2007) that could be found both in his work as a literary translator and as a literary author, as well as the consequences of these choices for the recreation of meaning in the translated texts. Second, it analyses the translator’s attitude, positioning, and values by which he chose to graduate utterances (Martin and White, 2005). The research methodology included compilation, preparation, alignment and tagging of the texts for later analysis. Two corpora were compiled: 1) a corpus of non-translated short stories written in Brazilian Portuguese by Paulo Henriques Britto, and 2) a parallel corpus of short stories written in American English by the authors Philip Roth, John Updike, and Jhumpa Lahiri, and their translations into Brazilian Portuguese by Britto. The results indicated that the translator presented a distinct pattern of choices and that conventionality was associated with creativity in the translated texts. In general, his linguistic preferences increased the degree of colloquialism in the translated texts. The set of choices identified in the translator/author’s non-translated texts presented similarities with the set of choices identified in his translated texts. Through graduation, he used suffixes as well as a few collocations to modify the force of the message, usually making it more intense and more emphatic.


Appraisal Theory
Style of Translation
Literary Translation



Translating and Adapting Web-Based Museum Content for an International Audience

Chiara Bartolini (University of Bologna)


Museums worldwide are increasingly benefitting from the advantages offered by the web to reach a wider audience, and many now also provide web pages in English addressed to international users. Studies have focused on on-site museum communication (Ravelli 2006; Sturge 2007; Neather 2012; Guillot 2014), while other research has looked at website communication from a linguistic perspective (Bondi 2009; Saiki 2010). However, scant attention has been paid to the production of web-based museum content in English for an international readership.

This paper focuses on this phenomenon by looking at issues concerning the adaptation of museum communication according to the medium used and the audience addressed. On the one hand, museums need to adapt their voice to the web by following specific writing standards (Redish 2012; Krug 2014). On the other hand, contents that are embedded in the local culture need to be adapted for a global, diversified audience (Floros and Charalambidou 2016). Nonetheless, these adaptations involve the risk of an excessive simplification of language and content.

Drawing from studies on web writing and genre analysis, this research hopes to shed light on how university museums create web contents in English. The paper will report on a study aimed at examining the extent to which European small and medium-sized university museums offer contents in English on their website. Where this is the case, the paper will provide an analysis of the strategies they employ to construct their institutional identity online and engage with an international audience.


Museum website
Website translation
Web writing



Access to Internalized Grammar in L2 and Translation

Bergljot Behrens (University of Oslo)


Could it be that some of the cognitive mechanisms that are at work in translation into L1 are similar to those in advanced L2 comprehension and production?

Online L2 production and translation into L1 consist of verbalizing messages or thoughts conceived as selected from knowledge in long-term memory or on the basis of the interpretation of another text.

Advanced L2 learners as well as translators working into their L1, know all the 'rules' of the target language, yet both groups have been found not to access all their internalized rules when intensively engaged in two languages simultaneously.

The choice of possessive pronouns and determiners is a case in point. The system of possessives differs across European languages. While English and other West European languages do not distinguish morphologically between reflexive and non-reflexive possessives, the Slavic and the Scandinavian languages do. It will be shown that both groups of informants struggle with accessing their ‘internalized’ rules for correct use.

After a brief introduction to the different systems with the parameters that have to be set in the mind of the speaker, the present paper presents statistically tested results from an empirical investigation into how professional and non-professional translators handle the systemic differences in practice (process data) and compares it with empirical studies of monolingual and advanced L2 data.


Cognitive process
Grammatical processing
Translation into L1
L2 processing
L1 control



Remote Interpreting at Asylum Hearings across France Mainland and Overseas Territories: From Interpreting to Communication Ethics

Julie Boéri (Hamad Bin Khalifa University) and Christian Licoppe (Telecom ParisTech)


Asylum hearings have been largely explored in interpreting studies. Across national and institutional contexts, scholars have underlined the challenge faced by interpreters to bridge the gap between asylum seekers’ difficulties to produce a narrative of their experience of exile, on the one hand, and judges’ search for discourse coherence as a ground for granting asylum, on the other hand.

What happens when interpreters face the extra challenge of remote interpreting in such a context?

In an attempt to explore the double mediation of technologies and interpreters in the interaction between judges and appellants, this presentation focuses on interpreting at the National Court of Asylum Right (CNDA), the French court of appeal for asylum seekers. It deals with the specific interpreting services being set up by this institution, in the cases whereby asylum seekers are based in the French overseas territories and the judges in mainland France.

The analysis of the video-recordings of hearings taking place between Spanish speaking Latin American asylum seekers located in Cayenne (Guyane) and the CNDA staff based in Vincennes (Paris region) will allow us to readdress traditional questions of power asymmetries and discrepancies between parties’ interests and goals, within an increasingly complex communication set up.

This study will demonstrate that under these circumstances, power asymmetries and the fall of asylum protection tend to be exacerbated but could also be alleviated by a renewed approach to communication ethics that expands from interpreting ethics.


Remote interpreting
Asylum hearings
Communication ethics



Translation and Geopolitics: The Case of William Engdahl in China

Wing Kit Chan and Lee Tong King (University of Hong Kong)

Presented by: Wing Kit Chan


This talk considers the role of translation in the geopolitical economy of China, in particular the crosscultural production and circulation of Anglophobic discourses. We examine the case of William Engdahl, canonized as a foreign affairs expert in China, and his book Target China, available in both English and Chinese. Beginning our discussion with the phenomenon of ‘50-cents foreigners’ (yang wumao, viz. Western individuals who speak/write in opposition to American-led Western ideologies), we seek to explain the discursive operations involved in absorbing such foreign intellectuals as William Engdahl (both his person and his writing) into domestic geopolitical discourses in China.

Our method is two-fold. We first examine the paratextual material surrounding the Chinese translation of Target China, focusing for instance on how the title of Engdahl’s English text is reframed in the translated text. We then undertake a textual analysis of a chapter from the book to identify major shift patterns in the translation, paying special attention to how Engdahl’s original narrative tends to be extended and hyperbolized. Based on the ideas of patronage and translation-as-rewriting, the talk critically reflects on how translation contributes to the articulation of geopolitical discourses via textual and paratextual manoeuvres, and considers the significance of the ‘50-cents foreigners’ phenomenon in China by theorizing it as a unique mode of selective crosscultural appropriation.


50-cents foreigners
William Engdahl
Target China
selective appropriation



Same Languages but Different Ideologies in Mandarin Chinese Translations of Peter Hessler’s Two Books

Pin-Ling Chang (Chung Yuan Christian University)


The special status quo across the Taiwan Strait may be described as one of the most suitable contexts for the research into the effects of the translator’s ideology and identity on his/her translation as China and Taiwan share language (Mandarin Chinese) and culture (in a broad sense) on an unequal footing and in an entangled but antagonistic relationship. By investigating the China versions and the Taiwan versions of two of American writer Peter Hessler’s books, River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2001) and Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West (2013), both of which concern Hessler’s firsthand observation of modern China and its people and were separately translated by the same translators (Li Xueshun for China’s market and Wu Meichen for Taiwan’s), this paper uncovered, through the discourse-historical approach within critical discourse analysis, how China’s socio-political realities in Hessler’s eye, which involve the image of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leaders, the control and indoctrination of Chinese people, and the policy on China’s national unity and territorial integrity, were represented and reconstructed in the two versions of translation, reflecting not only the translators’ different imagination and interpretation of modern China but also the ever-lasting influence of the translators’ ideology and identity on their translation. This paper wishes to raise the awareness of the fact that translators may use the same language but possess different or even clashing ideologies and identities and to highlight the ideological nature of language and in turn the inherent manipulation of translation.


Peter Hessler
Cross-strait translation
Translator’s identity
Translator’s ideology
Critical discourse analysis



Christian Knowledge and Beliefs as a Conduit for Buddhism: Palsangnok in Translation

Jinsil Choi (Keimyung University)


This study explores how a translator’s Christian knowledge and beliefs are acted as a conduit for Buddhism, as represented in the translation of Palsangnok, a vernacular Korean biography of the Buddha that was supposedly published in 1851 (Kim 2011). Previous scholars have argued that the translator, James Scarth Gale (1863 -1937), a Canadian Presbyterian missionary to Korea, either held a negative attitude toward Korean folk beliefs and culture, jumping on the Japanese colonial-political bandwagon (Han 1995, Lee 2007, Hwang 2010) or was favorable to Korean folk beliefs, including Buddhism and culture (Lee 1993, Min 1999, 2004, Ryu 2002). In contrast to these dichotomous views, this study argues that Gale’s attitude toward Korean folk beliefs and Buddhism changed drastically from the mid-1910s and that his favorable attitude toward Buddhism culminated in his translation Palsangnok, the Life of the Buddha, which was completed in 1915, although the manuscript remained unpublished because of religious turmoil. Gale’s positive evaluation of Buddhism is identified throughout the translation, in which Christian-oriented logic and beliefs are extensively adopted and used, thereby placing Buddhism on a par with Christianity.


James Gale



Fluency and the Suppression of Cultural Variance:  A Case Study of Kader Abdolah’s Novel Spijkerschrift and its English Translation

Imogen Cohen (University of Amsterdam)


Just over a decade ago, award-winning translator Susan Massotty gave an English voice to Kader Abdolah—an Iranian refugee living in the Netherlands—when she translated his semi-autobiographical novel Spijkerschrift (My Father’s Notebook) into English. The novel—written in Abdolah’s newly acquired language, Dutch—gave voice in turn to the author’s own father, a deaf-mute who expressed his thoughts in an almost indecipherable script, which he scribbled down into a secret notebook.

The narrative glides between past and present, between the author’s beloved Iran and his adoptive country the Netherlands, as we are drawn into the narrator’s struggle to decipher his father’s notebook and to find his own voice as a political refugee.

In many ways, the novel is itself an act of translation: Abdolah struggles to translate himself into Dutch as he struggles to decipher—or translate—his father’s notebook. So when Massotty was commissioned to translate this work into English, she found herself engaged in a double act of translation, whilst tied to a publisher who wanted to make this translation sing for a (perceived) English-speaking audience.

This paper will explore how Kader Abdolah’s identity as an Iranian refugee translates from Dutch into English, and how Massotty’s publisher-friendly and “beautifully fluent” translation creates an air of transparency which at times smothers the otherness of the narrator. By drawing on concepts familiar to TS such as explicitation, it will show how, at the level of lexis, grammar and discourse, cultural variance has sometimes been suppressed.


Cultural Identity

Cognitive Processes of Dialogue Interpreting

Birgitta Englund Dimitrova and Elisabet Tiselius (Stockholm University)



Cognitive aspects of interpreting have, to date, mostly been investigated in simultaneous interpreting (Albl-Mikasa & Hohenstein 2017; Chen 2017). However, the dialogue interpreter both translates and manages the interaction of the interpreted encounter and seems justified to be studied in cognitive terms.

Cognitive load in dialogue interpreting can be assumed to be related to handling of the interaction, monitoring of both the interpreter’s own, and the other participants’ production, as well as in the handling of two (often with asymmetric language proficiency) languages (Englund Dimitrova & Tiselius 2016).

In this exploratory study, two groups of participants (n=6, French/Spanish >< Swedish) a) interpreting students (three terms of dialogue interpreting training), and, b) professional interpreters (state authorized, with professional interpreting experience), interpreted in a scripted role play of a job-seeking interview (the same for all participants) wearing a mobile eye-tracker (glasses). The eye-tracker recorded the participants’ gaze, i.e. everything their eyes were focusing on. The role play was video recorded and transcribed. The participants also completed psychometric tests (working memory, emotional intelligence, language proficiency). As the study is exploratory, no strict hypotheses were made on the impact of the participants’ training and length of professional background.

The presentation will report on the results from the psychometric tests in light of the participants’ professional experience as well as on their eye-tracking data.


Dialogue interpreting
Interpreting process
Cognitive load
Psychometric tests

News Translation as a Way of Activism: The Case of LGBTI News Turkey

Jasmin Esin Duraner (Dokuz Eylul University- Bogazici University)


Activism is a relatively new term, which became popular in the mid 20th century. In the 60s and 70s, the concept of activism emerged with the social protests around the world and since then demonstrations for human rights, protests against globalization and many more resistance movements have been associated to activism (Tymoczko 2010: 12-13). In this respect, instrumentality of translation and agency of translators have played a significant role. Today, the use of translation by the volunteer groups as a way to challenge dominant powers is on the rise (Wolf 2012: 19). In Turkey, NGOs may provide translations within the body of their organization but my analysis shows there are only two “volunteer translation platforms” serving for activist purposes. In this paper, I will scrutinize the website called LGBTI News Turkey, which is one of these two platforms and aims to support LGBTI movement in Turkey. My initial findings reveal that the volunteer-translators in the platform seem to take on an activist role and use translation as an instrument for political action, attempting to frame and construct a “narrative” (Baker 2006) for the LGBTI community in Turkey so as to represent them at the international platform. In this study, drawing upon my interview with the founder of the website, the selected news items, their translations and the paratextual materials such as editorial notes, videos and photos, I aim to problematize translation as a way to channel activism and explore how the volunteer- translators position themselves in LGBTI movement.


Activist translation
LGBTI News Turkey
Narrative Theory



The Technologization of Interpreting: Challenges and Future Perspectives

Claudio Fantinuoli (University of Mainz)


Unlike other professions, the impact of information and communication technology on interpreting has been moderate so far. However, the technical solutions that have recently entered the market, for example in the areas of remote, computer-assisted, and, most newly, automatic interpreting, could have a disruptive influence on the profession in the years to come. Not only are they challenging the traditional way interpreters work, but it is reasonable to think that these technologies might have an impact on most aspects of the profession, from the cognitive processes of interpreting, the question of quality and the way the profession is perceived by the general public to the status and working conditions of interpreters.

The focus of this paper is on the technologization of the interpreting profession. After proposing an interpreter-oriented categorisation of the emerging technologies, the actual and potential effects on interpreting will be analysed and presented. I will argue that the technologization will offer new opportunities for interpreters to revisit and upgrade their profession. In the long term, however, chances are it will lead to a deterioration of working conditions and social status. I will advocate the need for a critical discussion by both academic and professional stakeholders, more empirical investigations, the introduction of new technologies in the didactics of interpreting and an active role of the interpreting community in steering such developments.


Interpreting technologies
Computer-assisted interpreting
Remote interpreting
Interpreting studies



A Study of the Relationship between Language Proficiency and Translation Competence of English Majors

Hong Fang (Capital Normal University)



Language proficiency has been considered as one of the most important part of translation competence, but what role it will play in the development of translation competence and whether translation can improve language proficiency of learners are worth noticing. This study is concerned with the relationship between language proficiency and translation competence of English majors through textual analysis and interview. About 100 English majors at Capital Normal University in Beijing will be involved in this study and three questions will be dealt with: Is language proficiency proportional to translation competence of learners? How to evaluate the language proficiency of learners in their translation? What’s the relationship between language proficiency and translation competence? This study aims to find out the influence of Language proficiency in the development of translation competence of English majors, and further to make out the influential factors contributing to the improvement of translation competence of English majors. The study is expected to shed light on the translation teaching of English majors and the training of translators as well.


Translation competence
Language proficiency
Cognitive traits
Textual analysis and comparison



Interpreters’ Mediation in Chinese-English Government Press Conferences: The Case of Explicitated Modal Adjuncts

Rongbo Fu (Ningbo University)


In this study, we present an investigation into explicitated modal adjuncts in Chinese-English interpreted government press conferences - an important medium through which China publicizes its policies and positions on various issues and affairs internationally - with an eye to their implications for possible mediation by interpreters. To start with, a corpus of 18 press conferences  (equally distributed in terms of interpreting mode, viz. consecutive and simultaneous, and topic) were built and subject to parallel alignment in order to facilitate the search of instances where such explicitation appear. All occurrences of explicitated modal adjuncts were then categorized into a tripartition in light of their intentional orientations, namely, the speaker, the listeners and the interpreting process, which were further distinguished in terms of the various functions they fulfilled in texts. Statistical results showed that, while interpreters in both working mode engaged themselves in mediating and negotiating interpersonal relations in the publicity of government voices, consecutive interpreters were more poised to use explicitation of modal adjuncts as means of manifesting logical links, streamlining upcoming message, increasing intensity of certainty and mitigating assertion than their simultaneous counterparts. The reasons for such trend were briefly discussed.


Government press conference
Interpreter's role



Retranslating Sufism in Leila Aboulela and Elif Shafak

Ahmed Gamal (University of Dammam)


Drawing on convergences between translation studies and postcolonial studies, this presentation aims to contribute to more understanding of the positionality of postcolonial writers in respect of cultural mobility and translingualism through the employment of ‘self-translation’ as a sort of counter-discourse in Leila Aboulela’s The Kindness of Enemies (2015) and Elif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love (2010). Hybridity and hyphenated identities are therefore well-explored in the writers’ double narratives through the main characters that try to rewrite new homes and identities that blur the ‘shadow lines’ between self and other. Immigrant literature can be thus considered as a “translational project” in which “translation is no longer a one-way flow from the source to the target culture, but a two-way transcultural enterprise” (Vieira 1999:106).

Stained by Al-Qaeda and ISIS and Western media mistranslations of Islam in terms of identity politics in a post-9/11 world, Muslim immigrant writers attempt to retranslate Islam with regard to a Sufistic spirituality that can be translated both linguistically and culturally across discrepant multi-linguistic and inter-cultural spaces. Aboulela’s and Shafak’s narratives are a good example of how Muslim immigrant writers strive hard to rewrite the spiritual dimensions of Islam in a world haunted by terrorism, fundamentalism and racism. Deeply informed by postcolonial logics, the concept of retranslation focalizes rewriting of the self against the grain of long-cherished mythifications set by post- 9/11 (neo)-Orientalism(s) in the West and by ‘Orientalism in reverse’ in the East (Al-‘Azm 2000:230).


Immigrant Literature
Cultural Translation


International Education as a Translational Space

Susan H Gillespie (Bard College)


In thinking about translation and space in an era of increasing migration and sociopolitical crisis and change, the question of the translational space itself should be addressed. In this context, education should not be overlooked as an intentional site for fostering and studying translation and translatability. International education programs, properly conceived and carried out, offer ideal sites for inter- as well as infra- and meta-lingual dialog and research. Translatability, as the fundamental human capability to create and convey meanings (two processes that never occur in isolation) forms the essential basis for successful interpersonal and cultural exchange. Distilled into a practice and offered within a defined pedagogical and organizational frame, translatability helps engaged students and faculty to effectively transcend assumed or imposed individualities and “identities” in a manner that respects and engages individual and collective singularities while simultaneously supporting their provisional conceptualization, objectification and study. The presentation will draw on practical experiences gained in the course of establishing Bard College’s liberal arts dual degree programs with partners in Russia, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, and Germany, which are based on the principles of mutuality and equality and include a focus on work with refugees in Berlin, Jordan and Palestine. Philosophical reference points include Adorno, Agamben and Nancy, among others. Finally, the paper will sketch out some ideas about research on translatability in the context of international education.


Translational space
International education
Refugee inclusion



Interpreters’ Metadiscursive (Re)construction of China’s Political Discourse: A Corpus-based CDA Analysis

Chonglong Gu (University of Manchester)


The interpreter-mediated premier-meets-the-press conferences are an institutionalised practice in mainland China, offering Chinese premiers the platform to openly address journalists' questions on a wide range of issues of common concern. Such a televised discursive event enables China's top decision-maker to clarify China's official positions and in so doing articulate discursively what constitutes as truth and fact. The interpreted nature of the press conferences highlights the potential agency role of interpreters as important co-constructors of China's discourse in English. Due to its linguistic property to front-load attitudinal meanings and express stance, the Noun Complement structure (e.g. the fact that) has proven useful in knowledge construction, for instance, in academic writing (cf. Jiang and Hyland 2015). This metadiscursive structure, however, remains largely underexplored in interpreter-mediated encounters from the perspective of ideology and discourse. Based on a corpus consisting of 20 years of press conference data, this study involves a CDA analysis, focusing on how China's English discourse is metadiscursively (re)configured by interpreters using 'the fact that'. Critical comparative analyses between the ST and TT reveal that interpreters tend to proliferate the use of this specific structure in the English discourse. Discursively, this not only adds an additional layer of factualness and authority to the Chinese original but also leads to the further (re)creation of positive self-representation and other negative representation in interpreting. This study, inherently interdisciplinary in nature, promises to contribute to scholarship in interpreting studies, CDA and Chinese studies alike.


Critical Discourse Analysis
Interpreter-mediated communication
Metadiscursive (re)construction
Interpreted discourse
Corpus linguistics
Corpus-based CDA
Premier-meets-the-press conferences


Multimodality in Translation: A Look into EFL and JFL classrooms

Eiko Gyogi (Akita International University) and Vivian Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)



Recent years have seen an increased interest in the role that non-verbal semiotics play in written and spoken texts. Though translation classrooms often focus on the verbal dimensions of texts, an increased number of studies (e.g. Torresi 2008) emphasise the importance of taking into account different non-verbal signs that contribute to the construction of the meanings of the text. Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996, 2001) emphasize the fact that meaning is communicated in various forms other than languages, such as pictorial images, gesture, posture, gaze, and colour.

This paper reports on attempts to raise students’ awareness of multimodality in two different classrooms: intermediate learners of English in a Korean university and advanced learners of Japanese in a university in Japan. In both classrooms, the students were assigned a task of translating web comics. A social semiotic approach (Kress 2010; Kress and van Leeuwen 1996) was introduced in order to draw students’ attention to linguistic, visual, and spatial semiotics in the text. In class, the students discussed how to translate not only the text itself, but also other semiotics that appear in the web comics, including the images, font size, and colour, and made translation decisions accordingly. Based on the analysis of students’ learning journals, this paper discusses a number of pedagogical benefits derived from applying a social semiotic approach that can be observed across the two different contexts. In doing so, it will highlight the importance of raising students’ awareness of various semiotics that construct the text.


Social semiotic approach
Translation classroom

Validity of Self and Peer Assessment Applied to English-Chinese Bi-directional Interpretation: A Longitudinal, Quantitative Analysis

Chao Han (Southwest University)



One of the productive lines of research on self-assessment (SA) and peer assessment (PA) concerns their concurrent validity with respect to a criterion measure. However, similar research has rarely been conducted for bilingual, bi-directional spoken-language interpreting. This article therefore reports on a longitudinal study that investigated the validity of self and peer ratings on three performance dimensions of English-Chinese consecutive interpretation (i.e., information completeness/InfoCom, fluency of delivery/FluDel, and target language quality/TLQual), taking teachers’ ratings as a yardstick. It was found that although the students as a group were unable to replicate teachers’ ratings, they were able to rank-order their performances in a fairly accurate manner and improved their SA and PA accuracy over time. Additionally, interpreting directionality seems to moderate the correlational strength of self/teacher ratings and peer/teacher ratings, as correlation coefficients were consistently lower in the Chinese-to-English than in the other direction. Furthermore, the validity of InfoCom ratings was higher than that of FluDel and TLQual in both SA and PA, the pattern of which, however, was only observed for the English-to-Chinese interpretation. These results are discussed and explained in relation to previous literature, and suggestions are provided to improve SA and PA for bi-directional interpretation in the pedagogical context.


Concurrent validity
Consecutive interpreting
Peer assessment
Teacher assessment

GenreTrans: A Tool to Tackle Challenge in English-Chinese Translation Training
Chong Han and Kenny Wang (Western Sydney University)


This paper aims to introduce GenreTrans, an online English-Chinese translation training tool, and demonstrate its application in a translation class at an Australian university. This training tool focuses on the challenge of translating passives across two typologically distant languages such as English-Chinese (Li & Thompson, 1976). We argue that the translation of passives should be addressed as a genre-related phenomenon for which more research is warranted. The creation of GenreTrans consists of two stages. The first step was to develop the notion of a genre-based approach to translation (Bhatia, 1997) by analysing passive constructions found in parallel corpora (Xiao, McEnery, & Qian, 2006). Analyses of three-genre specific bilingual parallel corpora were carried out. The three corpora examined cover legalese, journalistic and literary discourse. The distribution and frequency of different types of passive constructions were analysed; and the frequency with which the standard set of techniques for translating passive constructions was used in each of the three corpora was examined. The second stage involved a collection of data from students who used GenreTrans in their translation classes. Student inputs into GenreTrans were collected as data for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of this teaching/training tool. This was followed up by user feedback elicited in a short semi-structured interviewed. The findings from the study shed light on the practical implementation of the translation theory of "functional equivalence" (Nida & Taber, 1982/2003) in the training of community translation in areas such as legal, business and literary texts.


Passive construction

Cultural Translation of Sacred Texts: The Doxic and the Hetero-Doxic in the Arabic Translations of the Bible

Sameh Hanna (University of Leeds)


Negotiating the culture which shaped the Biblical text has always been a key challenge when translating the Bible across linguistic, religious and cultural boundaries. This is all the more so when the Bible is translated into Arabic, a language which had already encoded and accommodated the theological and cultural assumptions underlying another sacred text, i.e. the Qur’an. The tension between the two world-views constituting both texts has generated, not only different Arabic translations of the Bible, but also different discursive practices, i.e., discourses on cultural/theological differences which seek, in their own ways and in different degrees, to (re)conceptualise this difference. 

While the 1865 Arabic Bible, widely known as al-Bustani/Van Dyck (Grafton 2015) had established the ‘normative’ translation practice which had been widely accepted by the Arabic-speaking Christians since late 19th century, a number of translations have emerged in the last few decades which consciously strove to question the doxic beliefs underlying the 1865 version. Using carefully designed strategies, both textual, paratextual and multimodal, these translations sought to develop a new discourse on Bible translation into Arabic. This hetero-dox discourse opened up debates among translators, missionary organisations and other interested parties on the legitimacy and viability of such Arabic translations as ‘The True Meaning of the Gospel of Christ’ (2007). Using Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘doxa’, ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heterodxy’, this paper explores both the translation and discursive practices of these translations in order to show the role they played in changing perceptions of the Bible in an Arab-Islamic context.


Arabic Bible
Cultural translation



Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in Brasil: Two Telenovelas Broadcast By Rede Globo: Capturing the Essence

Valmi Hatje-Faggion (Universidade de Brasilia)


This paper will look at Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1912) translated/adapted for two telenovelas broadcast by Rede Globo in Brasil. It will consider the English published edition (Shaw, [1942] 1978) of the play and the following two telenovelas: Pigmaleão 70 (1970) by Vicente Sesso and Totalmente demais (2015-2016) by Rosane Svartman and Paulo Halm. The objective is to carry out a close reading of the two telenovelas and the playtext in order to show how the two adaptations of the original play were produced by different agents (telenovela writers, directors and telenovela watchers); also, how the linguistic, narrative and cultural aspects (language, plot, setting) were dealt with in both adaptations. The theoretical framework gets support from critics such as Sanders (2006), Walton (2006), Munday (2013; 2014), and Cattrysse (2014). For the better understanding of the various manipulations (omissions, additions) of the play, for the telenovelas' audiences, the statements made by the telenovela writers, directors, producers, and novela watchers will also be taken into consideration. Data indicate that both telenovelas tend to adapt and domesticate local elements of the source text and to set the whole action in Brazil/ and other countries. However, they do keep the essence of the play, that is, the idea of transformation and the social class issue. Both telenovelas not only reveal a process in which alterations to Shaw’s canonical playtext take place, but also indicate that such alterations are meaningful as they lead to a particular reading of the story in different places and times.


Shaw's Pygmalion
Brazilian Telenovelas



An exploration of the features of ideology in an English-to-Japanese translation of a book about Japan's future empress consort

David Heath (Kanto Gakuin University)


Translators and their employers can, and do, manipulate translation processes for ideological purposes. The implications of such rewriting in translation into Japanese are concerning as many Japanese people are monolingual and have little access to source-text (ST) content. 

Even so, there appears to be a scarcity of detailed accounts of ideologically motivated rewriting in translations of informative, non-fiction, English texts into Japanese. There also appears to be a dearth of research into techniques for enabling such rewriting to be easily identified, tabulated, and analyzed. My ongoing research thus involves (a) investigating ideologically motivated rewriting in a Japanese publisher’s Japanese translation of the book Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne; and (b) doing so using methodology I developed after an intensity-analysis technique conceived by Christopher Barnard of Teikyo University.

I presented preliminary findings from analysis of the translation’s first chapter at the 8th Asian Translation Traditions Conference in 2017. These findings suggest that omission and intensification account for most instances of rewriting; and that the translator and/or publisher systematically (a) omitted ST content that undermines the image of the imperial family and (b) used intensification to cause the target text to reflect greater honour toward the imperial family. They also highlight strengths and limitations in my methodology.

I will now present more-detailed findings from analysis of a larger portion of the translation. I will show how patterns of rewriting remain consistent and how I suggest refining my techniques to gain more nuance in analysis results.





Writing Hong Kong: Travel and Translation

Audrey Heijns (Shenzhen University)


When traveling abroad one not only gets an impression of the foreign country but also becomes aware of oneself in relation to others. When writing about that foreign country one then moves in a liminal space between knowledge of the self and the encounter with and understanding of the other. Some travellers share their knowledge of cultural aspects in a positive way, while others may create a distance by juxtaposing cultural differences in a negative manner.

Ethnographic descriptions such as travel writing often involve translation, which can be domesticating and thus reducing the foreign to fit into a framework that reproduces that of the Self, or exoticizing the Other so as to make it distant and simply alien from the observing self, or both. Whatever the approach, the travelling authors assume the authority to extract the underlying meanings of what the ‘natives’ say and do, and decode this for themselves and their readers. This means that personal interpretations are inevitably included in the writing and travelogues are not value neutral.

In this paper, I propose to compare travel accounts about Hong Kong from the turn of the twentieth century and explore the movements from the source culture into the target culture. This will  reveal the writer’s interpretation of the foreign place and the positioning of the Self towards the Other. Examples will show how differences and similarities create a different level of contact with the foreign culture.


Hong Kong



“Alibaba at the Peach Blossom Spring”: On the Assessment of the Translation of Structural Metaphors in Pragmatic Texts from Chinese into English and French

Kevin Henry (Université de Mons)


As a part of the major hindrances translators may face due to their transversal quality breaking the text linearity, “clichés”, “allusions”, “culturemes” and “phrasemes” have attracted the attraction of translation studies scholars, including in pedagogy. Lakoff & Johnson’s (1980) “conceptual metaphors” had also led to cognitivist reflections in the field. The interest taken in these phenomena seems, however, to be less lively when examining languages such as Mandarin Chinese. The translation impact of these discrete “units” structuring discourse also appears to be underexplored.

In this paper, we will take the Chinese book The Alibaba Way (Lowrey/刘鹰 2015), a presentation of the Web company Alibaba’s commercial model, to illustrate all the intricacies and subtleties that the translator can encounter in a text highly structured by phraseology written in a language without any link with the target languages, in this case English and French. We will emphasise how highly specific cultural references pertain to building the marketing identity of the described company. From these examples and based on Nord’s (1997) concept of “functional/vertical units” and on the complementarity of rhetorical and systemic analyses advocated by Frœliger (2013), we will postulate the existence of “structuring metaphors” in pragmatic texts and study their implications in translation assessment. We will then confirm the idea that an addition of microscopic units in pragmatic texts can form a kind of macroscopic “super-unity” that should be considered and dealt with as a whole by the translator to guarantee the success of the linguistic and cultural transfer.


Translation assessment
Phraseology and culturemes
Structural metaphors
Chinese into French/English translation



The Interpreter’s Roles and Space: Reflections on Interpreting for Various Projects in China

Pingping Hou (Shandong University)


Along with its rapid economic development, China conducts extensive cooperation and exchanges with other countries in the world. As a result, there are frequent foreign-related events, projects and training programs going on, where interpreters are needed to facilitate the exchanges, negotiations, training and so on. Over the past six years, faculty members and students of the MTI (Master of Translation and Interpreting) Education Center of Shandong University have provided language services for hundreds of foreign-related events, construction projects and training sessions. Our experience as interpreters is diversified and very often transcends traditional guidelines for interpreters.

Traditionally seen merely as language converters, interpreters are often trained to remain “invisible” in their tasks. This is reflected in official guidelines which require or advise interpreters not to step out of their role and to always accurately convey what is said by the speakers involved. While this is reasonable for some occasions, it definitely is not applicable to all types of interpreting cases.

Based on our own interpreting experiences, this research explores the roles interpreters play (or are expected to play) and the space they need in facilitating the communication between relevant parties. Featuring a combination of empirical study and theoretical analysis, it depicts the actual demands for interpreters in project interpreting and explores the qualities required of a successful interpreter. It is hoped that this research will also contribute to fresh thought for interpreter training.


Interpreter’s roles
Interpreter’s space
Project interpreting
Interpreter training



Cultural Mobility and Staging Innovation: Translating Classic Chinese Plays for English Theatre

Ann-Marie Hsiung (I-Shou University)


Theater translation involves cultural mobility and staging innovation. This is particularly true in translating ancient plays for the contemporary audience. This paper examines two translation practices of classical Chinese plays, The West Wing (2008) and The White Snake (2010), for international theatre. The first staged in multicultural Singapore and the other, mono-cultural Hawaii with a major Asian population.

Both plays were stronghold of Chinese culture, imposing questions of cultural authenticity and lingual theatricality to the translators/directors. These challenges were accepted or even welcomed by the makers of the productions. The West Wing, adapted from a Ming version of chuanqi opera, was marketed as “a renaissance production with modern music and dance.” The White Snake, transformed from the longstanding Jingju productions, was claimed to be authentic in both music and performance. While both productions promised their audiences a genuine experience of watching classical Chinese opera, their approaches differed widely.

This study looks into the playscript translation and stage realizations, focusing on the challenging libretto translation and innovative staging. It attempts to unveil the cultural mobility and its impact through case studies.


Cultural mobility
Staging innovation
International theatre



Mental Set Shifting is Boosted Early in the Development of Interpreting Expertise

Jiehui Hu (University of Electronic Science and Technology) and Adolfo M. García (National University of Cuyo)


Several studies published in the last decade suggest that interpreting training can bring cognitive advantages in the domain of executive control, arguably reflecting plastic adaptations to stringent task-specific demands. In particular, recent evidence suggests that, relative to non-interpreter bilinguals (NIBs), interpreters are characterized by improved set-shifting skills. However, two relevant questions remain poorly understood: How soon after the start of interpreting training do these advantages emerge? And to what extent are they independent of concomitants increases in second-language competence? To address these questions, we used the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) to compare the mental set-shifting skills of NIBs, advanced first-year interpreting students (1-ISs), and advanced second-year interpreting students (2-ISs). Crucially, the three groups differed in interpreting skills, this pattern being mirrored by second-language proficiency scores. First, results from a between-subject ANOVA on WCST scores showed that NIBs were outperformed by 2-ISs and even by the 1-ISs. Second, complementary ANCOVA analyses revealed that such effects remained even after covarying for second-language proficiency scores. Finally, regression analyses of the participants’ language proficiency and interpretation skills showed that only the latter factor significantly accounted for the interpreting students’ set-shifting advantages. In sum, these results indicate that set-shifting skills can be boosted after only one year of systematic interpreting training, and that such enhancement is orthogonal to parallel improvements in second-language skills. Our findings thus shed light on how (and how soon) cognitive function is modulated upon exposure to the specific demands of this most stringent translation modality.


Interpreting training
Mental set shifting
Second language proficiency



Transnationalism, Translation and Identity: Ha Jin and His Literary Works

Sang Hu (Shanghai International Studies University)


This article explores how transnational experiences, cultural translation and identity interact with and affect one another by analyzing the trajectory of Ha Jin’s life and some of his literary works. Firstly, it examines how living in another language and the so-called neo-liberal multiculturalism in the US molds Ha Jin’s dual identity, which explains why most of his stories are set in mainland China and imbued with Chinese English. I then present arguments for and against the distinctively hybrid language (which in turn strengthens his dual identity) woven into Ha Jin’s works, and argue that they manifest the dilemma most translators are faced with. A comparison would be made between Ha Jin’s language and translations of Mo Yan’s novels by Howard Goldblatt. Lastly, I maintain that Ha Jin’s contact/translation literature, in the context of global Englishes, contributes to the plurality of English literature and English democracy.


cultural translation
hybrid language



Reconstructing New Chinese Literature: A Study of Poetic Translation by the Crescent Moon Group of Shakespearean Drama into Chinese

Yanjie Huang (Anhui Polytechnic University)


During the 1920s and 1930s, such Chinese writer-translators as Deng Yizhe, Xu Zhimo, Sun Dayu and Zhu Weiji, who belonged to the Crescent Moon Group, first translated poetically some excerpts of Shakespearean plays into modern Chinese. This paper starts from a descriptive analysis of the Chinese translations in terms of meaning, form and style, and then combined with historical-cultural context and supported by the paratexts, investigates into how and why the Crescent Moon Group did the first poetic translation of Shakespeare in China. It reveals that this new literary group, with the help of translation, aimed to reconstruct modern Chinese literature by refuting the “romantic” translation strategies prevailing in the literary world since the 1920s and experimenting in the Chinese language with literary genres and poetic forms borrowed from the west.


The Crescent Moon Group
Shakespearean Drama
Poetic translation
Reconstruction of new Chinese literature



Hong Kong Spaces in Translated Literature: between the center and periphery

Yu Huang (Sun Yat-sen University)


As two core concepts of such cross-disciplinary study, space and place are used to denote different epistemological approaches. The geometrical space is the objective reality, while place is the incarnation of “the experiences and aspirations of a people” (Tuan, 1979). This essay explores the literary narratives about one’s experience with his/her place in the short stories by two Hong Kong writers respectively: Wu Yanqing’s  “The Legend of the Floral Cloth Street”  and Dung Kai-cheung’s “The Rise and Fall of Wingsing Street”. Wu’s story features the family history of a cloth merchant who migrated from Guangzhou to continue his cloth trading business on Wingon Street in  Central, Hong Kong. Dung’s story presents a back-flow migrant from Canada who seeks the hidden family story about his grandmother in her house on a street that could not be found on any map of Hong Kong. A comparative reading reveals remarkable similarities between the two short stories regarding the narrative point of view, the obsession with the vanished family members and their hidden past, the construction of a fictional place under real names of Hong Kong streets, and the ambivalent sentiment toward the narrator’s homeland. Above all the similar points, the two stories both demonstrate, in Tuan’s term, a strong sense of place as the two narrators “apply their moral and aesthetic discernment to site and locations”(1976, 410). This paper concludes by arguing that the two narratives both demonstrate the literary efforts to build a site that translates memories into reality.


Hong Kong literature

Interpreting Meaning: A Semiotic Approach to Non-Professional Interpreting at Animal Welfare Outreaches

Xany Jansen Van Vuuren (University of the Free State)


Animal welfare outreach events in South Africa, during which free basic animal care is provided to animals in lower income areas, are often hindered by communication problems. Of these problems, the diverse linguistic backgrounds of animal owners and welfare workers are one of the most prominent, since the country has eleven official languages. In order to address this issue, those involved in the communication event frequently make use of any willing bilinguals to interpret conversations between welfare workers and animal owners. This paper intends to investigate the process of non-professional interpreting that takes place during these events. Given this background, other issues such as the diverse sociological circumstances of animal owners and welfare workers (Stibbe, 2001; Pacelle, 2015), opposing views on animal ownership and welfare (Nicks & Vandeheede, 2014; Haynes 2010), and differences in systems of meaning of animal owners and welfare workers (Lotman, 1990; 2009) also come into play during these communication events. Consequently, this paper will not merely explore and analyse the linguistic aspects that take place during such communication events, but rather take on a semiotic approach by analysing a variety of systems of meaning (including both verbal and non-verbal communication) that enable communication (and interpreting) to take place.


Non-professional interpreting
Community interpreting



Bilingual Representation of Distance in Visual-Verbal Sign Systems: A Case Study of Guo Xi’s Early Spring

Chengzhi Jiang (Wuhan University)


Recent research has studied the visual pragmatics of verbal distance representation taking as its data bilingual museum catalogue entries of Chinese landscape paintings (Jiang 2012). But scholarly efforts have yet to consider the reciprocity of a specific artwork and its bilingual museum catalogue entries, with particular reference to how the visual-verbal distance representation can be explained at discursive and cultural levels. This paper is aimed at filling the gap, by focusing on the visual-verbal representation of Three Distances (i.e., level distance, high distance, and deep distance) as an overall aesthetic preference in Chinese landscape painting. Viewing Guo Xi’s 郭熙Zao Chun Tu《早春圖》Early Spring and bilingual museum catalogue entries accompanying it as a group of intertextual cases of intersemiotic translation, this paper analyzes, through the contribution of individual Distance Cues (henceforth “DC”) to the pictorial representation of “Three Distances”, the relevance of language use to the visual-verbal coherence between the artwork and its bilingual translations applying a cognitive functional model proposed and elucidated elsewhere to address the connections between the visual artwork, its verbal texts and the aesthetic/philosophical ideas that underpin Early Spring in particular and the culture and tradition of Chinese landscape painting in general.


Distance representation
Bilingual museum catalogue
Visual pragmatics
Early Spring
Visual-verbal coherence



Chinese Translation Academics as Translators in the Reformed University

Tianmin Jiang (Sichuan International Studies University)


The worklife of current translation academics is a fairly unattended area in translation studies. Drawing on data collected through qualitative interviews with 21 translation scholars from 7 mainland Chinese universities, this paper explores the participants’ engagement in translation practices, the factors that facilitate or limit their engagement and their perceptions of the research- practice nexus. The findings highlight two obstacles for their engagement in translation practices - the assessment regime derived from the neoliberal changes in the governance of mainland Chinese universities that prioritizes research-related activities (e.g. publishing research papers) and gives undue credit to translation practices, and the translation market that is booming yet largely unregulated and unfavorable for translators. Nevertheless, the participants are more or less engaged in translation practices, motivated by their sense of responsibility of knowledge dissemination, personal interest, disciplinary training, personal relationship, etc. Consequently, their perceptions of the research-practice nexus are couched in the changing academic contexts and practices, highlighting struggles for balance at the individual level.


Chinese translation academics
Translation practices
Research-practice nexus



Translation of Kunqu Opera from the Perspective of Multimodal Discourse Analysis ---A Case Study of the Young Lovers’ Edition of The Peony Pavilion

Zhihui Jiang (East China Normal University)


Kunqu Opera is a comprehensive art with literature, music, dance, performance, make-up, costume and prop as its components, thus is characterized by multimodality. Most researches on the translation of The Peony Pavilion just focus on its language and text, neglecting its multimodal features. Drawing upon the insights of Multimodal Discourse Analysis and Reception Theory, this study explores how the English translation of the scripts of the young lovers’ edition of The Peony Pavilion, together with other elements, helps to represent the multimodal characteristics of Kunqu Opera. The Author finds that in order to cater to the audiences’ reception requirements, and to achieve the realization of the multimodality of The Peony Pavilion, the translator has to apply adaptive methods to his translation. The author argues that the Multimodal Discourse Analysis and Reception Theory may give better direction for theatre translation of Kunqu Opera.


The Peony Pavilion
Theatre Translation



Creative Decision-Making in Collaborative Poetry Translation

Francis Jones (Newcastle University)


Poetry translation requires three interlocking expertises: (1) analysing source-language poems, and (2) writing effective target-language poems (3) which reflect the source. Relatively few individuals – ‘solo translators’ – have this whole skill-set, especially for globally non-dominant source languages, like Dutch.

Poetry, however, is often also translated in collaborative teams, where different members contribute different sub-skills. The inter-university project reported here explores this hitherto virtually unresearched area. It focuses on ‘expert poet-trio’ translation, where a published source poet, a published target-language poet, and a professional translator (‘language advisor’) translate the source poet’s poems. In two four-day workshops, three Dutch and three British poets, with three Dutch-English language advisors, worked in various trio configurations – first translating the British poets’ poems into Dutch, then translating the Dutch poets’ poems into English (or Scots). Discussions and working drafts were videoed, and participants were interviewed daily about the process, generating over 100 tape-hours of data.

This paper explores the trios’ creative decision-making: a crucial poetry-translating skill. It defines creativity as tackling problems with solutions that are both novel and appropriate (Sternberg and Lubart, 1999). In poetry, ‘novel’ involves radically departing from source-poem semantics or structures (Presenter, 2011). The paper addresses these questions:

  • What prompts trios to explore creative solutions?
  • How are such solutions negotiated?
  • How are negotiations shaped by each member’s role (source poet, target-language poet, language advisor) and power within the trio?
  • How far does trios’ creative decision-making reflect that of solo poetry translators (as established in previous research)?


Poetry translation
Collaborative translation
Translation processes



Translation and Cultural Mobility of ‘Western’ Medical Knowledge in the Late Nineteenth- and the Early Twentieth-Century Korea: Unhiding the Hidden Figures in the Translation Projects

Ji-Hae Kang (Ajou University)


This study explores the ways in which 'Western' medical knowledge was translated into Korean during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. In Korea, the transmission of the Western medical knowledge began in 1885 with the establishment of Chejungwon, a modern hospital and medical school operated by the Protestant missionaries. Chejungwon’s translation projects took place against the background of escalating Japanese imperial power, declining Chinese political and cultural influence, and rising Korean aspirations to use Western ideas and knowledge to strengthen its power amidst sociopolitical upheaval.

The present study focuses on the translation activities of the Korean translators who collaborated in the medical translation projects at Chejungwon. Based on the analyses of translated texts, missionary archives, government documents and newspaper articles, the current study examines Hong Jong-Eun, Kim Pil-Soon and Hong Seok-Hoo, the Korean co-translators of Chejungwon publications. I argue that Korean translators critically affected the choice of source texts and the approach to and method of translation. Despite their relative invisibility as translators, these figures played crucial roles in producing Western medical concepts and terminology in the Korean language and affected the direction of medical education at the time. The findings suggest that medical translation is a complex site that shows the intricate connections among the conflict-ridden relationship between missionary medicine and colonial medicine, the process through which Japanese language became the mediating language in Korea’s translation of Western ideas, and the Korean intellectuals’ struggles to forge a modern identity for the Korean society.


Collaborative translation
Medical text


Simplification Strategies of Subtitling and Dubbing from the Perspective of Functional Theories
Huan-Li Kao (Chang Jung Christian University)



This study aims to explore the simplification strategies of subtitling and dubbing from the perspective of functional theories of translation such as text types (Reiss 1971), functional equivalence (Nida 1986), and skopos theory (Vermeer 1989). According to Vermeer (1989), skopos theory focuses on translation as an activity with a purpose, and on the intended addressee or audience of the translation. Therefore, to translate means to produce a target text for a target purpose and target addressees. In the context of audiovisual translation, it means to subtitle and dub for different audiences. For example, when translating animation films, translators have to adopt different strategies for subtitling (intended for adults) and dubbing (intended for children). In addition, due to time and space constraints, subtitling and dubbing have to adopt simplification strategies, such as transfer and paraphrase proposed by Blum-Kulka and Levenston (1978). This study investigated the Chinese subtitled and dubbed translations of “Shrek 2” DVD released in Taiwan to answer the research questions of whether and how subtitling and dubbing are different in terms of simplification strategies due to their functions. By adopting simplification strategies proposed by Blum-Kulka and Levenston (1978), this study calculated the number of different strategies used in the subtitled and dubbed translations respectively and tried to explain their differences from the perspective of the functional theories. It is hoped that the results of this study could be applied to the teaching, practice, and theory of audiovisual translation.


Functional theories
Simplification strategies

Translating Metaphors across Ethnicities within a National Identity

Karnedi Karnedi (Open University of Indonesia)


Translating metaphors across different national identities has so far been the common research interest in Translation Studies. However, little attention has been paid to the translation of metaphors within a national identity in which different ethnicities with different indigenous languages and local cultures are involved. In terms of methodology by adopting a corpus-based approach, translational tasks become more challenging since the tasks completion starts from rendering metaphorical expressions of certain types of metaphor from several indigenous languages into a national language and then into English as an international language. In other words, back-translation that goes through the three languages, rather than mostly between two languages, seems to be even more challenging. This paper highlights some translation phenomena involving some indigenous languages that constitute a national language, and an international language. More importantly, how does the translator deal with translation problems in this respect?

This paper concludes that metaphor translation across ethnicities within a single national identity would be able to raise both the ethnic and national identities to the international level of discourse, and thus at the same time contribute to research methods in Translation Studies and also to the development of theories of translation.


Translation phenomena
Ethnic and national identity
Corpus-based approach



Theatre Translation and the Politics of Mourning: Antigone and the Trojan Women in Sri Lanka

Dinithi Karunanayake (University of Colombo)


This presentation will be based on the analysis of translations of two classical, canonical plays, performed in the context of a youth insurrection (1988-1989) and the Eelam wars (1983-2009) in Sri Lanka. The paper examines how the plays selected for study thematise the concept of mourning and give it political meaning through various translational practices, including text-based techniques as well as performance-based strategies such as those of gesture, posture and the body. Significantly, the theme of mourning became important in the context of the Sri Lankan conflicts because certain deaths were ceremonially ‘mourned’ whilst others were not. Thus questions such as who is mourned and why? When is a person not mourned? When, how and with what effect does a deeply personal act such as mourning become public and political? will be explored through an analysis of the Sinhala translations of Sophocles’ Antigone as Antigone in 1993 and Euripides’ The Women of Troy as Trojan Kanthawo in 2000. The impact of context and of cultural mobility on translating and adapting older, classical and canonical texts such as these will be examined through a socio-narrative theory based theoretical framework (Somers 1994; Baker 2006) and the analytical concept of ‘renarration’ (Baker 2008).


Theatre translation
Sri Lanka
Narrative theory



Does Simultaneous Interpreting Expertise Modulate Parallel Language Activation?

Laura Keller (University of Geneva)


Parallel language activation in bilinguals has been widely observed. Recent findings indicate that the degree of non-task-relevant-language activation is conditioned by individuals’ executive functions and modulated by their language use. As professional simultaneous interpreters possess largely unexplored expertise in an extreme form of language use requiring simultaneous comprehension and production in two different languages, this study aims at investigating whether their parallel activation patterns differ from those of naïve multilinguals. Furthermore, it sets out to exploit the diglossic dichotomy characterizing Swiss speakers of German, to extend the parallel activation observations to varieties of the same language, i.e. Swiss German in a Standard German setting. For this purpose, four participant profiles were recruited for a visual world eye-tracking experiment (diglossic interpreters, non-diglossic interpreters, diglossic non-interpreters and non-diglossic non-interpreters; n=64; L1=DE, L2=EN). Participants were instructed in their L1 to identify a target object image presented on a screen by clicking on it or to translate the name of the target embedded in an English sentence (their L2) into their L1. In both cases, the target images were presented with a phonological competitor and two fillers (three in the baseline condition). The phonological competitors belong to the task-relevant language variety (Standard German, here L1) or to the task-irrelevant variety (Swiss German, here L1’ for the diglossic sub-groups). A time course analysis of fixation distributions together with the analysis of target identification times are expected to allow for conclusions in terms of interpreting expertise potentially influencing competition resolution.


Simultaneous interpreting
Parallel language activation
Language control
Multilingual language processing



Aesthetics and Ethics of Cultural Translation

Youngmin Kim (Dongguk University)


Walter Benjamin sees that translation serves the high purpose of establishing the hidden reciprocal relationship between languages. Benjamin’s ideal translation should be transparent to shine upon the original all the more fully by way of laying bare of literal translation. On the other hand, a translation should observe the laws of fidelity in the freedom of linguistic flux when the literal translation becomes rigid thereby producing the prison house of language. Homi Bhabha perceives that the borderline work of culture "demands an encounter with newness that is not part of the continuum of past and present" as well as "creates a sense of the new as an insurgent act of cutural translation" "in a contingent in-between space that innovates and interrupts the performance of the present." These "entertaining differential" in-between spaces of cultural hybridity will provide "a bridge where 'presencing' begins because it captures something of the estranging sense of the relocation of the home and the world--the unhomeliness that is the conditions of extra-territorial and cross-cultural initiation. This Bhabhaian project of "cultural translation" along with the debates of Judith Butler, Slavoi Zizek and many others, still remains problematic. My contention is that the locus for this untranslatability to be crossed over in terms of the “in-between” or “interstices” can reveal its visibility and representability by poetics, aesthetics and ethics of cultural translation. One needs the ethics of cultural translation by creating the proper distancing and the free linguistic displacement based upon mutual respect and equivalence.


Aesthetics and Ethics of Cultural Translation
Walter Benjaminian theory of translation
Transculturalism and Untranslability



Becoming Culturally Mobile through Winning the Caine Prize for African Writing

Susanne Klinger (Hacettepe University)


In 2002, Binyavanga Wainaina won the Caine Prize with his short story “Discovering Home”. The following year, as a participant at the first African Writers' Workshop held in Cape Town, he wrote “Ships in High Transit”, a short story mocking Western stereotypes about Africa. In 2005, Granta published his satire “How to Write About Africa”, thus establishing his reputation as a writer exposing African clichés and stereotypes. However, there is no trace of the mocking aggressiveness of “Ships in High Transit” or his later writings in his prize-winning story.

These differences in tone can be explained by the fact that while writing “Discovering Home”, Wainaina was still an unknown writer. The story is first published by a US-American magazine, G21, and presumably Wainaina felt compelled to comply with Western poetics in order to get published. When he wins the Caine Prize, he gains the visibility that allows him to move away from these expectations. When he writes “Ships in High Transit”, he knows beforehand that his story will be published.

This paper investigates whether and how the Caine Prize for African Writing, awarded annually since 2000, facilities the cultural mobility of its award winners by translating themselves into the foreign culture in a first instance, in order to allow them later on to abandon this position. In particular, it is interested to what extent the writers comply with expectations – or what they assume these expectations to be – and whether their creative output notably changes after winning the prize.


Cultural self-translation
African writing



The Unreliable Translator with a Mission? The Danish Translations of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Ida Klitgård (Roskilde University)


The three existing Danish translations of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) were produced by one and the same translator, the famous and infamous Colonel Lieutenant Mogens Boisen (1910-87). He claims to have produced more than 800 translations from English, German, French, Norwegian and Swedish, and translating Ulysses became a life-long obsession with him. He first translated the book in 1949 followed by a revised edition in 1970, where episodes 1-5 and 9 have been retranslated from scratch. Then followed a revised edition in 1980 and a final version in 1986. Such retranslation by the same translator is highly unusual, both in the history of retranslations itself and when compared with other international translations of Ulysses.

In this study I want to investigate what kind of voice/style Boisen applies, and what happens to this voice/style and the latent positioning of the implied reader (Hermans 1996; Schiavi 1996) in the first translation and in the subsequent translations. Through analysis of Boisen’s paratexts and two striking passages with ‘cultural embedding’ (Hermans 1996) in the translation, I claim that Boisen not only performs a positioning of his reader, but also an ‘interpositioning’ as he comes between the author and the reader to profit from and expose himself in the last translation. In this way he, paradoxically, creates a kind of hybrid foreignisation which might have pleased Joyce.


Hermans, Theo. 1996. “The Translator’s Voice in Translated Narrative”, Target, 8:1, 23-48.

Schiavi, Giuliana, 1996. “There Is Always a Teller in a Tale”, Target, 8:1, 1-21.


Literary translation
James Joyce



Stories in Two Voices: The Emergence of the Translator's Voice in Five German Versions of a Short Story by Ernest Hemingway

Waltraud Kolb (University of Vienna)


Translations of narrative texts may be described as “texts in two voices” in the sense that they contain not only the author’s voice but also a second voice, the translator’s, “as an index of the translator’s discursive presence” (Hermans 2009).  How does the translator’s voice find its way into the target text? What are factors that define and shape it? In my paper, I will argue that the translator’s discursive presence and thus translatorial agency and cognition are closely linked to the individual translator’s perception of his or her own role in the process.

I will examine verbal data obtained in the course of an empirical study of literary translation processes. In this study, five professional German translators translated an early short story by Ernest Hemingway and the five translation and decision-making processes were captured by various tools, in particular keylogging and concurrent and retrospective verbalizations. In a number of publications so far, I have explored those processes from the perspective of cognitive stylistics and reader-response criticism and also looked at situational factors and workplace dynamics as constitutive elements of translatorial cognition and action. In this paper, I will focus on what Sela Sheffy (2014) described as “identity talk,” i.e, self-representation discourses of translators. Drawing on discourse analysis and qualitative content analysis, I will examine the verbal reports produced by the five translators in the course of the study to show how the translators’ self-concepts impact their decision-making processes.


Literary translation
Discourse analysis



Practical Strategies of Translating Multiculturalism in the Launch of Eurochannel in Russia

Alexey Kozuliaev (RuFilms LLC/RuFilms School of Audiovisual Translation)


In 2017 Eurochannel selected RuFilms for the VO launch of its broadcasting in Russian. The programming roster of the channel is a true display of European multiculturalism as it offers to the Russian audience feature films from all 27 EU country members. These works are real challenges for translators as they reflect the huge cultural diversity of European nations. The customer requested two goals to be met – 1) to ensure a certain degree of uniformity in the translation (both linguistically and culturally) so that the launch could be a commercial success and 2) to ensure the reflection of the cultural variety of Europe as most of the features were done by best national directors. RuFilms developed several translation and workflow management strategies that fulfilled both goals without compromising them.

The presentation is a case study.


Linguistic and cultural diversity
Translation strategies
Audiovisual translation



Whose Heritage? On the Hybridity in Three Classical Chinese Novels Adapted for Children in Taiwan

Tzu-Yun Lai (National Taiwan Normal University)


In the early 1960s, three classical Chinese novels, including The Water Margin, The Romance of Three Kingdoms and The Journey to the West, were adapted for young readers in Taiwan. Since both the source language and the target language were Chinese, they were assumed by many to be adapted from the original novels. However, the researcher found they were actually translated from Japanese adaptations rather than adapted directly from classical Chinese. The source texts included The Water Margin adapted into Japanese by Akimitsu Takagi (1955), The Romance of Three Kingdoms by Shibata Renzaburou (1952), and The Journey to the West by Kōji Uno (1951). The first two were published by Kaiseisha publisher and the last one was by Kodansha. The Taiwanese translators were Huang Deshih (1909-1999), Wang Yunchun (1934- ) and Yan Bingyao (1935- ), all born in colonial period.    

This paper aims to compare the original classical Chinese novels, the Japanese adaptations and the Chinese translations of the Japanese adaptations. Through the comparison, the researcher would like to address the following questions: why did the Taiwanese writers choose to translate from the Japanese adaptations rather than from classical Chinese? And what consequence of this choice? When there were mistakes or differences from the original novels, the Taiwanese translators would chose to correct them, or follow the Japanese writers? The author hopes to highlight the hybridity of Taiwan’s culture through the study.


Classical Chinese Novels
Japanese adaptations
Chinese adaptations



Translation and interpreting in Spanish penitentiaries: Research and Practical Outcomes

Raquel Lazaro Gutierrez, Bianca Vitalaru and Carmen Valero Garcés (Universidad de Alcala)

Presented by: Raquel Lazaro Gutierrez


This proposal aims at presenting the qualitative results of a research project on effective communication in Spanish penitentiaries and, specifically, on the design of a pilot training program for bilingual foreign inmates. According to European legislation (Directive 2012/13/EU of 22 May 2012) all prisoners have the right to information regarding their criminal proceedings from the moment of their arrest. When language or cultural barriers impede the application of these rights, prisoners of foreign origin have the right to receive translation and interpretation services based on Articles 2 and 3 of Directive 2010/64/EU of 20 October 2010. Based on the available data in Spain, in the absence of professional translators and interpreters, fellow inmates who speak both the foreign language in question and Spanish are called upon to carry out linguistic intermediation on behalf of foreign inmates. However, these ad hoc interpreters lack the professional training necessary in order to effectively carry out the interpreter’s task, making it impossible to guarantee the quality of their services. The FITISPos group at the University of Alcalá has carried out extensive research to expand current knowledge about this reality with the purpose of providing guidelines for effective communication in situations involving interpreters and translators. One of the main objectives of this project is to design training materials aimed at bilingual inmates in order to improve the detention process and strengthen mutual trust


Fundamental rights
Effective communication



A Survey of Elementary School Teachers’ Perspectives on Communication with Students and Parents from Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds

Jieun Lee (Ewha Womans University)


This paper addresses the current state of interpreting in education settings with a focus on elementary school. Following a review of the literature on education of children from the so-called multicultural families and community interpreting in education settings, this paper presents the results of a questionnaire-based survey of 142 elementary school teachers based in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. The findings reveal the current state of community interpreting in school settings through teachers’ experiences and perceptions. Despite a need for interpreting and translation which facilitates communication between them, there is a lack of awareness about the need for professional interpreting. The data analysis indicates that informal, ad hoc solutions are the order of the day when teachers face difficulties in communicating with students and parents with limited Korean proficiency. The results suggest that teachers may be better served by a type of professional who are capable of intercultural mediation in addition to interpreting and translation.


Education interpreting
Students and parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds
Elementary school teachers
Language assistance



The Mysteries of Judge Dee: Appropriation, Re-mediation and Transcreation

Victoria Lei (University of Macau), Defeng Li (University of Macau), and Karen Seago (City University of London)

Presented by: Karen Seago


The translation of crime fictions has increasingly attracted scholarly attention in recent years. (Cadera & Pintaric, 2014; Seago, Evans & de Céspedes, 2014)

The revival of Judge Dee stories, a Chinese traditional crime narrative called Di Gong An, in contemporary China is a typical example of how different cultures and traditions permeate and impact on one another. It is also an example of the appropriation and manipulation of Chinese source materials to conform to Western models of detective fiction in an explicitly articulated framework of orientalism by the sinologist Robert van Gulik, who translated, rewrote and authored a series of Judge Dee detective stories in English with Chinese settings. Unlike their traditional Chinese source texts, van Gulik’s versions of Judge Dee were so popular in the West that they were then translated into Chinese. In the 1980s, the Chinese re-appropriation of these Western-mediated-Chinese materials moved across media and a TV series of Judge Dee stories based on five of Gulik’s originals were produced in the Chinese Mainland. TV and film adaptations of Gulik’s Judge Dee fictions have flourished in China since then.

Using both manual qualitative coding and automated corpus analysis tools, the paper will analyse the manipulation of central tropes of the traditional Chinese narrative into an English cultural context, their re-mediation into Chinese and their transcreation to the small screen.


Crime fiction
Corpus analysis
Traditional Chinese Crime Narrative



Audio Description in Hong Kong: End Users’ Preferences

Dawning Leung (University College London)


According to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department (2014), the number of people with visual impairment is estimated to be at around 174,800. The provision of audio description (AD) for films is very limited in the territory, with accessible screenings organised by non-governmental organisations and only available once or twice a month. By 2017, only 16 films on DVD with the option of Cantonese AD sound track are available on the market.

Although research into the topic has experienced a notable surge in many countries around the world, no studies have been conducted so far on media accessibility for the blind and partially sighted in Hong Kong. In fact, there is very limited research on examining access to the media of visually impaired people in China, not to mention AD reception studies that particularly focus on end users’ experience. After offering a brief overview of the state of the art in AD in Hong Kong and the legislation currently in force, this paper builds on the uses and gratification theory in order to investigate the preferences of the Hong Kong visually impaired people when it comes to consuming audiovisual productions, as well as their satisfaction with current AD provision for films. The presentation also points to potential future developments in the provision of AD in Hong Kong and other Chinese speaking territories.


Audio description
Visually impaired
Reception studies
Media accessibility
Film viewing



Forensic Science in English Detective Stories and Their Translation into Chinese at the Turn of the 20th Century

Bo Li (City University of Hong Kong)


The role played by translation during the late Qing period has been highlighted in many researches, and the translation of detective stories is of course not a new area of academic inquiry. When the differences between the east and the west, the difference between Chinese Gong’an (court case) and western detective stories in particular, have been acknowledged, the Chinese translation of English detective stories merits further research and inquiry. Actually, western detective stories, especially English ones, are fraught with advanced knowledge and technology and thus considered as miniature of modernity. In lieu of this, we can observe the interest in the relationship between detective stories and the rise of forensic science. In terms of cross-cultural communication, it is indispensable to answer the following questions: How the part embedded with forensic science was translated into the less-technologically-oriented cultures, Chinese in this particular case? How was the translation perceived and accepted? What is the impact and influence on the local community, the creation of Chinese detective stories for example? This paper will focus on several aspects of forensic science, medicine and photography to be specific. How are western medicine and photography applied in English detective stories, and how are they presented in the Chinese translation? Case studies will cover masterpieces from Arthur Conan Doyle and less known writers like L.T. Meade, etc. Such forensic science is gradually acknowledged and appropriated in local detective writings, and examples will be taken from Cheng Xiaoqing and other writers at the beginning of the 20th century.


Forensic science
Detective stories



Can the Translation of Ideology be Studied Objectively and Systematically? An SFL-CDA-CL approach for English-Chinese Translation

Keven Long Li (Macquarie University)


One persistent issue of translation evaluation is the subjective nature. Many scholars (Munday 1998; Zhang 2015; Kim and Matthiessen 2015) have called for linguistics, especially the Halladayan Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), as an empowering tool for translation studies. In addition, SFL-based translation researchers who are interested in ideology often incorporate theories and tools from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Corpus Linguistics (CL) thanks to their common interest in naturally occurring text and probabilistic patterns. A combination of the three approaches offers great potential in more objective and systematic translation evaluation. However, it remains underdeveloped in translation, especially in the area of ideological shifts and in the language pair of English-Chinese. This paper enhances existing SFL-CDA-CL approach to translation studies with a focus on political ideology and the English-Chinese pair, using the Chinese translations of some highly successful but politically volatile English works by Chinese migrant writers as a case study. It explores the translation of ideology by identifying patterns of stylistic shifts in translation - cruces where meaningful choices in the field (realised in TRANSITIVITY & TAXIS), tenor (MODALITY & DEGREE OF INTENSITY) and mode (THEMATIC PATTERNS and COHESION) converge and create ensemble ideological divergence; a number of corpus tools such as SysFan and LancBox are used to quantify and visualise lexicogrammatical patterns of ideological shifts. This study aims to enhance existing SFL-CDA-CL approaches to the study of the translation of ideology, and discuss practical ways to separate motivated selections from language typology and translation universals.


Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
Corpus Linguistics (CL)
Translation of ideology



Sino-Babylonianism, The Book of Chinese Poetry, and the Mobility of the Chinese Sign

Lynn Qingyang Lin (Lingnan University)


This paper examines how ideas about Chinese literature was formed, negotiated and mobilized across different realms of the discourse through various sinological and literary encounters with the Shijing, or the ancient Chinese book of poetry. I will focus in particular on Clement F. R. Allen’s 1891 translation, The Book of Chinese Poetry, which is informed by the then current sino-Babylonian theory in British sinology. Contrary to the more commonly described Orientalist paradigms, Allen’s approach to ancient China is not based upon binary distinctions between the East and the West, but rather works within a framework of sameness and common origin, seeking to appropriate ancient China into a monogenetic, diffusionist narrative of world civilizations. Within this framework and via textual and paratextual means, the sinologist-translator’s interpretive and representational authority was established and a highly “fluent” translation of the Chinese original was validated. Interestingly, this fluency in the text of translation does not work in tandem with “the translator’s invisibility” – there is a seeming discrepancy between the transparent surface of translation and the density of the paratextual materials, which complicates simple dichotomies in categorizing translation. I will try to relate Allen’s translation to the discursive trends in late nineteenth-century sinology and furthermore consider how particular strands of sinological Orientalism move beyond the sinological field and come to be adapted by early twentieth-century poet-translators, whose literary approaches to the Shijing incorporate the ancient poetry of China into a cosmopolitan aesthetic vision.


Sino-Babylonian theory
British sinology
Classical Chinese poetry
The Shijing



Lady Chatterley's Lover in China:  Censorship and Translation of the Novel

Jianwen Liu (Hong Kong Shue Yan University)


This paper will discuss the two Chinese translated versions of the English novel Lady Chatterley's Lover. Of the two versions, one is published in 1936 by the translator with self-finance, whereas the other is published in 2004 by official publishing institution: People's Literature Publishing House (人民文學出版社). Since the English novel is known for its discussion on liberation of humanity and its explicit description of sex, my paper will examine the travelling of these messages by studying the two Chinese versions published in different times with different patronages. Preliminary studies suggest that the second version by People's Literature Publishing House, which represents the government consents and ideologies, has imposed certain censorship on the translation, resulting in deletion of sensitive diction such as “自由” (freedom) and some bold sex scenes. My paper will further discuss the relationship between government censorship and the translation product and present the findings with more examples.


Cultural mobility


A Bilingual Advantage in Multitasking?

Nathalie Loiseau (University of Geneva)


In recent years, the nature and extent of a "bilingual advantage" has been the object of an ongoing debate within and beyond translation studies and cognitive psychology. Growing up and living in a multilingual environment, translating, code-switching, have been found to require an ability to select between simultaneously active, competing languages, and to inhibit automatic responses. A major question this raises is whether such cognitive training in resisting linguistic interference enhances cognitive control more generally.

In that respect, neuroimaging and behavioural studies have frequently reported a processing speed advantage in bilinguals; however, other effects observed diverge depending on the specificity of the task at hand, the type of executive function targeted, the population's age, but also differences among bilinguals themselves. From a methodological point of view, it appears that bilingualism as a variable needs to be refined in order to accommodate variations in proficiency, age of acquisition, and the frequency and patterns of language use.

The present study focuses on extreme instances of cognitive control, with complex tasks requiring the dual, continuous involvement of diverse executive functions. Participants are bilinguals and monolinguals in various professional groups, including linguistic experts such as translators and interpreters. The type of bilingualism (early or late), the frequency, recency and type of code-switching are taken into account in order to pinpoint possible differential effects between and within the groups.

The findings highlight differences in complex task processing based on bilingualism and multilingual expertise, and suggest relevant variables to include in empirical studies with bilingual subjects.


Cognitive control
Executive functions



Beyond Tally: Cultural and Spatial Meanings of ‘Interpreting’ in Ancient China

Rachel Lung (Lingnan University)


More than half of the published translation research in the recent decade is broadly historical in nature. Many confined to locating and quantifying archival translation or interpreting traces. But what if the located references do not actually denote translation or interpreting? The data collected then will probably be a mismatch of researchers’ intent. This incongruence raises concerns over the validity of their methodology and results. This study aims to combine quantitative and qualitative tools in examining archived passages on interpreting, steering itself clear of such potential pitfalls. Based on 192 passages documenting agents and acts of interpreting written before 6th-century China, I categorized the data on various themes for textual analyses. One of the themes ‘interpreting and spatial-cultural orientation’ contains 11 passages. The result of the qualitative analysis of these passages suggests that words referring to ‘interpreting’ do not actually denote linguistic mediation. After examining their broader contexts, references to ‘interpreting’ or ‘translation’ are found to function as reference points to inform spatial and cultural dynamics of Sinitic China and its counterparts. This study is significant in two regards. First, it examines the epistemology and values of classical references to ‘interpreting’. Second, it explores the ideological significance of interpreting in ancient China, which in turn casts light on the characteristics of its interpreting traditions.


Conceptualizations of translation
Chinese interpreting tradition
Spatial-cultural meanings of interpreting



Translating Hedges in Chinese Academic Works: Re-Constructing the Eastern Social Role Relationship in the Western Context

Deliang Man and Aiping Mo (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)


In the domain of discourse studies, academic discourse has a key role to play in that it not only provides informational and evaluative messages, but also helps to establish the social role relationship between writer and reader. One of the linguistic devices employed to construct the writer’s positioning is hedges, which can be used to mitigate the writer’s commitment to what has been proposed. Concomitantly the use of hedges has an impact on the exactitude and precision of information, and on the social role relationship as well. It is argued in this paper that through adjustment of epistemic modality, academic writers can position themselves as an authority or as a member of the academic community, co-constructing our knowledge base, a process in which hedges play a key function. Despite its importance in academic discourse, the translation of hedges in academic texts has rarely been addressed in the existing literature. To bridge this gap, this paper discusses how strategies used in translating hedges in academic works facilitate the re-construction of the intended social role relationship in the target text. It is hypothesized that when translating Chinese academic works into English, the positioning of Chinese academic writers tends to shift from authorities to members of academic communities. It is concluded that cultural differences call for the role of the translator as an involved mediator in cross-cultural communication, which has great implications for translating Chinese academic works into the Western world.


C-E translation
Academic works
Social role relationship



Seeking Shelter from the Financial Storm: Researching on Metaphor and Translation in Economics

Jesús Meiriño-Gómez (Universidade de Vigo)



This paper examines how metaphors are handled in the English to Spanish translations of popular economic texts. It presents a selection of findings drawn from an ongoing research study with two aims: (1) to explore the procedures used in the translation of metaphorical lexical units; (2) to account for the potential reasons for different translators’ approaches. The study draws on two corpora of around 500,000 words each: an English-Spanish parallel corpus, which is freely available online (; and a Spanish non-translational corpus which is comparable to the parallel one.

Given that the considerable size of both textual collections did not allow for a manual analysis of the complete texts, excerpts from the original books were first selected at random and then manually analysed for candidate linguistic metaphors. A subsequent study considering each of the corpora as a whole was made possible by concordancing the data previously obtained, using corpus analysis tools. This led to the examination of each context of use of these lexical units, allowing for the identification of conceptual metaphors in the case of the monolingual corpus, and of translation procedures to handle conceptual metaphors, in the case of the parallel one.

The analysis of the parallel corpus illustrates the various translation procedures used, while examining the similarities and differences in metaphor use between translated texts and target language originals may help to explain the reasons as to why linguistic metaphors are handled in certain ways in given contexts.


Popular Economics
Corpus Linguistics



Gender (In)equality in Translation

Tamara Mikolič Južnič (Univerza v Ljubljani)


In Slovenia, as perhaps in several other countries in Europe and elsewhere, students of translation have always been predominantly female ever since the formal establishment of the translation department (and even before that). The ratio between females and males is believed to be approximately up to 9 to 1. Yet, if we look at the translation landscape, it seems that men largely prevail both in the number of translations published and in the number of prizes won for their translations.

This study is part of a larger research project that aims at offering insight into the gender structure of translators as professionals and its social and cultural implications, both in the publishing world (of fiction and non-fiction) and in the day-to-day translation of pragmatic texts done by freelances and/or translation agencies. Furthermore, another aim is to look for possible reasons or influences both on the career choices of translators and on the selection of translators by editors of publishing houses and project managers of translation agencies. Due to time constraints, this paper will focus on one group of translators, i.e. literary translators.

The data for this paper will be collected through the online bibliographic platform for Slovenia and through interviews and/or questionnaires among professional translators and editors. The relatively small size of the Slovene translation market might prove a useful starting point for identifying tendencies and for stating tentative hypotheses for larger-scale research.


Publishing market
Translation agencies
Translation students


J. D. Salinger’s Strategic Translation of “the Orient”: Trans-border Representations in Nine Stories

Tomoko Oda (Kobe University)



The relevance of Eastern thought to literary works by J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) has been one of the central topics discussed frequently among his critics. However, most studies lack meticulous research on the way “the Orient” functions in his works reconsiders the established hegemonic relationship between the West and the East. The scrutiny of Salinger’s emphatic representations of “the Orient” will thus provide a new perspective on a major topic of scholarly interest. This paper will discuss the proposition that the short stories collected in Nine Stories (1953) show Salinger’s strategy of representing “the Orient” in order to challenge Orientalism in post-war America. Firstly this paper outlines the background of Salinger’s reception of “the Orient” in post-war America, including his encounter with Zen thought and the cultural background of the post-war era that prompted Salinger to translate “the Orient” for readers. Secondly this paper will examine to what extent Orientalist representations exemplify hegemonic relationships between the dominant and the minor existing in various times and spaces, and thereby Salinger conveys the significance of overcoming Orientalism. This paper will further explore the explicit manner in which the Western dualistic ideology is denounced and the implicit sign of border crossing between “the Orient” and “the Occident.” Finally this paper will argue that Nine Stories represent ethnic hybridity in his characters and settings so as to re-contextualise “the Orient” by deconstructing any dualistic conceptions, including racism against ethnic minority groups and Western logocentric values long-established in the WASP community.


Border crossing
J. D. Salinger
Nine Stories

A Cross-Linguistic Discourse Analysis of French to English Translation in the Case of a Thai Native Speaker

Laphatrada O’Donnell (Burapha University)


Discourse analysis equips a translator with an approach to analyse cross-linguistic patterns of language, as well as the social and cultural context. The analysis of discourse grammar allows a translator to consider how grammar and discourse are highly integrated into textual cohesion. Therefore, cohesion displays the relationship between lexical items and semantic relationships in the text.

This study is the translation of a guidebook about Thailand from French into English. Moreover, the translation was rendered by a Thai whose mother language is neither English nor French. In this paper, the discourse analysis is focused on reference, which refers to the relationship between the lexical items, noun, or pronoun. The reference is one grammatical item that is used to maintain textual cohesion. However, during the translation process, the reference’s identity can be challenging when it can be retrieved either within or outside of the text or from cultural knowledge. Consequently, in order to investigate which factors influence the identify the referential device in the source text, this study aims to 1) classify the reference patterns in the source text, 2) identify the referential items in the source text, 3) compare the reference forms between source text and target text, and 4) examine to what extent cultural intervention can provide information to interpret reference in the source text. The study results might provide different evidence from those who are native French or English speakers, as this study deals with translation across three cultures.


Cross-linguistic discourse analysis
Discourse grammar
Cultural intervention

Translating Documentary Theatre
Martina Pálušová
(Palacký University Olomouc)



The documentary theater eliminates the boundaries between the theater performance and the reality. In essence, it is trying to turn reality into an artistic experience. The verbatim method consists in the literal transfer of authentic speech to the stage, so the characters speak the language of their real-life inspiration. The performance of documentary play concentrates not only on speech but also on gestures and body language of the real-life character, which in this case has also a semantic significance. The translator is in a disadvantageous position when transferring documentary drama. While the author of the play is working with real-world recordings and composes the play as a collage of authentic conversation, he doesn't interfere with individual lines. Despite that a documentary drama is closely bound to the environment of its emergence, and any interference into the single lines contradicts the very principle of verbatim, the attempts to translate such dramas are not scarce. However, we believe that, owing to its specific character, the transfer of verbatim onto the stage in a foreign cultural background requires a stronger collaboration of a stage production crew and a translator, who could convey and clarify the specific character of speech and author’s intention. The presentation argues that the stage production of a verbatim text in a foreign culture should relate to the original performance in the country of its origin, in order to keep the maximum level of authenticity of the dialogues, their lexical means and character after their transfer into the foreign language.


Drama Translation
Theatre Translation
Documentary Theatre

Wonton, Jiao'zi or Dumpling: Macao Identity as Constructed in Food Translation

Hanting Pan (Sun Yat-sen University)


Anthropologists have identified the influence of food on the making of culture. In an interview on the identity of Macanese, a Macanese interviewee responded that “Macanese culture was like a certain Macanese delicacy”, which is “sort of like a wonton, but different.”. In fact, “Wonton”, “jiao’zi” and “dumpling” are the different ways to call the same delicacy in Cantonese, Mandarin and English respectively. The interviewee's response suggests that different translations of the food might reveal the varied cultural identity people are in line with.

Therefore, this paper investigates how the Macao identity is constructed in the translation of "food" in the Corpus of Macao Narratives (2000-2011). It is a corpus-assisted research adopting an integrative discourse analytical model that includes a Systemic Functional Linguistics-based analysis along the ranks of word, phrase and clause, and a narrativity-based translation analysis of the food names within the framework of Fairclough's three dimensional critical discourse analysis model, with the purpose of enabling the dialogue between identity and translation.

The preliminary finding shows that two major naming systems, evaluative naming and cultural naming, were used in constructing the Macao identity in the translation of "food" in CMN. It could be argued that Macao's "East-Meet-West" tradition and self-position as a "Food Heaven" contribute to the translation strategies of the food names and in turn, the food names and their translations as well as the intended audience of the translation all take part in the shaping of the Macao identity that the producers wish to create.


Discourse analysis



Pragmatic Strategies in Political Interpreting: A Study of Pragmatic Markers in Interpreted Political Speeches

Jun Pan (Hong Kong Baptist University) and Billy Tak Ming Wong (Open University of Hong Kong/Hang Seng Management College)


Political speeches often involve the employment of adequate pragmatic strategies to help negotiate meaning. In this regard, the use of pragmatic markers (PMs), the non-propositional expressions that perform communicative functions in utterances, serves as an important linguistic indicator of a speaker’s pragmatic strategy (see Fraser, 1996; Romero-Trillo, 2012). Therefore, the appropriate rendition and employment of PMs become crucial for interpreters working with political speeches, in order to correctly reflect the speaker’s pragmatic strategy in a target language.

This paper presents the use of PMs in interpreted political speeches, with a focus on retour interpreting from Chinese to English given the large differences between these two languages and the great difficulty involved in interpreting. The use of PMs was annotated using data from the Corpus of Interpreted Political Speeches from Chinese to English (CIPSCE), a parallel corpus consisting of speeches delivered by key political figures in Beijing and Hong Kong and their interpretations in English, about two million word tokens in size. The study compared the use of PMs between the Chinese source texts and the English target texts. The renditions of PMs from different source languages (Cantonese vs. Putonghua) and in different speech modalities (monologue vs. dialogue) and interpreting modes (simultaneous interpreting vs. consecutive interpreting) were also examined. Findings of the study show the strategies applied by interpreters when they interpret PMs in political settings. They also indicate the possible influence of pragmatic strategies in Chinese (source language) political speeches in retour political interpreting from Chinese to English.


Political speeches
Pragmatic markers

Happiness for All?: Translation as Political Justification

Narongdej Phanthaphoommee (University of Leeds)


The study investigates the translations of the Thai prime minister’s weekly TV broadcast addresses. It attempts to see how the translators intervened to rewrite the underlined source text ideologies. The English translation is regarded as a new feature of the tradition of Thai PM’s weekly address, which has implications for the current Thai political situation.

After violent protests against PM Yingluck’s attempt to bring back her brother - the former prime minister in exile Thaksin Shinawatra (ousted in 2006), the military stepped in to topple her elected government in May 2014. Thereafter, the National Council for Peace and Order has detained public figures, curtailed political activities and drafted an interim constitution. However, perceiving the problem of how to legitimate and institutionalise their rule, the military resorted to a tactic that the previous PMs had employed, and which has become a central platform of promulgating the political discourse - the weekly addresses, but with the English subtitle.

However, often is the case where the translators intervened to impose their value-judgment on their works, causing the translation shifts at lexicogrammatical levels. The translators arguably softened the speaker’s straightforward tone and shine some positive light on his political discourse. At the textual level, the study applies the system of Appraisal to translation studies (Martin & Rose 2007; Munday 2012) to find out the translator’s evaluation and the optional translation shifts derived from the ST-TT comparison.


Ideology and translation
Weekly address
Thai Prime Minister
Thai political discourse



Interpreting and Linguistic Inclusion – Friends or Foes? Results from a Field Study

Nike K. Pokorn and Jaka Čibej (University of Ljubljana)


The paper responds to the existing political claims that translation and interpreting reduce the incentive of recent immigrants to learn the language(s) of the host country and thereby impede their integration. To verify these claims, quantitative and qualitative research was conducted among asylum seekers in Slovenia, i.e. a group of recent immigrants who have access to free interpreting and translation services and free courses of the dominant language of the host country. A questionnaire was used to gather quantitative data on the language profiles of 127 current and former residents of the asylum seeker centres in Slovenia, while qualitative data were obtained through semi-structured interviews conducted on a representative group of 38 asylum seekers. The results show that all surveyed migrants had positive attitude towards the host country language and that all of the interviewed migrants who had been in the host country for 7 months or more, regardless of their educational attainment, also took the state-funded course of the host country language. Additionally, although the provision of translation and interpreting is recognised as essential in high-risk situations, it is not the preferred communication strategy of the migrants, and therefore does not hinder their functional linguistic inclusion.


Translational regime
Asylum seekers
Linguistic inclusion
Community interpreting
Public service interpreting and translation



Translation and Place Names: Transliteration as Control and Resistance

Duncan Poupard (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)


Translating the names of physical spaces - place names - is an area in which issues of power, prestige, and identity converge. As recent postcolonial translation studies have shown, translating the name of a place is akin to asserting an epistemological control over it: especially when translating out of a minority language and into a politically dominant one, the “original” name is in danger of being completely replaced.

Place name translation can subsume cultural identity into a monolithic target language whole, but there is still room for re-translation to act as a form of resistance to this power. China is a diverse country of many distinct ethnic nationalities, but the names of ethnic minority places are routinely converted into Chinese via phonetic transliteration, pinyin translations that become “official” in English, thus foregoing both semantic and phonetic accuracy in translation. Nevertheless, minority writers can resist this linguistic dominance by introducing their own “re-transliterations”.

This paper aims to show how translation of place names can embody both control and resistance via case studies of place names in the ethnically and linguistically diverse Chinese region of Yunnan, focusing on place names related to the Naxi and Tibetan minority peoples, places that, as tourist spots, form focal points of international interest and development, and must be counted among the new battlegrounds of translation.


Translation of place names
Chinese minority languages



A Proposal for the Analysis of the Quality of Simultaneous Interpreting Performed with CAI Tools

Bianca Prandi (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/Germersheim)


Over the past few years, information and communication technologies have started to shape the interpreting profession, posing new challenges, but also providing useful tools to support interpreters in their workflow. In the investigation of the impact of ICTs on interpreting, setting-oriented technologies (e.g. for videoconferencing or remote interpreting) tend to get the lion’s share in interpreting research, while process-oriented interpreting technologies are only now starting to be addressed in empirical studies. Research on computer-assisted interpreting is still very scarce. Most studies have focused on the usability of CAI tools in comparison to more traditional solutions (Biagini 2015, De Merulis 2013, Gacek 2015) and on their integration in interpreter training (Prandi 2015a, 2015b). There is still a lack of empirical studies aimed at investigating the impact of the use of such tools on the cognitive processes involved in simultaneous interpreting and on the quality of the interpreters’ delivery. The paper will present an on-going research project conducted at the University of Mainz/Germersheim (Prandi 2016, 2017). The project aims at combining process- and product-oriented methods to gain insight on how CAI tools affect the quality of simultaneous interpreting and the cognitive processes involved in it. We will argue that, when it comes to CAI tools, evaluating the quality of the target text should mean evaluating the terminological quality. We will propose a method to analyse the terminological quality of the interpreted text and we will describe how an analysis of this type can raise questions on the cognitive processes involved in simultaneous interpreting.


Interpreting quality
Computer-assisted interpreting
Simultaneous interpreting



Translation and Interpreting as Institutional Strategies in the Inclusion of Refugees and Immigrants in Brazil: Gouvènman brezilyen an swete ou pral renmen peyi nou an.

Rachael Radhay (Universidade de Brasília)


The language of Brazilian immigration policy is based upon a globalized terminology, straddled between control and immigrant or refugee insertion.  This language constructs an institutional habitus and is geared strategically and discursively to historical and contemporary contexts as well as to the building of  public image and to constituting normative knowledge and the agency of high-level Brazilian state bureaucrats.  Nevertheless, it is essential to understand the efficacy of the dialogue between the institutional habitus (Bourdieu, 2001), access to specific public spheres and community life for immigrants and refugees (Herzfeld, 1992; Rudvin, 2005; Blommaert, 2009; van Dijk, 2012; Reisigl & Wodak, 2016).  Thus, the public institutional sphere has to do with power and hierarchies and expresses itself  not only in grammatical forms but is also based upon control and dominion of the social occasion, the genre and regulation of access to specific public spheres. Hence, it is important to identify changes in terms of access to information and simplification of institutional language. Consequently, this research will focus qualitatively on interpreters’ experiences in refugee interviews over a six-month period (Jacquemet, 2010; 2011) as well as on the language in informative brochures, published by the Brazilian National Immigration Council as it seeks to encourage immigrant or refugee insertion. The format of the texts is interactive and bilingual as they come both in Portuguese and their translated versions in Creole Language for Haitian refugees and in Spanish for Bolivians and Mercosul residents with simplified legal language (Arminen, 2000; Jones, 2000; Galdia, 2009; Charteris-Black, 2014).


Institutional discourse



Representing “El Otro” – Italian Dubbing of the Chicano Gangsters in the Movie Training Day (2001)

Dora Renna (University of Verona)


This paper is an investigation on the role of Chicanos in gangster movies, where the main purpose is a linguistic and translational product-based analysis of the dubbing of Chicano English. An analysis of the translational strategies adopted in the dubbed version may point the way to an exploration of the possible ideological implications of specific linguistic choices. The research suggests that Italian dubbing tends to normalisation through the use of ‘dubbese’. This implies the elimination of most phonetic features, as well as the neutralisation of those influences coming from other English varieties that characterise Chicano English as an American contact language. In particular, the hypothesis is that a subtle link is established between ‘Mexicanness’ and criminal behaviours by the original as well as the dubbed version of a movie starring Chicano villains, although in different ways and to different extents. The chosen audiovisual text for this analysis is the movie Training Day (2001) and its Italian homonymous dubbed version. Audiovisual products have a crucial role in the re-construction of the other, and looking at the creation of national, linguistic and ethnic (stereotyped) images in the media is indeed an attempted contribution to the identification and deconstruction of such tropes by the unveiling of their intrinsic functioning.


Audiovisual translation
Chicano English
Linguistic varieties



Re-Writing Schnitzler for Contemporary Britain

Nicole Robertson (University College London)


I will explore how and why two contemporary British playwrights have adapted a century-old canonical Austrian comedy.  Reigen, by Arthur Schnitzler, was originally considered pornographic in its depiction of a series of couplings in fin-de-siècle Vienna.  The public furore surrounding its Austrian and German premieres led the author to prohibit further performance, a wish enforced by his son until the end of copyright in 1982.  Of the subsequent proliferation of English-language translations and adaptations I focus on two, as a means of considering why certain artistic works prove themselves paragons of geographic, temporal and social transculturality.  In Cashcows, a radio drama written by April De Angelis for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Drama in 2005, the heterosexual intimacy displayed by the ten couples in Reigen finds new form through the physical and financial interdependency of ten twenty-first-century women in London.  In La Ronde, performed at the Bunker in London in 2017, adaptor and director Max Gill introduced a significant element of chance by allowing a spinning wheel to allocate roles among a mixed-sex cast of four at the beginning of each scene.  Any perceived universality of fate in the source text was thus turned on its head, as each evening’s performance generated a completely random combination of men and women.  A comparative reading of these two adaptations alongside Schnitzler’s drama throws light both on those qualities of the source text that lend themselves to adaptation, as well as on the narrative forces that drive variation in the final performed works.





Translation and Transculturality in Contemporary Chinese Art: A Case Study of Gu Wenda’s Forest of Stone Steles - Retranslation & Rewriting of Tang Poetry

Zhang Rui and Lee Tong King (University of Hong Kong)

Presented by: Zhang Rui


Translation has been elevated to one of the key notions in contemporary cultural discourse for a wide range of academic disciplines. It focuses not only on communication or transmission of meaning between different languages, but also ways in which the very act of translation can be understood as a metaphor for cultural process. The notion of translation is employed by some contemporary Chinese artists in a conceptual way in recent years, whose works contribute to constructing/deconstructing contemporary Chinese cultural discourse. This study examines an artwork by contemporary Chinese artist Gu Wenda, namely Forest of Stone Steles - Retranslation & Rewriting of Tang Poetry. Focusing on the relationship between translation, visuality and materiality in the work, this study explores the nature of translation as part of the production of contemporary cultural discourse in the age of globalization. Gu Wenda, one of the most prominent contemporary Chinese artists, is considered a pioneer in 85 Art Movement of China, and thereafter he went abroad for his personal artistic pursuits. His transnational experience enriches his cultural identity and the underlying discourse constructed/deconstructed in many of his works. It argues that translation serves as a means of constructing visuality in the case and metaphorizes the formation and transformation of culture in the contemporary era as well as the re-establishment of his transcultural identity embedded in the underlying discourse.


Contemporary chinese art
Cultural discourse
Cultural identity



Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World: Travel, Translation and Many Lives of Gulliver’s Travels in Colonial Bengal

Saswati Saha (Sikkim University)


During the period of imperialist expansion, there was an emerging sensibility in Ireland of Irish geocultural remoteness and peripherality and its relation with Orient had become deep rooted (Lennon, 2004). The English impression of Ireland made the Irish writers interrogate the exoticising lenses of imperial culture. The idea of Orient crept into allegorical and literary realms of Ireland and helped in criticising the discourse of Orientalism by participating in it. One popular and influential genre that had Orientalist dimension is the discovery or travel narratives. The discovery narratives received their greatest parody when Jonathan Swift incisively satirized them in Gulliver’s Travels (1726).

India had its own history of Orientalism and following upon the commonality of circumstances in India and Ireland, Gulliver’s Travels got translated multiple times in Bengali: Abakpuri Darshan (1876), Amar Apurva Desh Bhraman: Agyat Rajya Darshan (1901), Gulliverer Bhraman Brittanta (1913), Bamaner Desh and Daityo Puri (1919). This paper questions whether these translations can be considered as the Orient’s attempt to reclaim the canon of travel-writing and return the gaze to the world outside and ‘write-back’ following upon the ancient Indian concept of travel or ‘bhraman’. Thus, is the Orient trying to re-think the geo-political scenario? If yes, then how does the traveller and the translator deal with the issues of visibility and language?

The paper concentrates on how these translations parody the discourse in which they participate and how the authors/translators re-imagined India through Oriental allegories, attempting to rhetorically alter the parameters of the discourse of Empire.





Discovering a National Language in Japan with the Help of Translation

Mino Saito (Juntendo University)


Translation played a key role in Japanese language policy, in other words, it promoted a discovery of a national language in the late nineteenth century. In the period called the Meiji era from 1868 to 1912, Japan experienced drastic modernization while nationalism was rising. Japanese intellectuals such as Kazutoshi Ueda (1867-1937) who was a linguist and professor at Tokyo Imperial University discovered a concept of a national language, which would function as a connector of people in a nation. Information brought from developed countries such as Germany, France, and England showed the Japanese elites a significance of having their own national language. At that time, people in Japan used different varieties of Japanese in each area of the archipelago. Ueda, who had studied in Germany and worked for establishment of a national language, described a national language using a metaphor of “spiritual blood,” which would unify people of Japanese nationality. This metaphor appeared in his lecture on a national language in 1894 indicates that Ueda regarded a national language as a crucial connector of people sharing the same language. Such an important national language was formed with the help of translation from English and other European languages such as German and French. Introducing foreign aspects of those source languages including third person pronouns and usage of inanimate subjects, translators in Japan produced changes in traditional Japanese. Translation processes promoted changes in Japanese, and the language with new aspects became Japanese national language.


National language



Novelization as Translation

Nana Sato-Rossberg (SOAS, University of London)


Novelization is very popular in Japan, much more than in other countries. What is novelization? It is a common practice in Japan to create animes, TV dramas, and live action films based on manga or novels. From these derived cultural products, Japanese publishers then again create novels. Novelizing writers ‘rewrite’ these stories. Novelizations can sometimes sell more than the original novels, often exceeding sales of 100,000 in the first edition. Hence, this is a large market for Japanese publishers. There are several famous novelizers such as Shinobu Momose (1967 -), who’s novelization of 送り人 (Departure, Shōgakukan 2008) sold over 1,000,000 copies.

In this paper, I will approach novelization as a form of translation and novelizers as translators. This work is based on interviews that I conducted with novelization authors and publishers. Through analyses of these interviews and novelizations, the paper aims to reveal the publisher’s strategy in this translation business and the role of novelization authors as translators. I conclude that novelization is another creative form of translation, which is struggling with similar issues of recognition and socioeconomic pressures as traditional literary translation.


Intergeneric translation
Literary translation



Interpreters’ Attitude towards Remote Video Conference Interpreting: Expectations vs. Experience

Kilian Seeber, Laura Keller, Rhona Amos and Sophie Hengl (University of Geneva)

Presented by: Rhona Amos


The attitude of interpreters providing video remote interpreting during the 2014 FIFA World Cup was analyzed using a mixed methods approach. Quantitative and qualitative data pertaining to six deductive categories (general and specific attitude towards remote interpreting, attitude towards the work environment and the workspace, psychological and physiological well-being) were collected. Online questionnaires were completed both before and after the event and structured interviews were conducted on site during the event. Triangulation of results corroborates the technical feasibility of video remote interpreting, whilst highlighting aspects with a high potential to shape interpreters’ attitude towards it. The quality of the technical team on site along with the availability of visual input in the entire conference room (including all speakers taking the floor) is key to offsetting the feeling of alienation or lack of immersion experienced by interpreters working with this technical setup. Suggestions for the improvement of key parameters are provided.


Remote interpreting



Translation Iconography and Visual Metaphor

Mark Shuttleworth (University College London)


Translation iconography potentially represents a significant and wide-ranging topic within the discipline. What is meant by this term is the various manners in which translation, its functioning and its significance, for example in history, have been represented in visual art, computer icons and other types of image.

The paper starts by sketching out the field of translation iconography in general terms. Hitherto, it appears that the only area to have been studied to any extent is images of translators in history, particularly in the conquest of the Americas (Alonso Araguás & Baigorri-Jalón 2004; Zimányi 2015). However, a complete picture of the topic would also need to include company logos, computer icons, on-line imagery and popular and more serious representations of translation and translators in visual art. What this paper aims to contribute is an analysis of the translation-related icons used by Wikipedia, social media websites and on-line MT services as part of their on-going aim of enhancing their multilingual profiles. The research will also include a consideration of some of the other categories listed above.

The paper will focus mainly on investigating the extent to which the concept of visual metaphor (Forceville 1996; Forceville & Urios-Aparisi 2009) helps to account for the images that are analysed, which particular aspects of the domain of translation are typically highlighted by these images and what this tells us about perceptions of the role of translators and translation alike.


Visual metaphor



Translation and (Re)narration in the Context of Cultural Mobility: A Case of Translating Chinese Calligraphic Culture into English over the Past Century

Ge Song (Lingnan University)


The act of translation inevitably involves cultural negotiation, especially when the topic of translation is quite alien to the target reader. The scene of translating Chinese calligraphic culture into English is appealing in that although cultural incompatibility is prominent, the translated texts ultimately restore even the most untranslatable content, and turn out quite readable in the Anglo-American world. Considering readers’ reception, many calligraphy-related terms, epithets and metaphors are difficult to be translated directly. In this study, I select over 10 English books on Chinese calligraphy published over the past 100 years, and examine how cultural messages, impossible to be semantically translated, were preserved intact in the English narration. I have at least four findings. First, certain topics, such as writing skills and calligraphic scripts, were much translated. In contrast, the spiritual aspect, which is the most essential in the Chinese context, was downplayed. Second, the English discourses on Chinese calligraphy reduced the original culture through word choices. Thirdly, many pictures of calligraphic artworks were inserted in the English discourses. Readers can read the less adequately translated English text with constant reference to pictures, so that cultural dilution caused by cultural untranslatability can be minimized. Fourthly, the English language reshuffles the Chinese logic and ways of narrating, and creates a discourse that is acceptable to the target reader. Ultimately, this study concerns the appearance of the translated culture after being mobilized cross-culturally.


Chinese calligraphy
Cultural mobility



Loan Word or Neologism? Translating Modernity into an Indigenous Language in Taiwan

Darryl Sterk (Lingnan University)


In this paper I build on my previous research on the partial translation of the screenplay for the epic feature film Seediq Bale (Wei Te-sheng, 2011) into two dialects of the Seediq Language, Toda and Tgdaya by focusing on the translation of terms for modern institutions like the school and the police and even the tribal chief and modern technology, especially the technology of war. Whereas historically Seediq has kept up with the cultural mobility of modernity by adopting words from Japanese and Chinese, for the film the translators created neologisms, which in some cases they used instead of the corresponding loanwords. This preference for neologisms might be taken as a kind of linguistic and cultural purism, but I prefer to see it in terms of the expansion of the expressive capabilities of the Seediq language. I intend, finally, to put this case study of Seediq Bale in larger contexts. First, the state sponsored “neologism groups” that are inventing terms for the myriad aspects of modern life all around Taiwan to replace the loanwords that are used in daily life and in the media. Second, Indigenous Translation Studies, the subdiscipline that does not yet exist: Rafael and Spivak can represent, respectively, colonial and postcolonial translation theory, but while related their work is not entirely adequate to the predicaments and prospects of indigenous minority translators working on the margins of settler societies.


Indigenous translation studies
Seediq Bale



“The Correctness of the Present Translation I Have Not Tested”: Evaluation and Communication in Translation Publishing at George Bell and Macmillan, 1890-1900

Anna Strowe (University of Manchester)


This paper presents the results of an archival research project based on materials related to the assessment and publication of translations at two main English publishing houses: George Bell, and Macmillan, in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The project aims to contribute to the developing area of publishing history and translation studies, advancing our understanding of how translation quality is articulated and expressed historically as well as how the publication of translations was negotiated. Examples will come from each of the two main types of documents (correspondence and readers’ reports) in order to show what kind of information is available from them. One case study will be the translations of work by Bernhard ten Brink, a professor of English literature whose work (written in German) is seen as foundational in the field. George Bell published translations of his major works, and letters survive to and from the four published translators, other volunteers offering to do the work, interested scholars, and the publishing house. Another will be drawn from the Macmillan readers’ reports, including a number of evaluations of scientific volumes in terms of their marketability but also the quality of the translation. Across these examples, the focus will be on what kinds of articulations of quality are made, by whom, and to whom, and how they appear to have affected decision-making processes. A particular focus will be the translators whose offers of assistance were rejected, or texts that were not published.


Translation history
Publishing history
Quality assessment
Archival research
Translator studies



Interpreters’ Participation Framework and Framing in Televised Press Conferences: The Case of the MH370 Air Crash

Tingting Sun (Beijing Foreign Studies University)


Live broadcast simultaneous interpreting on television is widely believed to be one of the most challenging and stressful forms of media interpreting, and translational activity in general (Pöchhacker 2007). Interpreting simultaneously for live broadcast press conferences in emergent or conflicted scenarios may put even more cognitive and ethical pressure on interpreters.

On 8 March 2014, the Malaysian Flight MH370 carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations disappeared after departure from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. China as the country bearing the majority of victims aired all the press conferences hosted by the Malaysian government in Malaysia. All these conferences were simultaneously interpreted by professional interpreters with their names shown on the TV screen. Live news reporting on disasters of such severity and mediated by simultaneous interpreters at such visibility was rarely seen in China’s modern publicity history. How interpreters position themselves in these emergent and frictional situations constitutes the overarching research question of this study. 

Goffman’s social theory (1972, 1981a) has been proven quite powerful in providing analytical tools to examine the participatory behavior of translators and interpreters in social communicative encounters (e.g. Baker 2006, Sun 2014). Drawing on his notions of “participation framework” and “framing”, this study attempts to explore the way in which interpreters negotiate their roles in televised news reporting in frictional scenarios through choices that effect changes in their participation framework and that help construct communicative meaning, based on a corpus of 12 press conferences live broadcast on China Central Television.


Simultaneous interpreting on TV
Participation framework
Interpreting in conflict
MH370 air crash



Translation Multiples as a Pluralist Forum for Discussion

Kasia Szymanska (University of Oxford)


In 1996, Martha Nussbaum argued that in the absence of a fixed meaning in the process of cultural translation, translation is doomed to become a scene of conflict within the dynamic of emerging democratic processes. A few years earlier, in 1989, the Soviet bloc collapsed, restoring or giving rise to multiple East European democracies; however, the rapid and enforced transition from the previous state-driven system to liberal democracy resulted in social unrest and political instability. Consequently, a similar argument to that of Nussbaum was reiterated with reference to, for instance, late twentieth-century Poland whose translation activity was sometimes described in terms of 'the war of the worlds' (e.g. Balcerzan 2009).

In my talk, I would like to challenge this antagonising metaphor by discussing the instances of so-called 'translation multiples'. Translation multiples or metatranslations are artistic projects in which a translator or a group of translators simultaneously produce multiple interpretations of the same original and place them next to each other as a pluralist platform for discussion. Acknowledging alternative ideological readings from other sides of the political spectrum, such translation projects came into being in post-1989 Poland and were meant to dismantle the 'either/or' and 'friend or foe' binary mindset of the Cold War era. As I will argue, in face of the rising tide of political tribalism and antagonising rhetoric all over the world today (including Poland with its current nationalist government), translation multiples might have an essential democratic potential and serve as a remedy against totalising ideas.


Translation multiples
Translation pluralism
Post-communist democracy
Translation as forum for discussion



Why Adapt a Two-Hundred-Year-Old German Play?: John Banville and Heinrich Von Kleist

Helen Tatlow (University of Birmingham)


The dramas, novellas and essays of German author Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) are a fixture of the German literary canon, and have served as the source texts for a diverse range of translations and adaptations since the author's death in the early nineteenth century. Often said to be ahead of his time, and known for his idiosyncratic perspective and style, Kleist continues to fascinate the writers of today.

Irish author John Banville (1945-), winner of the 2005 Booker Prize, has written a number of Kleist adaptations, including 'God's Gift' (2000), a version of Kleist’s play Amphitryon  (1807). God's Gift transports the action of the source text from Ancient Greece to the 1798 Irish rebellion against British rule. By choosing to reimagine characters as either British or Irish, Banville introduces a very specific political and historical context. This paper will discuss questions surrounding cultural mobility that result from that choice. It will draw from Banville’s wider oeuvre to propose that Banville is drawn to Kleist due to their shared interest in the conceptualisation of human knowledge, and go on to examine the ways in which the temporal and geographical distance between the source and target texts can be navigated in this light, focusing on the target culture. What do Kleist's ideas, products of his embrace and subsequent rejection of the Enlightenment, and now adapted by Banville, mean to a modern-day, Anglophone audience? Ultimately this paper aims to answer the question: Why adapt a two-hundred-year-old German play?


Target culture

Translating Political Discourse: A Comparative Study of Chinese-English Translation of Political Texts in Singapore (2009 – 2015)
Meng How Tay (Nanyang Technological University)



In Singapore, misinterpretations leading to mistranslations happen often even in the media for the public. In recent years, there is a gradual transformation of political discourse, which is reflected by changes of discourse through translation. Hence, the National Translation Committee (NTC) was formed in 2014 to oversee short-term and long-term plans to enhance whole-of-government translation capabilities and raise translation standards in Singapore. This paper seeks to examine how political discourse is translated in Singapore by using a corpus data formed by seven sets of Chinese National Day Rally (NDR) speeches and their corresponding English translations. They are analysed using the Skopos Theory and approaches such as Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and political equivalence. The implications of translation strategies used, discourse patterns of source texts (STs) and corresponding target texts (TTs) as well as equivalence levels between STs and TTs are identified. The results from such a comparative study will be beneficial for future studies in political discourse translation as well as translation in general.


Political Discourse
Skopos Theory
Critical Discourse Analysis
Political Equivalence

Participant Observation and Grounded Theory in Interpreting in Childhood Cancer Care

Elisabet Tiselius (Stockholm University)


Families with limited knowledge of a countries majority language are extra vulnerable when a child is affected by serious illness and must undergo highly specialized, hospitalized treatment. Good communication creates a secure environment for the family as well as the child. However, communication is dependent on language proficiency as well as cultural accord, conditions that may lack in these circumstances (Pergert, Ekblad, Enskar, & Bjork 2008).

To investigate how communication happens over language barriers (both with and without interpreters) from these families’ perspective, methods should preferably be all-embracing and flexible. Grounded theory (Glaser 1998) offers the researcher possibility to unprejudiced observation of the situation through focused observation of an unstructured communication context.

However, the researcher in interpreting studies often has an interpreting background, s/he brings his/her own emic perspective and the bias of background knowledge. The theory building of grounded theory, which is typically created from observations and interactions in a context and without the activation of pre-existing theories, may therefore become a challenge. In addition, interpreters have discretionary powers (Cox, Hill & Pyakuryal 2004) (in short: to act in the spirit of ethical guidelines in situations that the ethical guide lines do not cover) in an interpreted event (Skaaden 2013), but the observing researcher does not.

The presentation will discuss the challenges for the interpreter/researcher doing grounded theory and whether the researcher’s ethical responsibility is in opposition with the interpreter’s discretionary powers. Data comes from an observation study using grounded theory in childhood cancer care.


Language brokering
Childhood cancer care
Participant observation
Grounded theory

Experiments in non-coherent Post-editing
María Cristina Toledo Báez (Universidad de Córdoba), Moritz Jonas Schaeffer (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz) and Michael Carl (Copenhagen Business School)



Market pressure on translation productivity joined with technological innovation, such as online learning and the increasing translation quality of neural MT (NMT) output is likely to fragment and decontextualise translation jobs even more and to distribute the translation of one document over many translators at different places, collaboratively working in the cloud. It is however, an open question how a document can be fragmented into smaller minimal post-editing units (MPEUs), so that the coherence of the document can be reconstructed from the independently translated pieces. This paper addresses the increased cognitive effort when post-editing texts of non-coherent segments.

This paper reports from an experiment in which participants post-edited two kinds of texts: in the coherent mode, participants post-edited 2 short texts which were presented as a whole each and in which the order of segments was unaltered. In the mixed mode, participants saw 2 texts which had their segments mixed up and in addition, the order of the segments was jumbled. In the mixed mode, it would have been arguably difficult to generate a text level coherence model, given that the order was jumbled and two texts with rather different topics were jumbled. Surprisingly, this had little or no effect on behaviour. What the results suggest is that the mixed mode is not detrimental or cognitively more demanding and rather beneficial or equivalent to the coherent mode. These results are promising given that presenting segments in a mixed order makes it possible to fully exploit the potential in crowd-sourcing.


Crowd sourcing
Cognitive effort

Artwork Elicitation as a Method to Collect Interpreting and Translation User Perceptions

Ira Torresi (University of Bologna)


Collecting data among interpreting and translation users raises several methodological and ethical issues. When social research techniques (e.g., participant observation, questionnaires or interviews) are employed to explore users’ experience of public service or non-professional translation/interpreting (TI), one major issue might be, how does one give voice to those groups of users who are less fluent – or even illiterate – in the language(s) mastered by the researchers? One obvious solution would be, resorting to translated or interpreted questionnaires or interviews. This, however, may introduce substantial biases. For instance, participants may be led to focus on the interpreting or translation they are receiving at the moment of the survey rather than in broader contexts and settings. Additionally, exploring TI reception through verbal-only instruments might be an inadvertent reinstatement of communication practices that may not be equally shared by researchers and participants (Blommaert 2008).

In such situations, participatory artwork elicitation, which has been successfully applied mainly out of TI studies (Bagnoli 2009, Orellana & Hernández 1998), may prove a more symmetrical, inclusive and effective technique for qualitative data collection. The pros and cons of such technique will be explored in the light of data collected among primary schoolchildren about their experience of non-professional interpreting and translation provided by children. The visual narratives presented in Torresi (forthcoming) will be integrated by a larger number of materials collected in 2017. Issues connected with the analysis of data gathered through artwork elicitation will also be discussed (Kress and Van Leeuwen 2006).


Artwork elicitation
Data collection
Research methods



Translation as a Political Tool: Ideology and Human Rights Discourse in the News

Zafer Tuhaitah (University of Leeds)


Saudi Arabia has been one of the countries most criticised by various human rights organizations. This paper focuses on three Saudi human rights "activists" who received a lot of media interest both locally and internationally, namely, Raif Badawi, Loujain Al-Hathloul, and Nimr Al-Nimr. Their cases have been confronted with several internal ideological conflicts, where human rights discourse was demonized by a large section of the Saudi community. Various international political actors have exploited the same case for different ideological reasons.

The main tool to witness and construct such ideological conflicts has been the media. The corpus used in this study contains news reports both in Arabic and English on the three cases obtained from two ideologically conflicting news agencies, namely: Al Arabiya and Al-Alam. The selected methodological framework used in this study is a modified version of Fairclough’s three-dimensional model of Critical Discourse Analysis. The study covers the question of ideological influence by analyzing different levels of analysis such as the translation shifts and editing that occur at the lexical and grammatical levels; the visual semiotics; the historical, social and political contexts; and the discursive strategies.

This paper sets out to extend our knowledge of the current issues in news translation in the Arab World. It also attempts to provide a different way of studying cross-linguistic news reports as representations rather than translations. This paper helps to enhance our understanding of the influence of ideology on the media discourse and the way it is used as a political tool.


Critical discourse analysis
Human rights discourse
Ideology and translation
Media discourse



Imported Cultural Image(s) through Translation: The Case of Japanese Literature in Turkish

Gülfer Tunalı (Dokuz Eylul University), Müge Işıklar-Koçak (Dokuz Eylul University) and Jasmin Esin Duraner (Dokuz Eylul University- Bogazici University)

Presented by: Müge Işıklar-Koçak


According to Oğuz Baykara (2012) 43 books from 18 Japanese authors were translated into Turkish between 1959 and 2005. Our research so far has revealed that 80 novels from 38 Japanese authors have been translated into Turkish by 2017, which indicates a rapid increase in translational activity within the last decade. The numbers further show that before the 2000s Japanese novels were mostly translated from an intermediary language, whereas they started to be translated from Japanese afterwards. When the “peritextual” (Genette 1997) materials (front and back covers) of the novels from the most translated and reprinted authors (such as Murakami, Mishima, Kawabata, Tanizaki and Oe) are analyzed it also appears that after the 2000s Japanese cultural elements are often foregrounded in the translated texts. Yet, our analysis on the covers has revealed that some illustrations were produced by Japanese artists whereas many more were produced by Anglo-American ones. Thus it can be argued that Japanese cultural images presented as “options” into the Turkish “culture repertoire” via translations are mostly “imported” (Even- Zohar 2002) from the West, which is also supported by the “epitextual” materials (reviews, advertisements, critiques, interviews) (Genette 1997) we analyzed. In this paper, on the basis of peritextual and epitextual sources, we will attempt to show that the images of the Japanese culture are imported mainly from the West and then adopted and promoted by the “agents of translation” (publishers, editors, translators) (Toury 2002) in Turkey.


Translated Japanese literature
Cultural image
Turkish culture repertoire
Agents of translation



Revisiting Nationalism: Translation and Nation

Mutsuko Tsuboi (Juntendo University)


With rapid globalization since the end of the Cold War, an increasing wave of nationalism has emerged. Currently, people are experiencing two contradicting phenomena: globalization and nationalism. In Japan, the recent discussion on constitutional revision has indicated a revival of Japanese nationalism. However, nationalism in the Japanese context has been rather problematic to address squarely; one of the reasons is that there is no single Japanese word that corresponds exactly to the modern Western notion of “nationalism.” Moreover, multiple words referring to “nation” linked to “nationalism” are mostly translation words coined during Japan’s modernization in the Meiji period (1868–1912).

This paper focuses on the late nineteenth century period and analyzes texts written by Japanese intellectuals who were crucial in spreading the notion of “nation” and awakening nationalism. The paper explores the factors responsible for multiple translation words of “nation” and the contribution of these words in shaping the national identity of Japan. Results of the analysis revealed that the sociocultural and historical contexts surrounding Japan at that period were responsible for the different translations: the influence of England and France, followed by that of Germany; a need for historical legitimacy of the imperial system; and a sense of crisis against extreme Westernization. Translation words at different stages of modernization have elicited a sentiment of the oneness specific to Japan and enabled different forms of nationalism, resulting in the current problematic interpretations of nationalism.





Story-telling Mother: Wakamatsu Shizuko’s Translation of Little Lord Fauntleroy

Akiko Uchiyama (University of Queensland)


The concept of “modern mothers” who actively nurture and educate their children at home emerged in the Meiji period (1868–1912) in Japan, and it was closely associated with Western ideas which had been actively imported on a large scale since the opening up of the county in the mid-nineteenth century. It was different from the view of mothers in the preceding Edo period (1603–1867) in which a mother did not generally play an active part in children’s education. My presentation discusses the role of the children’s section in Jogaku zasshi (Women’s Education Journal), published between 1885 and 1904, in developing the idea of mothers reading stories aloud to children and educating them. In particular, I will focus on Wakamatsu Shizuko’s (1864–96) translation of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), which was serialised in Jogaku zasshi between 1890 and 1892. Her flowing, story-telling style of translation was much praised by her contemporaries, and my examination also partially involves her contribution to the genbun itchi (unification of spoken and written language) movement at that time. I will examine her view of women’s role in society and discuss how it was linked to her selection of original works to be translated and how it was reflected in her translation work.


Modern mothers
Children’s education
Jogaku zasshi
Wakamatsu Shizuko
Little Lord Fauntleroy



‘You Are My Voice’. The Multiple Functions of Interpreters & Translators Working in Asylum and Refugee Settings

Carmen Valero-Garcés (University of Alcalá)


Nowadays, our society is a spectator of one of the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. People from Africa, Asia or even Europe run away from war to other countries looking for a new beginning- a life without fear - with their relatives. Most of them simply bring with them their culture and language, leaving the rest behind, and moreover, they do not know the language and culture of the receiving country. Because of this, the role of the a linguistic and cultural intermediary is consequential in order to guide them and facilitate them the access to their rights and to public services such as healthcare, legal services, education, etc. This study explores some of the issues and complexities surrounding the interpreting and translation services provided and the role(s) that the interpreter / translator play(s) in this crisis as well as how they meet the refugees’ needs, and their abilities to overcome any problem that may arise. Data come from interviews and surveys to: 1) different professionals on the field of international protection as well as of NGOs that help refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection; 2) professional translators and interpreters working on this field; 3) volunteers who collaborate with non-governmental organizations such as Caritas or Red Cross. The main conclusion emerge from the study is the need to defend the multiple functions and specific characteristics of the PSIT to train future T&I accordingly.


Community Interpreting and Translation
Public Service Interpreting and Translation
International Protection



Cognates in Translated and Non-Translated Dutch

Lore Vandevoorde (Ghent University)


Although cognates play an important role in language acquisition (Otwinowska 2016), not much is known about translators’ preferences for cognate vs. non-cognate translations (Dutch kat (cognate) or poes (non-cognate) as a translation of English cat). Malkiel (2009) concluded that translators tend to choose a non-cognate translation over a cognate translation out of a hypothesized “fear of false friends”. It is however not clear whether translated texts contain more or fewer cognates than non-translated texts, nor whether cognateness of source and target language affects the use of cognates in translated language. Based on lists of Dutch-English and Dutch-French cognate words (Schepens et al. 2013) we calculate cognate ratios ((cognate-token frequency)/(total token frequency)) for translated Dutch (translated from English (TDeng) and from French (TDfr)) and non-translated Dutch (ORdu), using the Dutch Parallel Corpus. We see that the ratio of Dutch (with English) cognate words is significantly lower in TDeng than the ratio of those words in ORdu (χ2= 763.46, df = 1, p= < 0.001). This means that there are significantly fewer cognate words in TDeng compared to ORdu, providing support for the “fear of false friends” hypothesis. We find no support for the “fear of false friends” hypothesis between the less cognate languages French and Dutch: the ratio of Dutch (with French) cognate words is significantly higher in TDfr than the ratio of those words in ORdu (χ2= 6023.9, df = 1, p < 0.001), meaning that in TDfr, there are significantly more cognate words compared to ORdu.


Translated language
Original language
False friends



Literary Translation as Cultural Production: The Production, Participants and Practice of Literary Translation in Contemporary Macao

Tenglong Wan (University of Leeds)


Macao as a cross-cultural space features constant displacement, mixing and border crossings of people, languages and cultures, where translation plays an important role in the social and cultural changes. A case in point, literary translation provides ample evidence of, and revealing insights into, the ‘making and distribution of culture repertoire’ (Even-Zohar 2000: 394). In spite of the rich resources of translation in Macao thanks to its multilingualism and multiculturalism, its literary translation has not been researched. This paper seeks to map out the field of literary translation as well as the complex relations therein from a sociocultural perspective, with particular reference to the case of contemporary Macao during 1936-2016. Drawing primarily on the theoretical approaches of Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) and Bourdieu’s sociology of cultural production, this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the phenomena of literary translation in contemporary Macao, using mixed methods of empirical research. It is argued that literary translation as cultural production is a complex process of the interplay among context, discourse, actor and practice. These factors are analysed in terms of the context of the field as well as the production, participants and practice of literary translation in Macao. Literary translation as a socially situated and culturally formative activity is intricately embedded in the sociocultural context in which it functions. The applicability of Bourdieu’s sociology of cultural production to translation studies thus provides possible avenues for the descriptive and empirical research of literary translation as a social and cultural construct.


Literary translation
Cultural production



Cultural Exposition through Performance: The Case of Simulated Kenyan Traditional Lyrics

Joyce Wangia (Kenyatta University)


There is an interesting trend where foreigners are taking a liking to Kenyan traditional songs and belting out local tunes to perfection. It is now common to see for example Japanese singers singing their hearts out to the rendition: Mambo sawasawa (all is well), or an American band complete with local musical instruments and traditional dancing moves gyrating in tandem with a Luyia dialect rendition with accurate articulation. This is not just an intriguing phenomenon, but it also confirms that there are aspects of culture that cannot be translated and that the beauty lies in their preservation. Normally, it is the African people who imitate the first world practices – music, fashion, food, entertainment, technology, language etc. and not the reverse. Thus, this development brings out a freshness and hope for a two way global cultural exchange. The study will analyse, translate and document the messages in the traditional lyrics within a cultural translation theory as a fourth way contribution to the promotion of cultural diversity.


Traditional lyrics
Cultural diversity
Cultural translation



Two Roads Diverged —Fathers of Canton vs. Fathers of Peking for Interpreting Dao

Sophie Ling-Chia Wei (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)


Among the Jesuits proselytizing in the Ming and Qing China, which was about 16th to 18th century, there were two tracks, to Dao or not to Dao. The past Western scholarship mainly researched on how the Jesuits imitated Confucianist scholars to match Tian or Di with Deus in the West. However, there was another group of Jesuit Figurists, who focused on the re-translation of the Yijing and the Dao de jing, and advocated that the gist of God’s messages were imbedded in the Dao and Daoist classics. This paper aims to connect the dots and link the three main Figurists, Bouvet, Foucquet, and Prémare, with the later coherent Jesuits, and discuss the legacy of post-Figurism. While the Rites Controversy was in full swing, the Jesuits either were dispatched to Canton or stayed in the imperial court in Peking, facing the pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and the Emperor respectively. After Bouvet died, Foucquet went back to Rome and Prémare stayed in Canton, the influence of Figurism and their focus on Dao never fade away. The next generation of Figurists were walking into two diverged roads: philosophical Daoism and religious Daoism. Jean Francois Noëlas followed Prémare and associated the Holy Trinity with the chapters in the Dao de jing while Pierre-Martical Cibot and Jean-Joseph-Marie Amiot centered on Qigong and meditation. Different webs of patrons and benefactors helped direct their different approaches of interpreting Dao and their interpretations also impacted European understanding of Dao and Daoism.


Dao de jing
Religious Daoism
Philosophical Daoism



A Translog-based Comparative Study of Translation Revision between Student and Professional Translators

Guangjun Wu and Huan Zhou (Beijing International Studies University)


With a combination of Translog program and a post-translation interview, the present study attempts to compare the revising patterns of student translators and professional translators in translation from Chinese into English. The findings are as follows. In terms of allocating the revising, both student and professional translators made more revisions in the drafting phase than in the post-drafting phase. Differing from previous studies, it was found that there existed a big gap regarding the percentage points of the revising in the drafting phase between professional translators and student translators, revising by professionals being more concentrated in the drafting phase than that of student translators. With regard to revising features of the two types of translators, in the drafting phase, revisions made by professionals focused on the refinement of the target text whereas student translators tended to correct translation errors, while in the post-drafting phase, revising reflected an overlapping of features between the two types of translators. As for the distribution of revisions at different linguistic levels, it is found that student translators tended to revise at relatively lower linguistic levels, while professionals were inclined to work on higher linguistic levels.


Student translators
Professional translators
Linguistic levels

Peer-evaluation and Assessment Criteria Perceived by Learners in the English-Chinese Interpretation Classes

Jackie Xiu Yan and Hui Wu (City University of Hong Kong)



Most of the studies on interpreting assessment is concerned with the evaluation and expectation of teachers, receivers, practitioners, and associations, while few of them have been conducted on peer-evaluation or criteria perceived by learners. A lack of knowledge on learners’ evaluation criteria can be an important source for difficulties in helping them to achieve in interpreter training programs. This study intends to investigate the peer-evaluation process and the criteria perceived by college learners in a consecutive interpreting course. The investigators would first review a variety of perspectives on evaluation and criteria in interpreting studies, and then examine the special characteristics of peer-evaluation and learner-perceived interpreting evaluation criteria. The participants will be around 60 undergraduate and graduate students taking English-Chinese consecutive interpreting classes. Both peer-evaluation and traditional teacher-evaluation will be applied to students’ interpreting works. The results will be compared. Around 20 students (out of the 60 participants) will be interviewed on what they consider as the most important criteria in evaluation. The findings would provide the educators and the learners with an important source of exploring appropriate ways of evaluating students’ works, understanding their learning process and predicting their potential to achieve in interpreting classes.


Interpreter training
Assessment in interpreter training classes

Translation in New Tide (1919-1922) and the Canonization of May Fourth

Michelle Jia Ye (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)


The paper explores translation in the journalistic discourse of an early 20th-century periodical, New Tide (also known as The Renaissance), and its pivotal role in the canonization of May Fourth in early modern China. Methodologically, the paper adopts an “open”, “cluster” concept of translation (Tymoczko 2007:54-106) and examines not only full and abridged renditions of foreign texts, but also “unmarked” (Pym 1998:60) translated segments in the form of quotes, notes, glosses that filled visually marginal textual spaces in essays, fiction, book reviews, editors and readers’ columns throughout the pages of the journal. By examining these materials from both linguistic and contextual approaches, the paper reveals that New Tide made strategic use of these diverse and discursive translational practices to (mis)represent the sources in order to proclaim May Fourth as the new and advanced against Chinese traditions. The observation challenges the common assumption of May Fourth translation as a transparent medium for cultural import that made China modern, and presents translation in periodicals as a field and a mode of canonization. Engaging the complexities of the discourse of the journal, the paper also emphasizes the necessity of combining reading methods of translation studies and periodical studies in a research on translation in print media of early modern China.


New Tide
May Fourth



Translation as Alliance and Cultural Mobility

Jessica Yeung (Hong Kong Baptist University)


Translation necessarily implies relations between the particular and the general since transcultural understanding predicates on common human experience across cultures. This is also the basis on which transcultural categories such as World Literatures and Intercultural Theatres are built. In other words, translation takes place when the translator sees something produced in a particular situation generated from its particular factors relevant to the general, or to another particular situation. If viewed in this way, binarism will not be an effective paradigm of understanding translation.

This way of understanding translation is particularly pertinent when texts (verbal and non-verbal) are translated across contexts displaying ideological proximity. Translation of religious texts and translation of “resistance texts” across human rights campaigns are good examples. The proposed paper will adapt for the study of translation Judith Butler’s recent use of the idea of alliance in her exegesis of the possibility of empathy in people of other nations for the Occupy movements. It will also draw on Stephen Greenblatt’s formulation of the idea of cultural mobility which, instead of using cultures or the specific behaviours of a text situated in specific cultures as units of comparison, highlights the actual acts of mobility of the text. The purpose of the proposed paper is to explore new ways of understanding difference in translational relations between texts as concordant rather than discordant engagement, especially when ideological solidarity is called for in specific translation projects. Suitable case studies will be used as illustration.


Cultural Mobility
Ideological proximity



An Error Analysis of Sentence-by-Sentence Interpretation

Shu-Pai Yeh (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen)


Based on steps proposed by S.P. Corder, this study aimed to develop procedures to analyze errors collected from a sentence-by-sentence interpretation task performed by thirty student interpreters. The task consisted of three sub-tasks, namely word recognition, sentence comprehension and sentence interpretation. Both the source inputs and target outputs were transcribed and deconstructed into propositions to facilitate error identification and alignment. To explain and evaluate errors, correlation analyses were conducted to investigate the connections within and between error types, sentence lengths and sentence speeds. The major findings of this study are as follows:

  1. Reference interpretations and a clear work flow seemed to be able to effectively limit rater subjectivity, and ensure more consistency in error recognition and classification.
  2. Participant performance was prone to additions and omissions, which could be viewed as grave errors since they seemed to co-occur. The speed and length, especially duration, of a target sentence seemed to be reliable indicators of quality and performance.
  3. The rate of recognition, rather than comprehension, seemed to correlate better with how much a source sentence was correctly interpreted. The length of a source sentence was a more reliable difficulty indicator of recognition and comprehension than speed.


Error Analysis
Propositional Analysis
Interpretation errors
Difficulty indicator
Performance indicator



Experience into Chinese: Translating Psychological Space in Memoir

Yan Ying (University of Leicester)


Based on my translation of Martin Amis’s memoir Experience into Chinese, this paper explores how the choices of deictic references of person and time create a different psychological space in memoir.

Amis’s memoir is not a chronological account of his life. It sifts impressionistically through the past in its thematic and structural organisation, and presents “experience” in the form of confessional narrative, partial biography of his father and cousin, and self-conscious psychoanalysis. Featuring deliberate temporal discontinuities, the psychological space in Amis’s “experience” is sedimented and layered. 

This paper focuses on Amis’s use of second person pronoun and its related pronominal references, and past tense in creating the psychological space of self in his memoir. Determined by the inherent nature of the target language as well as the considered choice of the translator, the translation shows that the shifts have the potential to change the way the psychological space is shaped and “experience” reconceptualised for the target reader.

Recently, there has been an increase in looking at fiction translation from the narratological perspective. Not much endeavour has been made to examine the macrotextual impact of the microtextual shifts in memoir, and life writing in general. That the author is the translator will also add some rare insights into the translation process.


Literary translation
Deictic references
Psychological space



Translation and the Problematics of Nationalism: Cameroon in Perspective

Marinus Yong (University of Nigeria, Nsukka)


Translation and nationalism are relevant to the African continent due to the many languages spoken by its various peoples. European languages, a legacy of different colonial masters, also play a major role in the rapport between translation and nationalism especially in Cameroon, a country that has the singular fate of having been colonized by three different European nations. Most of the territory known today as the Republic of Cameroon was a German protectorate from 1884. It was later divided into British and French Cameroons in 1916 when it became clear that Germany was losing the First World War. British Cameroons and French Cameroun as separate legal and political entities instituted two different administrative systems which had a serious polarizing effect on the once one “nation” under German rule. Different cultural and educational heritages were consequently bequeathed to both peoples. When both territories reunited in 1961 as Federal Republic of Cameroon a bilingual country was borne. That translation is most evident in a bilingual country hold very true in the case of Cameroon in which the constitution states that every official document must be translated. In this paper our intention is to examine the problems of nationalism occasioned by translation in a bilingual nation, Cameroon. Since translation cannot be effectively done without considering the cultural backgrounds of both languages in a given community, we shall also examine ancillary problems of nationalism whose roots are anchored in the linguistic clash of two polarized peoples: one a majority and the other a minority





Translation Ethics in the Digital Era: Focusing on Hans Jonas’s Philosophy of Responsibility

Han-Nae Yu (Chonnam National University)


This study aims at suggesting new ethics of translation in the Digital Era incorporating Hans Jonas’s philosophy of responsibility. Translation Ethics so far have been discussed based on printed translations. It is apparent that the ethical theories we have today are incapable of bringing characteristics of translations in the digital environment into considerations. In the Digital Era, translated contents can easily be mobilized to and from various digital media, and in this process, changes or refractions of the contents happen more frequently compared to printed versions. Well-intended translations are even manipulated and utilized in the generation of fake news. Due to technological evolution, the consequences of a translation are now out of hands of the person who translated it, and the repercussions of these consequences extend far into the future. Hans Jonas (1985) saw the ecological crisis originating in unprecedented and unstrained technological development occurring without an object ethical framework to serve as a guide, and suggested “imperative responsibility”. He argued that a new ethic of responsibility must incorporate a notion of caution coupled with the imaginative projection of possibly negative consequences to guide us in our actions. Jonas’s philosophy of responsibility can also be applied to Translation Ethics in the Digital Era in that translations can result in unintended consequences. For instance, selective translations or refractions, which are not subject to legal punishment, can be refrained by enhancing translators’ ethical responsibility, as the concept of responsibility emphasizes taking responsibility even for far-reaching effects of an action.


Translation Ethics
Digital Era
Fake News
Hans Jonas



Grounded Theory and the Czech Field of Translation After 2000

Jitka Zehnalová and Helena Kubátová (Palacky University)


The contribution describes the methodology of the application of Grounded Theory (GT) for the purposes of the research project The Analysis of the Czech Field of Literary Translation and Translation Strategies after 2000. Its aim is to explore the interdependencies between the Czech field of literary translation and the strategies used by translators from English into Czech and vice versa, conceptualised as norm-governed activities (Toury, 1995).

The methodology builds on the assumption that “the danger of a sociology of translation existing without translation” (Wolf, 2007, 27) needs to be avoided, i.e. that in order to uncover these interdependencies, both the contextual macro level (the rules of the field, capitals and habituses of the translators) and the textual micro level (translators’ choices at all language levels) have to be interwoven (the “context-text-context” approach).

The focus is placed on sociological analysis, specifically on biographical interviews with translators. The data collection and analysis are based on the GT principles (constant comparative analysis and saturation of data) and on the researchers’ transparent involvement as well, as it guarantees the reliability of the research and thus its quality and validity (Strauss and Corbin, 1998). The analysis comprises all three levels (open, axial, and selective). The goal is to discuss the potential and limitations of constructing an empirically sound GT of the Czech field of literary translation, mainly the merits of theoretical sampling, which combines the analysis of data from biographical interviews with textual analysis.


Literary translation
The Czech field of literary translation
Translation strategies
Grounded Theory



Film Accessibility in China: An Overview

Xiaochun Zhang (University of Bristol)


In China, around 85 million people are disabled, amongst which 12.6 million people are blind and 20.54 million people are deaf. These data suggest that a substantial amount of people have difficulties to or cannot at all access audiovisual media content in its original form due to their condition. According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons, the state and society shall “enrich the spiritual and cultural life of disabled persons”. Media accessibility services provide access for people with special needs to audiovisual media products. There are many methods to facilitate media accessibility, such as subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, surtitles, audio description, audio introduction, touch tours, etc. Many accessibility services are available on the market and substantial scholarly attention has been paid to accessibility issues in Europe, North America and Australia. However, the practice and research on media accessibility in China are under-reported to the West. This paper investigates the process of producing accessible films and the training of audio describers and subtitlers by conducting field research in Shanghai and Jiangsu province, where many accessible films are produced. The research methodology includes informal interviews, direct observation, collective discussions, and analysis of materials. It aims to provide an overview on the current situation of film accessibility in China, in the hope of identifying gaps and seeking solutions for improvement.


Film Accessibility



The Translation of Rhetoric in Political Speeches

Xiaoyu Zhang (University of Macau)


Political speeches as the most “salient” type of political discourse  (Wodak, 2009) have gained wide attention among researchers. Oratory helps politicians to obtain power and build up leadership by exploiting various rhetoric devices (Charteris-Black, 2011). The research studies the English translation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speeches from an interdisciplinary perspective of rhetoric and critical discourse analysis. Our analytical model originates from Charteris-Black (2014), who has summarized the major rhetoric devices and their functions in political communication, and is developed in accordance with the knowledge of translation studies. The data is selected from The Governance of China, in which rhetoric devices are identified and classified for further analysis. The research attempts to answer three questions: (1) How do translators deal with these difficulties in these political texts? (2) Can the English translation reproduce the functions of the original? (3) What are the possible reasons for the decision-making in the English version? It is hoped that the research can enlarge the landscape of political discourse analysis by incorporating rhetoric and translation studies.


Political speech
Translation studies
Critical discourse analysis



‘Revolution’ Redefined in China

Yifan Zhu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)


Although the modern notion of ‘revolution’ inaugurated in the Enlightenment era is one of the key concepts in political ideologies and the history of ideas, scholarly work on the genealogy of ‘revolution’ (Baker 1990; Koselleck 2004) has seldom gone beyond Europe. As a significant concept that has transformed all domains of Chinese life—intellectual, industrial and social in the 20th century, the concept is well documented both in translated and original Chinese texts which provides rich material for text analysis. This corpus-based CDA study traces the evolvement of the concept ‘revolution’ through translation in China between 1890 and 2010.

In the Meiji era (1860s-1890s), Japanese translators first adapted the Chinese word ‘革命’(geming in Chinese, kakumei in Japanese), which originally means the old dynasty directed by destiny is replaced by a new one, to translate the European idea ‘revolution’. The modern conception of ‘revolution’ later entered China through translation in the 1890s (Jin 2009). Since then, the traditional concept of ‘革命’ (geming) has been redefined, re-established and reconstructed through translation in the changing political scenario in the 20th century China. This analysis will show (i) how translation has introduced the modern conception of ‘revolution’ into the ancient Chinese word ‘革命’; (ii)how the Chinese conception of ‘revolution’ differs from the European conception subject to constant negotiation and contestation in the political and historical situation in which it was used; and (iii)what role translation has played in this extensive and dynamic process of meaning negotiation.





Translation as Travel – A One-Sided Trope

Cornelia Zwischenberger (University of Graz)


From a Translation Studies’ perspective translation has mainly been described as an activity which allows texts and ideas to circulate and travel. Translation as travel or transfer is also derived from its etymological roots in the Latin translatio, transferre, meaning to carry or ferry across, to relocate (Hermans & Stecconi 2002).

Translation studies through its various turns (Toury 1995; Reiß & Vermeer 1984; Bassnett & Lefevere 1990) has already long acknowledged the changes inevitably happening to an original during its travel. What, however, Translation studies has largely missed so far is a systematic analysis of translation itself as a so-called “travelling concept” (Bal 2009; Neumann & Nünning 2012). With a few recent exceptions (Blumczynski 2016; Alfer 2017; Zwischenberger 2017) there are hardly any analyses from a Translation studies’ perspective how the translation concept has changed on its travel to other disciplines.

This paper will analyse “cultural translation” (Bachmann-Medick 2009) and “social translation” (Latour 1994) and the epistemological spaces these two concepts relate to which are rooted in anthropology and sociology but not at all in Translation studies. This contribution will furthermore reveal the similarities between these conceptions of translation and interlingual translation as advocated by Translation studies. It will show that Translation studies would lend itself very well as an epistemological space from which to draw for other disciplines and their translation concepts. A recognition of the similarities between these translation concepts and interlingual translation could lead to a conceptually refined translation concept which could travel back to Translation studies.


Travelling concept
Epistemological space
Cultural translation
Social translation


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Accepted Abstracts for Poster Presentations

(in alphabetical order)


Sociocultural Aspect of Increased Translator Visibility in the Recent Discourse in Korea

Eun-Kyoung Choi (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)


This paper explores the increased visibility of the literary translator in Korea by analyzing recent discourses on literary translation since The Vegetarian won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. The prize shared the award between the author and translator and a lot of media attention has been centered on the British translator, Deborah Smith. This phenomenon gives impetus for changing not only discourses on translation in general but also perspectives on the role and status of the literary translator. This study will particularly highlight the shifting perspectives on translators within the framework of the translator’s extratextual visibility (Koskinen 2000).

The translation of works of literature into foreign languages has been a government-led effort for the globalization of Korean literature (a.k.a. K-Lit) for several years. The recent critical success of the book has dramatically shifted perspectives on the previously lesser-acknowledged profession and process of literary translation. Literary translators, including Deborah Smith, have received tremendous attention from the mainstream press. Furthermore, they have started to play a key role in the globalization of Korean literature not only by taking a more visible role in the media but also playing active part in selecting source texts or consulting policy for translation. This study will illustrate the greater visibility of literary translators and their increasing role through analysis of news articles and press materials related to translation with showing statistics and graphs from the analysis. It will display number of news articles on translation/translator in Korea including a recent surge and categories of them.


Translation of Korean Literature
Extratextual visibility
Literary translator
Translator’s invisibility



Paratranslation of Feminist Book Covers: A Korean Case

Jieun Choi and Sang-Bin Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)


As a paratext, the book cover plays a significant role in the reader’s purchase decision. A well-designed cover increases chances of the reader purchasing a book by attracting their interest and concisely conveying the author’s message. In the case of translated books, however, it appears common that covers undergo huge shifts as a result of ‘paratranslation’ (Yuste Frias 2012), a process that makes paratexts more acceptable in the context of the target culture. In order to take a closer look at the phenomenon, the presenter analyzed the front covers of 31 feminist books translated from English to Korean, in comparison with those of the originals. The target texts were published between May 2016 and May 2017, a time when hate crimes motivated by misogyny had significant impacts on feminist discourse in South Korea. Drawing on House’s (2015) views of register, the presenter categorized the textual and visual elements of the book covers into three: field, tenor, and mode. Analyzing these three registerial components in detail, the presenter aims to demonstrate how (para)translation is and can be affected by sociocultural backgrounds and ideologies of a particular culture.


Book covers
Feminist books



Negotiation and Construction of Translator’s Identity from the Perspective of Intercultural Communication

Jing Fang and Jirong Guo (Xi'an Jiaotong University)


The profound interconnectivity between translation and intercultural communication lies in their practical concerns about language, culture and communication. From the angle of intercultural communication, the negotiation and construction framework for translator's identity consists of three sub-systems: translator's identity, primary identity and situational identity, which further divides into eight parameters, including cultural, personal, role, relational and symbolic interaction as the basic constructs. Both internal and external causes define translator's cultural identity, thus resulting in a translation culture. Personal identity serves as the prerequisite for translator's subjectivity. Translator's decisions concerning the translated text, the layout of texts and sections also shape translator's role, whereas the relational aspects of translator's identity involve the complex network of families, social relations, press, etc. Last but not the least, the symbolic interaction perspective deals with the micro level, thick translation as a strategy can make translator's identity salient and enhance confidence in the Chinese culture.


Translator's identity
Intercultural communication
Negotiation and construction of identity
Translation culture
Thick translation



Translators and Travelers Presenting Foreign Places: A Corpus-based Comparison of the Foreign Words Used in Toponymy between Translated and Travel Novels

Virginia Mattioli (Universitat Jaume I)


This corpus-based study aims to compare a set of translated novels with a set of travel novels in order to analyze the use of the foreign elements related to toponymy. The use and the treatment of these terms show the approach of translators and travelers to a target place, highlighting their vision of the “otherness”.

With this objective, two corpora have been compiled: LIT_TRAD (25 translated novels) and LIT_VIAJES (24 travel novels), each one divided into two subcorpora representing two language or culture pairs (English-Italian and Spanish-Italian).

After the corpus compilation, three steps have been followed: a) identification of the most representative foreign elements in each corpus; b) determination of the techniques used for their transposition into the target language or culture; c) organization of the techniques in an exoticism-domestication continuum according to their degree of the original culture maintenance (Venuti, 1995 ).

The quantitative and qualitative results show a similar number of place names in both corpora but some differences in their treatment: translated texts present a higher degree of fidelity to the original culture than travel texts.

Concluding, this study observes different ways to describe foreign places according to literary genres. Moreover, examining two different corpora the influence of the language or culture pair can be considered. The results offer new elements to sustain or refuse the comparability between the analyzed genres –already approached by many scholars (Trivedi, 2007, Carbonell i Cortés, 2003, among others) but not completely demonstrated yet– from a stylistic and functional point of view.


Corpus linguistics
Translated literature
Travel literature



Re-Editing and Reformulating Cultural Contents for Localization of Website/Mobile App

Lira Park (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)


Most information is provided through the internet: printed books are reedited and condensed in online and mobile platforms. This study examines the translation process of the cultural website and aims to propose a translation strategy applicable for the translation of cultural contents from an original source text in printed book to its target text in online and mobile platforms.

The Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture was first published by the National Folk Museum of Korea. Most public institutions in Korea have favored an original source text-centered translation. However, with the recognition of the importance of translation for promotional purposes, more institutions are providing translation instructions based on intention, function and intended users of the texts to be translated. The website/app aims to promote Korean folk culture and improve the country's national brand; its intended users are foreigners who have knowledge of or are interested in Korean folk culture. Based on this specific skopos, the website's localization project was carefully planned from the beginning. The museum has reedited the original Korean text and reformulated a separate source text for translation (STT) in two ways: reformulation of text and reformulation of information.

The poster will consist of 5 sections: Introduction, Material Text, Text Analysis, Results and Conclusions. The skopos of original text and translated text will be explored in the Material Text and the analysis tables will be presented in the Text Analysis. In the Results, the translation process from an original source text to its final target text will be visualized.


Cultural translation
Website localization of cultural texts
Re-editing source text
Reformulating translated source text



‘Popularity’, ‘Cosmopolitism’ and ‘Reality’: The Translation and Introduction of ‘Surrealism’ by the Chinese Independent Art Association in 1930s

Chen Qing (Sun Yet-Sen University)


The Chinese Independent Art Association (CIAA) is one of the most important art communities during Minguo period whose members translated and introduced ‘surrealism’ have let them to be called the first ‘surrealists ’ in china. This Paper is devoted to study the translation and introduction of ‘surrealism’ in China in 1930s, analyzing the important role played by CIAA in this process, and exploring translation strategies used by them. The article considers that the CIAA added ‘popularity’, ‘cosmopolitism’ and ‘reality’ with specific connotation of the words to semantic layer of ‘surrealism’, making it a deliberate transformation. However, this transformation is not successful. In addition to the semantic meaning wear and tear generated during the translation process, members of the CIAA also obscured noun’s boundary intently, which separated the interaction and communication between ‘surrealism’ and the Chinese art status at that time.


The Chinese Independent Art Association
Translation and introduction



How does Translation Influence the Editing and Illustrating of a Children’s Story?

Dora Wong and Kenneth Yung (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)


The writing and illustrating of a children’s story embody a combination of images and texts which can be challenging for the translator. When translation of the written text is performed concurrently with illustration of the story in preparation of a picture book, the influence of translation on the end-product can be significant. This paper shares first person experiences of self-translating a children’s story originally written in English into the Chinese language. It discusses negotiation between meaning and text with reference to cultural and linguistic consideration of the Chinese and English languages. Concurrently, perspectives of the illustrator are added to describe the influence of the visual language on writing and vice versa. As record of the creative process, drafts of written texts and graphical designs are demonstrated to describe the flow and rhythm of storytelling using the lens of translation.


Bilingual texts
Children story
Picture book
Visual language


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Accepted Roundtable Proposals


Roundtable 1: Depicting Minorities on the Page and on the Screen, at Home and Abroad: The Example of the French Banlieues and Province

Tiffane Levick and Clíona Ní Ríordáin (Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle)


This roundtable proposes to discuss the image of marginalised populations from the suburban, or banlieue, and provincial regions of France that is presented in contemporary French literature and cinema, and, further, how this image is made available to an English-speaking audience through translation, as well as in surrounding media coverage. Drawing on theories of sociolinguistics and translation, it will address the role played by language in these works to express the existing tension between centre and periphery, between Paris and outer, marginalised areas, and the effect of the options selected by the translator on the communication of this tension to a foreign audience.

Examples of texts to be studied (and in translation)


  • En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (Edouard Louis, Seuil, 2013)
  • Retour à Reims (Didier Eribon, Fayard, 2009)
  • Entre les murs (François Bégaudeau, Gallimard, 2006)
  • Kiffe kiffe demain (Faïza Guène, Fayard, 2004)
  • Moi non (Patrick Goujon, Gallimard, 2003)
  • Lila dit ça (Chimo, Plon, 1996)
  • Une femme (Annie Ernaux, Gallimard, 1989)


  • Bande de filles (Céline Sciamma, 2014)
  • Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet, 2008)
  • Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Danny Boon, 2008)
  • L’Esquive (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2005)
  • La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995)

Examples of questions to be discussed:

Standard/non-standard language:

  • What is the importance of language in communicating a sense of place and of belonging?
  • What is the relationship between creativity and “language alignment/identity”?
  • How does the language used in these texts reflect the section of society being depicted?
  • How is the tension between social and geographical identities communicated through the use of standard and non-standard language?
  • Is the notion of standard language more prescriptive in French than in English? How might this affect the approach to the translation of texts including non-standard language?
  • What options are available to the translator of non-standard language?
  • What are the effects of adopting such approaches as equivalence or standardisation in communicating a sense of tension between the language used by minority groups and by people in power?H
  • How was the non-standard language of the minority groups in these texts approached in translation?

Representing minorities:

  • What is the relationship between the author and the characters depicted in these works? Between the translator and the characters?
  • How do the characters in these texts express their perception of their social ranking and of their use of language in relation to this social ranking?
  • Are there noticeable differences in the style and reception of texts including the voice of minority groups written by authors of different backgrounds (namely authors from within and without of minority groups)?
  • Who has the “right” and the power to present the voice of minorities in literature and cinema, and can this representation be trusted? What happens when this representation crosses linguistic and cultural borders?

Success in translation:

  • What kind of success have these works encountered in the Anglosphere?
  • Are there salient similarities in the types of texts made available to an English-speaking audience? What might make the difference between a text translated and one left untranslated?
  • Is the notion of linguistic “possession” less problematic in English than in French? Can this be related to the number of first-generation migrants writing in French (and being encouraged to do so in Quebec) while the legitimacy of “non-native” usage is often questioned in French in France?
  • What role might translation play in the popularity of these works in the Anglosphere?
  • Are there distinguishable links between the success of a particular work and the way it is translated, and trends more broadly in the success of works translated in a particular way?


  • How were these works reviewed and portrayed in anglophone media? (Especially in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books etc.)
  • What is the role of the producers of these texts as spokespeople for the groups portrayed in their work?
    • How does their role relate to the notion of the value of the literary text in a Bourdieusian sense of the term? What is the value (and function) of a literary text in this context?
  • What kind of attention and authority are these writers/directors/actors etc. attributed in France and outside of France?
    • How are they treated by the media? As experts? Spokespeople?
  • Are there cases in which the translator is asked to play the role of spokesperson?
    • How was the translated nature of the works highlighted or ignored in media coverage?
    • How does the visibility of translation suggest impressions of authenticity?

Participants’ perspectives:

Clíona Ní Ríordáin

Professor of Translation Studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, Clíona Ní Ríordáin teaches a second-year master’s course that uses the vector of translation studies to study the relationship between power and marginalisation in literature. This seminar looks in particular at the translation of minority languages, at the translation of writing featuring or produced by marginalised groups, specifically migrants, and at the translation of gender issues. Her experience preparing and implementing this b will be of particular relevance to the roundtable discussion since she will be able to depart from her research and teaching to develop ideas relating to the power balance communicated through the production and translation of literary works that give voice to issues faced by marginalised groups.

Tiffane Levick

Tiffane Levick has been working on a PhD thesis since October 2015 dealing with the translation of slang. Her research draws on a number of theories in translation studies and sociolinguistics to compare her own approach to the translation of Moi non, a contemporary French novel by Patrick Goujon, published by Gallimard by 2003 and set in the suburbs of Paris, with that adopted in a number of comparable works. Her research on the different faces that takes on the expression of identity among young people from marginalised groups, specifically in the form of rap and of slang, as well as her experience of translating Goujon’s work and her analysis of the translation of parallel texts, will complement Professor Ní Ríordáin’s research into the broader context of power and marginalisation in literature.

Both Clíona Ní Ríordáin and Tiffane Levick have previously broached several of the issues outlined above in international conferences, in France and abroad, both together and separately.





Roundtable 2: Situating Southeast Asia in Translation Studies

Phrae Chittiphalangsri (Chulalongkorn University) and Vicente Rafael (University of Washington)


While many scholars encourage the expansion of translation studies to promote the understanding of translation diversity outside the West—the trend usually dubbed the “international turn” of the discipline (Cheung 2005, Tymoczko 2007, Wakabayashi and Kothari 2009), the almost non-existence of Southeast Asia in major Translation Studies publication outlets anxiously impels critics to question the possibility this region could offer. A linguistically, geographically, and culturally rich region, Southeast Asia has a strong diversity that is yet unexplored and could contribute significantly to translation studies. However, Southeast Asia was often viewed as a ramification of India and Chinese civilizations or ex-colonies which could never escape Western hegemony. So far the cultural, philosophical and historical aspects of translation of this region remain largely under-researched, mainly because of the lack of dialogues on intercultural relativity among its member states. This roundtable invites scholars working on translation in the Southeast Asian context to join the discussion and contribute their views on the following topics:

  • How can we map translation traditions in Southeast Asia, given the geographical, cultural and linguistic diversity?
  • Can we understand the history of translation in Southeast Asia without recourse to the postcolonial past or Sino-Indian connections?
  • How does the lack of Southeast Asian literature in translation undermine the potential of research into translation history and cultural representation?
  • What are the implications that Southeast Asia’s geographical diversity (Peninsula/mainland vs. Archipelago/maritime) have on translation?
  • In what way can Southeast Asian translation traditions provide a critical ground for translation’s theoretical development or new understanding of translation concepts?

The roundtable’s chairs will moderate the discussion of the above questions also by drawing on translation traditions from other regions for the purpose of comparison.

Participants’ perspectives:

Vicente L. Rafael

Much of my work is located mid-way between history and anthropology. That mid-way path is called translation studies. I’ve examined the colonial and post-colonial history of the Philippines (with a side-long glance at the United States), focusing especially on the vexed and often violent histories of cross-cultural borrowings, appropriations and dis- and re-locations. Central to my understanding of these processes has been the work of translation. I treat translation, linguistic and otherwise, in the broadest possible terms. Historically, I think of translation as the force of an event that shapes the encounters between, for example, native and Chinese subjects and Spanish colonizers, as well as between colonized Filipinos and American colonizers. Culturally, I regard translation as an interminably open-ended (and thus impossible) process that makes possible the event of colonization and decolonization, making these comprehensible in vernacular terms. It is this tension and confluence between translation as event and translation as process that animates much of what I take to be historically significant and culturally salient in translation studies.

Phrae Chittiphalangsri

After researching Thai translation history for over five years, I have come to a realization that the Thai concepts of translation throughout modern history are informed by the powerful politics of “singularity.” As the formal Thai language is constructed through the repudiation of what is deemed “foreign,” the preservation of what is considered “Thai” is vital in the making of the solid “Thai” self. Foreignness and diversity are always questioned when they challenge the Thai solidarity by being integrated into the Thai identity. This politics of singularity somehow corresponds with all Thai governments’ policies that emphasize the importance of Thai uniqueness, the absence of colonial past, the one language policy etc. The peninsula landscape of Thailand as a single of piece of land can provide a geographical metaphor for translation (see Kershaw and Saldana 2013) in which the role of translation can help shape the politics of linguistic exchange that places importance on boundary. I would like to explore this issue further by discussing with scholars from other Southeast Asian countries to see if their different geographies inform their translation practice differently.


Southeast Asia
Postcolonial translation
Geography of translation
International turn


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