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Tuesday, 27 October 2015 15:09

Beyond linguistic plurality: The trajectories of multilingualism in translation

An international conference organized jointly by

Boğaziçi University, Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, and Research Group on Translation and Transcultural Contact, York University

Boğaziçi University

May 11-12 2016

Multilingualism has been receiving increased attention from scholars around the world as a topic that is open to exploration from different fields and various angles. In translation studies, research on translation and multilingualism has covered a wide range of issues, such as translation in the context of official bilingualism, translation and interpreting in multilingual cities, and the practices of multilingual and multicultural agents of translation. Postcolonial translation studies, for example, is one of the areas in which the intersection between translation and the multilingual condition of writing has been examined. Currently, there is increasing interest in exploring further the conceptual intersections between multilingualism studies and translation studies.

Turkey is a case in point when it comes to examining the complexity of multilingualism, both historically and today. It is an officially monolingual state in which some rights are granted to minority languages. Research has shown that there are as many as 60 languages spoken in Turkey but, with the exception of Kurdish and Armenian, their use in the public sphere, including publishing, remains extremely limited (Yağmur 2001; Temo 2015; Demirkol-Ertürk&Paker 2014). Beyond Turkey’s complex national multilingual scenario, the languages and voices of Turkey also contribute to global multilingual landscapes, e.g., through the narrative practices of Turkish writers in the diaspora. However, as is also the case with regard to other regions, the implications of multilingualism for translation and interpreting in Turkey are under-researched and there is much yet to investigate.

This conference invites papers on the relationship between translation and multilingualism and the tensions and negotiations involved in multilingual encounters, beyond linguistic plurality. We seek to provide a platform for researchers to present their work on translation and multilingualism either in Turkey or in any other context. We invite proposals for presentations on any topic related to the conference theme, including:

- translation, self-translation, retranslation and/of multilingual writing;

- multilingualism in relation to language policy and to institutional translation and interpreting activities;

- multilingualism and contemporary translation practices (e.g., audiovisual and Web translation);

- conceptual and praxical links between translation studies and multilingualism studies;

- translation and multilingualism in Turkey (e.g., including Armenian/Greek/Kurdish literature written in/on Turkey)

- multilingualism and translation in Canada

- “historical” multilingualism, as in literatures that maintain ties with the older versions of their languages, as in the case of Turkish/Ottoman, classical/modern Chinese, ancient/modern Greek, etc.;

- other area/region-specific studies on translation and multilingualism—e.g., Europe, the Americas, Africa;

- interdisciplinary approaches to translation and multilingualism.



Yağmur, Kutlay (2001) Languages in Turkey. In Extra, Guus and Gorter, Durk (eds.) The other languages of Europe. Clevedon etc.: Multilingual Matters, 407-427

Ergül, Selim Temo (2015). “Kurdish Literature in Turkish”. In Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar, Saliha Paker and John Milton (eds.) Tradition, Tension and Translation in Turkey, Benjamins Publishing, 253-272.

Demirkol-Ertürk, Şule & Paker, Saliha. (2014) “Beyoğlu/Pera as a translating site in Istanbul”, Translation Studies. Volume 7, Issue 2. pp. 170-185.


Potential participants may submit 200-word abstracts to by December 15, 2015 to the following e-mail addresses:

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Local Committee:

Arzu Akbatur

Oğuz Baykara

Özlem Berk Albachten

Ebru Diriker

Martin Cyr Hicks

Ayşenaz Postalcıoğlu

Jonathan Ross

Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar


International Advisory Board:

Elena Basile (York University and University of Toronto)

Martha Marin Domine (Wilfried Laurier University

Maria Constanza Guzmán (Glendon College, York University)

Lyse Hébert (Glendon College, York University)

Eva Karpinski (York University)

Reine Meylaerts (KU Leuven)

Chiara Montini (CNRS, France)

Joshua Price (SUNY Binghamton)

Sherry Simon (Concordia University)

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