CTISS 2019 Research Seminar - Gabriela Saldhana (University of Birmingham)

Date: Wednesday 19th February 2020, 14:15 - 15:45

Room: EF26  

Title - Reviewing translations: Writing borders on sketchy maps

Literary landscapes are perspectival, time and subject-bound views of a particular literary field. Efforts to map landscapes rely on information that has gaps and grey areas; the maps may point to, but remain silent about the reasons for those gaps and grey areas. What I call, following Ingold (2007), ‘sketch maps’, are avowedly subjective but not necessarily less informative, since they also reveal the perspective from which they are drawn. 

In this presentation I consider how sketch maps of distant literary fields may be created in the imagination of readers, focusing in particular on the role of book reviews as a particularly influential factor contributing to shape imagined literary landscapes. As opinion formers (Squires, 2009), reviewers direct the readers’ gaze towards certain aspects of the work reviewed and, in doing so, draw lines that end up shaping the contours of the sketch maps readers imagine.It is these traces, I argue here,that end up forming cultural and literary borders and thus defining what is literary, what is European, what is romance, what is Southeast Asian.  A close reading of reviews of translated books can reveal how notions of culture are simplistically drawn connections that have, nevertheless, crucial consequences for the literary capital of different regions of the world. 



Research seminar

Wednesday 22nd Januiary 2020, 14.15-15.45
Room TBC

Translation & migration: From erasure to co-presence

loredana polezzi

Loredana Polezzi
Cardiff University

Traditional dichotomic formulations of translation insist on notions of equivalence and substitution, constantly reinstating the opposition between foreign and same and demanding the erasure of the first in order to produce the latter. What if we change that model? What if the translator and the translated are the same? And what if they are already here, now, rather than ‘foreign’ and ‘elsewhere’? I will discuss these questions using examples from both writing and visual arts linked to experiences of migration and arguing that a different notion of translation, based on the ideas of trace and co-presence, can emerge in a mobile, multilingual world.

Research seminar

Wednesday 13th November, 15.15-16.00

Room MBG.33


Simultaneous interpreting in the private market in 2019: 

Towards a more complete understanding of the skillset

Heather Adams

University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


The benchmark for the study of conference interpreting tends to be the institutional market, in which interpreters will typically enjoy permanent employee status and a notable degree of recurrence of communicative situation, context and terminology, despite the vast range of topics. By contrast, interpreters working in the private sector face a range of ever- changing circumstances, with the contractual terms of each job requiring thorough negotiation, not only in terms of remuneration, but also of all aspects of working conditions. They will also be required to work both into and from their mother tongue and B language(s), in order to be competitive. The variables they have to deal with on a daily basis require an increased capacity to adapt on many levels, constituting an additional stress factor.

This paper will present the pilot study that we have carried out, as part of a larger project that aims to give an up-to-date vision of what interpreters working in the private market actually do, before, during and after their interpreting assignment, as well as actually interpreting. After a brief contextualization based on both academic and professional literature, I shall describe the questionnaire we used to obtain the data, explaining the significance of each of the questions, how and why we chose our participants, and an overview of the results obtained to date.

The conclusions we can draw from the results obtained are of particular relevance for practitioners and those looking to start their interpreting career in the near future, as well as interpreting trainers whose students may not necessarily opt for a career in the major international organizations such as the EU or the UN, or who may well have to gain experience in the private market before applying to any such organization.

Research seminar

Wednesday 13th November, 14.15-15.45

Room MBG.33

The strategic nature of (signed language) interpreting

Isabelle Heyerick

Isabelle Heyerick

Institute of Advanced Studies, Centre of Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick (United Kingdom)

Faculty of Arts, MIDI group, KU Leuven (Belgium)

This talk introduces simultaneous interpreting as a cognitive activity, and looks at the mental processes underlying simultaneous interpreting and in particular the linguistic decisions signed language interpreters make. 

As has been put forward by interpreting studies scholars, simultaneous interpreting is a demanding cognitive process (Gile, 1995(revised 2009)) and essentially goal-oriented in nature (Pöchhacker, 2004). Previous research in spoken language and (to a lesser extent) in signed language interpreting indicates that the interpreter manages the cognitive process by applying interpreting strategies (Gile (1995), Kohn & Kalina (1996), Al-Khanji et al (2000), Bernardini (2001), Napier (2002), Pöchhacker (2004), Leeson (2005), Riccardi (2005), Heyerick (forthcoming)).

My focus lies with linguistic interpreting strategies. These appear to be an intrinsic characteristic of (signed language) interpreting, which – I propose – is strategic in nature. This presentation will explore the following ideas; (1) the strategic nature of interpreting, (2) the linguistic decisions interpreters make and how they can be situated on a continuum of consciousness, (3) the motivations underlying the linguistic decisions, and (4) the potential influence of ideologies concerning deafness, disability and language on the use of linguistic interpreting strategies. 

Flags from around the globeInternational Translator Day 2019

Wed, 2 October 2019, 18:00 – 20:00 BST

Lecture Theatre 2, Room G.07. University of Edinburgh. Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street. Edinburgh. EH8 9LE

The Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland at Heriot-Watt University & The Translation Studies programme at the University of Edinburgh jointly invite you to an event in honour of International Translator Day 2019

Latest CTISS report now online


In 2019, CTISS is pleased to announce a new initiative in the form of PhD student-led research seminars. The goal of the seminar is for a current PhD student to present their work-in-progress alongside one of their PhD supervisors and an externally invited scholar with relevant research interests. The structure of the seminar involves three presentations and discussion about how the themes interweave and influence the work of the PhD student. Thus you are invited to attend the inagural seminar as follows:

When: Wednesday 22ndMay, 13.15-16.15

Where:Heriot-Watt University, Esme Fairbairn Building, room 26 (Lecture Theatre) 

Title: Corporeal Translations: Considering space and the embodied nature of theatre translation and interpreting


PhD student: Danny McDougal

Supervisor presenter: Dr Annelies Kusters

External presenter: Dr Geraldine Brodie (UCL) 

CTISS 2019 Research Seminar - Demi Krystallidou (Ku Leven, Belgium)

Friday 15th March 2019, 3.15pm - 4.45pm

Room: EM303

Topic: Investigating empathic communication in interpreter-mediated medical consultations: results of a mixed-methods study 

Empathy is considered to be a basic component of all therapeutic relationships and is associated with positive health outcomes. Common components of the various definitions of clinical empathy in the literature include the ability to understand another’s experience, to communicate and confirm that understanding with the other person, and to then act in a helpful manner. Although there is evidence that in language-discordant consultations empathy is compromised, little is known about the underlying interactional processes and the interpreter’s effect on clinical empathy in interpreter-mediated consultations. 

In this talk I will present the findings of the first study on the interpreter’s effect on the co-construction, expression and management of empathic communication in interpreter-mediated consultations. I will provide insights into the interactional processes and semiotic resources participants use in empathic communication in interpreter-mediated consultations. A mixed-methods research design was used including the quantifiable coding of empathic communication combined with multimodal interaction analysis and qualitative content analysis of video-stimulated recall interviews with patients, doctors and interpreters. The results of the study show that iempathic communication is susceptible to the interpreter’s renditions and to the use of non-verbal semiotic resources in the triad, and ii) interpreters experience difficulties in recognizing patients’ empathic opportunities and rendering them in an appropriate manner. Interpreters and doctors require skills to detect patient cues, assess them correctly, render them in an appropriate manner (interpreters) and display culturally sensitive communicative behaviours. This can be achieved by providing interprofessional education for medical and interpreting students so that both groups can collaborate in a complementary manner as part of an interprofessional team. 

The Departmenrt of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University is offering up to two PhD scholarships to start in the academic year 2019/20. The term of the scholarship is three years. For further information about the scholarship and to apply click here

CTISS PhD Lunch & Member workshop

Monday 18th February 2019

PhD Lunch 12:00 - 13:00 

Room: EF26 (Crush area)

Member workshop with Jemina Napier: Grant writing

Time: 13:15 - 16:45

Room: EF26