Centre for Translation Studies


Past seminars: 2011 - 2012

19 October 2011
Estimating Machine Translation Post-Editing Effort
Dr  Lucia Specia,  University of Wolverhampton, UK

Although significant progress has been observed in the field of Machine Translation (MT) in recent years, the quality of a given MT system can vary across translated segments. As MT becomes more popular among professional translators, an increasingly relevant problem is that of automatically estimating the quality of translations at the segment level.  Such estimates can be used to filter out low quality segments from a translation post-editing workflow or to inform users of the expected translation quality. In this talk I will present work on modelling the problem of estimating post-editing effort and discuss how this can be used to help professional translators. 

2 November 2011
Game and Multimedia Localisation
Mr Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino, University of Roehampton, UK

This talk aims to introduce attendants to the translation of video games (also known as 'game localisation'). Attendants will learn about the process that games undergo in order to be linguistically and culturally adapted for other locales. The workshop will start with a brief overview on video games history, and the degree of penetration in today's culture. In the second part of the workshop, attendants will have a chance to work with authentic game localisation kits, and they will experience the challenges of this field. Finally, we will explore the game localisation job market and talk about the new and exciting research possibilities that this professional practice brings into Translation Studies. An insight into the working environment will also be presented and some time will be left at the end for questions. A list of useful websites and other sources of information will be given to all the participants.

16 November 2011
The Use of the Mixed Method Approach in Translation Research: Subtitling and Foreign Language Education
Dr Noa Talaván, Universidad Nacional de Education a Distancia, Madrid, Spain 

This talk will present the use of the mixed method approach in translation. Research methods in translation studies usually make an important use of qualitative techniques such as observation, surveys and questionnaires. Unfortunately, the level of reliability offered by such tools is not high enough so as to obtain a robust scientific analysis. In fact, research in humanities is often undervalued precisely due to this almost unique qualitative focus that many of the research studies undertaken make use of.&nbs p; When quantitative and qualitative methods are used together within a mixed method approach, research in translation is much more valued in scientific terms. Quantitative data in the form o f simple formulas and graphs will offer the triangulation nee ded in or d er to provide credibility and consistency to the analysis, as well as further opportunities for generalization. In this presen tation, a mixed method design carried out within the field of audiovisual translation will be presented. Such study analyzed the pedagogica l value of subtitles and subtitling to improve oral comprehension skills in for eign language education. It was a mixed method research design in two stages, one fixed (also called quasi-experimental) and o ne flexible (based on d ata c ollection and analysis). The fixed stage included a quantitative analysis, providing a description of the participants' sample, correla tion studies and hypotheses tests. The second stage was organized around the instruments of data collection: observation, questionnaires and oral comprehension tests; the data gathered in this stage were analysed from a qualitative point of view and the results helped to confirm the validity of the former quantitative analysis, performed in the quasi-experimental stage.  Finally, other related research designs presenting similar possibilities of analysis will be summarized so as to provide further examples for research and experimentation within a well defined research framework.

22 November 2011
Writing in Tongues: Reading and Discussion on Multiculturalism and Translation in Life and Literature
Ms Irena Brežná, Writer and publicist, Basel, Switzerland

30 November 2011
Multilingual Communication in Judicial Settings: A Case for Action Research
Dr Anabel Borja, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

With this talk we shall bring forward the new action research project we are currently developing. Taking as a sample the Translation Services of the Higher Court of Justice of Valencia the GENTT group aims 1) to identify their requirements for multilingual document management, and 2) to create a web-based platform (data base, search engine and content management system) which, by mean s of a sole interface adapted to their particular needs, allows court translators to share and reuse linguistic resources (textual corpora, translation memories, terminological and phraseological glossaries, etc.).
To give account of the multifaceted nature of legal translation this project brings together concepts and methods of procedural law, comparative law, linguistics, translation studies, statistics and computer science. With this approach we hope to achieve a deeper understanding of the work carried out by linguists and translators in society and raise awareness of the importance of our active presence inpublic institutions and companies whose activities involve working with highly conventionalized and multilingual documents and are interested in improved information management processes.
The innovation of the GENTT approach lies in its proposal to define textual variation on the basis of the concept of genre (including formal, communicative and cognitive aspects) and the identification of genre patterns using techniques developed for computational linguistics. This approach is supported by the results obtained in the previous studies carried out by the GENTT group (both quantitative and qualitative studies) in the legal, medical and technical fields. These previous studies have revealed the usefulness and releva nce of the concept of genre as a key element in multilingual document management systems.

7 December 2011
Curriculum Ideology and Translator Training
Dr John Kearns, Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin

While recent years have seen translator training scholarship pay broader attention at a curricular level to the contexts in which such training takes place, much of the writing on the subject tacitly assumes a prevailing monolithic ideology to underpin the objectives of such curricula. In this paper we examine such assumptions and question this unified vision of objectives. Taking as our starting point the tripartite division, well established in Curriculum Studies, between academic rationalism, social reproductionism ('Progressivism'), and humanist reconstructivism, we survey some more nuanced taxonomies of curricular ideologies and examine how they might be applied to translator education in universities. Such ideological tendencies are considered in terms of their potential to cast light on the 'tacit' or 'hidden' curriculum acknowledged by much writing on in translator education, leading to more sophisticated and sensitive models being adopted, particularly in transnational discourses on curricular development.

11 January 2012
Strategies of Cultural Translation in Migrant Literature
Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas, University of Surrey, UK

In an increasingly globalised world the need to record the lived experience of migrants has become politically and ethically urgent. This presentation examines Gazmend Kapllani's novel A Short Border Diary (2006) originally written in Greek and subsequently translated into English in 2009 by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife. In his novel, Kapllani blends truth and fiction in an interesting mixture that records lived migrant experiences in the past and in the present, showing that migrancy is a diachronic process consisting of ever-changing degrees of separation between 'us' and 'them'. The presentation of the life of the main character and his social milieu under oppressive communist rule in Albania is followed by the fall of communism and the crossing to the closest capitalist paradise,Greece. The personal experience of the narrator is combined with a more general perspective of the 'universal' migrant, who tries to become a part of a new society. In this attempt to successfully undergo a process of socialisation, migrants experience borders of a less palpable nature: the language, the laws, the stereotypes and norms of the host country need to be 'translated', understood, internalised. Readers of the novel witness such acts of translating culture and, as a consequence, a viewpoint of insecurity and exclusion becomes an exercise of reflecting on one's own identity. The English translation of the novel ventriloquizes these acts of cultural translation, often with the help of authorial intervention and editorial techniques.

25 January 2012
Understanding and Solving the AVT Challenges Presented by Access Subtitling
Mr Andrew Lambourne, SysMedia Ltd, UK

AVT in the context of subtitling presents a number of challenges due to the need to transform rich information from the aural and televisual domains into the more limited domain of written timed text. The cognitive processing involved in appreciating a multimedia presentation in its original form is significantly modified if the channel for acquisition of dialogue and (in the case of subtitling for deaf people) other cues is switched partially or totally from the ears to the eyes. The AVT task becomes more than just translation - it is also a form of interpretation, and the goals and objectives need to be clearly understood before it is possible to start to appreciate how the factors affecting success or quality might be recognised. When the scope of challenges is appreciated and prioritised, an approach can be taken to establishing guidelines and techniques which will best serve the intended users. Understanding what the audience needs is crucial to good subtitling. Once this is done, the next challenge is how to prepare the subtitles economically and effectively for different types of programme - live, fast-turnaround, recorded, DVD. We will look at some of the technologies and techniques which form part of the current and emerging systems and approaches.

8 February 2012
Translating Performance: Dubbing and the Voice
Dr Charlotte Bosseaux, University of Edinburgh, UK

Performance is culturally and historically bound. Audiences around the world will therefore interpret performance according to their specific historical and cultural backgrounds. Translation adds another dimension to this already complex situation and this paper will attempt t o show that performance in translation deserves more attention. I will do so by addressing the following questions: what constitutes performance in an audiovisual product an d how does translation affect performance. Marilyn Monroe's performance in the celebrated movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and its dubbed French version will be considered, particularly her voice which can typically be seen as a mirror of her personality: that of a sexy but shallow blonde obssessed with wealthy men and diamonds. I will show how Monroe has been translated in French through a multimodal analysis of verbal and non-verbal elements among which voice characteristics, shot composition and vocabulary choices.

22 February 2012
 Nineteenth-century and Present-day Translation of Science: Exploring Similarities Dr Maeve Olohan, University of Manchester, UK

This presentation focuses on the translation of science into English for a nineteenth-century periodical which was set up specifically to give British scientists access to scientific ideas from other parts of Europe. This historical case study sheds light on a translation activity not previously examined in any detail. However, it also raises a set of issues which are of relevance when we study present-day translation activities. Aspects to be addressed in the presentation include the prevailing conceptualisation of the role of scientific translation in the communication and shaping of scientific knowledge, the role of the periodical's editor in decisions pertaining to translation, and the provision of translations by volunteer translators.

7 March 2012
Translation - from a Deaf Perspective
Mr Mark Nelson, Remark!, London, UK

This talk covered the following:
- What it means to be deaf and the common misconceptions of BSL 
- A look at the current provision of translation for the BSL community and how this has changed over the past 20 years.
- What the future holds for Access Services.
- What works and what doesn't in terms of 'Access'.

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