Key research areas

Research at the Centre for Translation Studies focuses on the following key research areas:

  • Technologies and cognitive processes in translation and multilingual language data processing
  • Translation and transcultural communication in social, institutional and media contexts

Technologies and cognitive processes in translation and multilingual language data processing

Research in this area is oriented towards the further development of ‘language technology ecosystems’
that have in recent years emerged at the international level and comprise a multitude of tools for machine and computer-aided translation and interpretation, language industry and the corresponding multilingual terminological and other multimodal language resources. The themes studied include modelling on the basis of cognitive science and representation of terminological dynamics, linguistic diversity and variation in multilingual technical communication; the cognitive demands (usability, accessibility) that different groups of users have on technological language tools and language resources; the possibilities and limitations of the
formalisation and automation of the processes of translation in the international language industry and the assessment of the socio-cognitive and socio-communicative effects of this technological development. It is of key relevance here to advance the new paradigms of machine translation, the multilingual semantic web and the processing of terminology data from the viewpoint of cognitive informatics, as well as from the perspective of socio-cognitive technology assessment.

Translation and transcultural communication in social, institutional and media contexts

This key research area examines processes of translation and the manifold media manifestations of translation in different socio- and transcultural communication contexts in the age of globalisation. Research in this field studies the function and effect of translations in the historical and present-day structures of the target culture, the position and role of translators and interpreters in specific institutional contexts, as well as the identification and clarification of the links between translation and other forms of multilingual communication (and lingua-franca communication). This includes research into the conditions for and consequences of collective and individual multilingualism for the future of translation and transcultural communication. The theories and methods of the social sciences, as well as approaches based on discourse analysis and critical reflection provide important input here. Regarding translation, discussion focuses on the processes of mediation and their general framework in various social fields, such as transcultural technical communication and the production of works of literature and media; and regarding interpreting, the communicative act of interpreting in public agencies, in court and in health institutions in a society that is becoming increasingly multicultural is of key interest.

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