Key research areas

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

Translation and multilingual cognitive and technological resources

This key research area focuses on the use of knowledge-based and language technologies and new technological media in acts of translation, such as computer-aided translation, or the preparation, use
and processing of multilingual language resources and design of multilingual cognitive systems by means of terminologies and ontologies. Of particular research interest are cognitive requirements for translators and their support by integrated systems, digital research methods and tools used for translation studies, work flows in international language industry and domain-specific communication under the perspectives of corpus linguistics and variational linguistics. Research in this key research area is highly interdisciplinary and international and is carried out in close cooperation with research departments in computer science, linguistics, cognitive science, with the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and with companies of the
international language industry.

Translation and reception

Research on reception in the context of translation is based on aspects of translation theory that result primarily from functional and culture-sensitive approaches, and in addition, numerous links and cross-relations can be established with many other research areas and disciplines in cultural studies and natural sciences. With regard to translation, analysis of the ideological, cultural, social and gender- related effects of texts is of special importance. This is closely related to the position of translations
in the target cultures in the past and at present, and their role in cultural production. In the area of interpreting, the focus is on the immediate reception and effect of interpretations, as well as the assessment of their quality and their comprehension by recipients.

This key research area also examines the transfer of knowledge by means of translation, multilingualism and lingua franca communication. The main focus is on identifying the share of translations in, and their influence on, the transfer of knowledge from one culture to another from a transcultural perspective. In this context, the impact of translations on discursive knowledge cultures are investigated. Based on modern networking theories and cultural transfer research, an investigation is carried out as to how processes of translation shape existing bodies of knowledge. For this purpose, contextual factors in the act of translating as well as institutional aspects and aspects of translational sociology are taken into account, as is the historical and social role that has been attributed to the act of translation.

Translation – institution – society

This key research area focuses on processes of translation in different social contexts. Based on  approaches of translation theory such as the change over time in standards and cultures of translation,
as well as the act of translation under changing socio-cultural conditions, this research particularly addresses sociological theories, aspects of discourse analysis and methods of social sciences in order to examine the positions, roles and functions of translators and translations as well as interpreters and
interpretations in specific institutional contexts and in society in general. The questions researched with
regard to translating include processes of communication by means of translation in different social
contexts, the conditions under which translation takes place, and processes in transcultural expert communication, as well as in literary translation. In the area of interpreting, with its direct, practical integration into institutional and situational frameworks, it is increasingly relevant to study the communicative action of interpreting in public agencies and in health-care institutions in a society that is becoming increasingly multi- and transcultural. Due to the nature of the subject, research in this area is carried out in close cooperation with the relevant disciplines such as law, sociolinguistics and medicine, as well as in the context of interdisciplinary research projects.

 University of Vienna 2020 Development Plan