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Translation research

Explore our research in translation

Our research into translation focuses on analysis of written translations, study of the translation industry, discussions of practice, questions of ethics, and the history of translation and interpreting. Through these and other key topics, our work demonstrates the continued need for professional linguists, and their role in relation to new technologies.

It also explores how companies and translators are dealing with the changing landscape within the translating industry – and with industries increasing their international outlook, we're helping both international companies and multicultural nations to understand the importance of translation. By studying international media, we're helping organisations to target international markets more effectively through translated materials.

Finally, our work seeks to ensure those studying translation are sufficiently skilled, by examining gaps in quality between the standard of expertise required in the translation industry and what is taught to students in universities.

Our research is frequently published in leading academic journals within the field, such as Translation Studies, Translation and Literature, Translation Spaces, Meta: Translators’ Journal, and the Journal of Specialised Translation.

Our translation research covers the following topics

  • Effects of new technologies on the translation industry
  • Translator training and pedagogy
  • Audiovisual translation
  • Literary translation
  • Audiodescription

Researchers in translation

Sarah Margaret Bawa Mason Portrait

Mrs Sarah Bawa Mason

Senior Lecturer

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Stephen James Crabbe Portrait

Dr Stephen Crabbe

Senior Lecturer

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

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Begona Rodriguez De Cespedes Portrait

Dr Begona Rodriguez De Cespedes

Senior Lecturer

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

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Dr Youxuan Wang


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Methods and facilities

Our translation research is predominantly qualitative, using a mixture of textual analysis, interviews, focus groups, archival research and ethnography in order to understand the various facets of translation practice and reception. We also use a small number of quantitative research methods, such as questionnaires and the cataloguing of translated materials to identify trends.

Our research makes use of our extensive international networks and contacts within the industry, as well as our extensive library holdings in the subject.


We are a members of the following networks, associations and organisations, through which we participate in knowledge-sharing activities.

  • The European Master’s in Translation network, which links us to many leading universities across the EU working on translation. This lets us keep up to date with changes in pedagogy and network for research collaboration.
  • The Institute for Translation and Interpreting, one of the major translators’ associations in the UK, which allows us to disseminate work and discuss our research with stakeholders across the industry.
  • ELIA-exchange, which puts us in contact with translation companies in the ELIA network and gives us opportunities to share data and expertise.
  • Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies (APTIS), which is an organisation bringing together translation and interpreting programmes in the UK and Ireland, which allows us to share pedagogy and research with colleagues.
  • The Globalisation and Localization Association (GALA), which enables communication and business across cultures and languages.

Projects and publications

Our translation research is frequently published in leading academic journals within the field, such as Translation Studies, Translation Spaces, Meta: Translators’ Journal, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, the Journal of Specialised Translation and Translation and Literature.

Recent project highlights

Recent publications

  • Beyond the margins of academic education

    Rodriguez De Cespedes, B. (2020) "Beyond the margins of academic education: finding out translation industry training practices through action research", Translation and Interpreting

  • Investigating technologies to enrich museum audio description for enhancing accessibility

    Wang, X. (2022) "Investigating technologies to enrich museum audio description for enhancing accessibility", New Voices in Translation Studies, 26

  • Stories, journeys and smart maps

    Wang, X., Crookes, D., Harding, S-A., and Johnston, D. (2022). "Stories, journeys and smart maps: an approach to universal access", Universal Access in the Information Society

  • AI and the big unknown

    Rodriguez De Cespedes, B., and Bawa Mason, S. (2022) "AI and the big unknown: the changing epistemological landscapes of the translation profession and translator training", Re-Thinking Translator Education' In Honour of Don Kiraly's Social Constructivist Approach (Teaching Languages - Learning Languages; Vol. 13).

Discover our areas of expertise

Translation is one of our six areas of expertise within our Linguistics research area. Explore the others below.

Corpus linguistics

We're looking at huge datasets of natural language – often many billions of words – to explore how language is used in different regions, genres and situations.

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Discourse analysis

We're researching how ideas, concepts and people are represented through language, and exploring how language is used in real-life contexts.

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Professional communication

Our research in professional communication explores how spoken and written language is used in workplaces to develop relationships and achieve institutional objectives.

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Through our work in sociolinguistics, we're studying the ways in which language can affect, and is affected, by social phenomena.

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Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

We're focusing on the learning and teaching of English as a second or foreign language, in primary, secondary and adult learning contexts.

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Interested in a PhD in Languages and Linguistics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Languages and Linguistics postgraduate research degrees page.