male translator in speaking into microphone

Translation research

Explore our work in translation, 1 of our areas of expertise in Linguistics

The translation profession has become increasingly marginalised and precarious. Recent developments in automated translation, as well as new digital tools such as web-based platforms, have affected the way translation is produced.

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's 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 research covers the following topics

  • Literary translation
  • Audiovisual translation
  • Effects of new technologies on the translation industry
  • Non-professional translation
  • Translation and politics
  • Sociological approaches to translation
  • Translation and popular culture
  • Translator training and pedagogy

Methods and facilities

Our 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.

Partnerships and funders

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.

We have been granted funding from:

  • British Council/Newton Fund (ca. £9100) to analyse fan translation in Vietnam
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council, to analyse fan translation of Anglophone queer cinema in China
  • Japan Society for Promotion of Science (ca. £8800) for an international conference in 2017
  • European Commission Representation in the UK (ca. £1770) for an international conference in 2016

Project highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Translation is 1 of our 6 areas of expertise within our Linguistics research area. Explore the others below.

Research groups

We're researching what happens as speakers and writers cross the boundaries of language systems or transgress the rules within them.

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.


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