Call for papers: Community translation/interpreting in an African context





Community translation and interpreting have been a field of interest in translation studies for quite a while now. In the process, it has amassed a significant body of literature and a research agenda.

The organizers of the second biennial conference of the Association of Translation Studies in Africa would like to put community translation/interpreting on the agenda of translation studies scholars working in the African context. There is a strong suspicion that community translation in Europe, for instance, does not mean the same as in Africa. There are also indications that non-professional translation/interpreting and community interpreting in Africa could be quite closely related. Debates on community translation/interpreting also raise issues of education and training. The organizers thus call for papers that engage with issues regarding community translation/interpreting in the African context. Relevant topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What does community translation/interpreting entail in Africa?
  • What would be key differences between community translation/interpreting practices in Africa and in other contexts?
  • What is the role of intersemiotic translation in community translation/interpreting in Africa?
  • How does the development status of African countries influence community translation/ interpreting?
  • How does the language landscape in Africa influence community translation/interpreting?
  • What is the relationship between community translation/interpreting and non-professional translation/interpreting in Africa?
  • What are the implications of the debate on community translation/interpreting for translator/ interpreter training and education in Africa?
  • What is the place of the machine in community translation/interpreting in Africa?
  • What ethical issues are raised/faced in community translation/interpreting?

The organizers are awaiting abstracts for this conference. Papers could be conceptual, empirical or a blend of the two.


The conference takes the following format:

  • The conference will be hosted virtually (on Zoom with live streaming on Facebook and YouTube).
  • Participants will have the choice of presenting live or submitting prerecorded presentations.
  • Presentations will be recorded, on condition that presenters assent to this.
  • Recorded presentations will be available on an online repository after the conference.

The presentations will be done on consecutive afternoons (Ghana time) during the week of 7-12 June 2021 to limit the fatigue factor of online communication.

Submission Process

Abstract of roughly 300 words can be sent to Mr. Luke Liebzie of the Scientific Committee of ATSA 2021 at Abstracts should include complete information of the author(s), contact details, institution and key words.

NB: Participants whose abstracts were accepted for the 2020 conference will automatically be invited to register for the conference and do not need to resubmit abstracts.

The following time line applies:

  • 1 November 2020: Submissions for abstracts opens;
  • 10 January 2021: Submissions close and review process starts;
  • 30 March 2021: Participants are notified about the outcome of the review process;
  • 1 April 2021: Early-bird registration for conference opens;
  • 15 April 2021: Early-bird registration for conference closes;
  • 16 April 2021: Regular registration for conference opens;
  • 15 May 2021: Regular registration for conference closes;
  • 7-12 June 2021: Second ATSA Conference.

New journal: Translation in society

Edited by Luc van Doorslaer and Esperança Bielsa
University of Tartu & KU Leuven / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The aim of this essentially interdisciplinary journal is to explore translation as a key social relation in a deeply interconnected world. Translation in Society offers a platform for the growing amount of research in translation studies that draws on sociological theories and methodologies. It also seeks to contribute to the growing visibility of translation within the humanities and the social sciences more broadly, fostering new research that reveals the social relevance of translation in a wide variety of domains, while promoting at the
same time self-reflexivity on the translational aspects of knowledge-production in disciplines such as sociology, political science, policy studies and anthropology.

Click the “download” button above to view the full details of the new journal.

Call for papers: Translation and Inclusive Development

Call for papers: Issue 21, publication year 2022

Translation and Inclusive Development

Guest editors: Marija Todorova¹, and Kobus Marais²

¹Hong Kong Polytechnic University | ² University of the Free State

Marija Todorova is a visiting scholar of the Centre for Professional Communication in English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She holds doctorates in English Language and Literature as well as in Peace and Development Studies. She serves on the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) Executive Council and is Chair of the Outreach and Social Media Committee. She is editor of New Voices in Translation Studies and published an edited volume with Lucia Ruiz Rosendo on Interpreting conflict: A comparative framework (2021). Her research interests include representation of violence in literature, intercultural communication, interpreters in conflict situations, and development studies.

Kobus Marais is professor of translation studies in the Department of Linguistics and Language practice of University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. He published two monographs, namely Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach (2014) and A (bio)semiotic theory of translation: The emergence of social-cultural reality (2018). He also published two edited volumes, one with Ilse Feinauer, Translation studies beyond the postcolony (2017), and one with Reine Meylaerts, Complexity thinking in translation studies: Methodological considerations (2018). His research interests are translation theory, complexity thinking, semiotics/biosemiotics and development studies.

Translation and Inclusive Development

In the second half of the twentieth century, multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank promoted the idea of using donor-funded programs to improve the lives of people around the world with development aid. Since then, irrespective of how development is defined, researchers agree that it is a political term that implies positions of power regarding who makes the decisions and sets priorities for the distribution of aid (Banerjee, 2003). An aspect of development, that has received a general consensus is that the language used has power over how development is conceptualized, which in turn directs actions (Crush, 1995; Escobar, 1995). However, translation has so far rarely been considered as crucial to development work. In a sector which would be unable to operate without translation (Sanz Martins, 2018), and despite the interest into the role that language plays in development (Cornwall, 2007; Cornwall & Eade 2010; Anderson, Brown & Jean 2012), the first attempt to connect translation studies with development studies has only been made within the past decade (Marais, 2013; Footitt, 2017; Delgado Luchner, 2018; Todorova, 2019). Some of the issues pertinent to Development Studies have been examined in more detail, such as translation practices in international organizations, and crises translation and conflict related interpreting.

Recently, the field of Development Studies is going through a major redefinition of its vision. Issues like “which powers dominate knowledge on development” and “how to break out of this domination” are mentioned as recurrent priorities (Mönks et al., 2017). Consequently, scholars have started questioning the geography of knowledge production and many concepts of modernity originating in the North. Local knowledge and contexts are emphasized and new knowledge ecologies originating in the South are emerging. These are intrinsically linked to translation practices, which have not been included in the debate. This special issue will be open to research on translation practices in development-related settings in terms of both the underlying ‘western’-centric conceptual assumptions and global development trends, but we want to move the debate further and focus on topics that have not been tackled as much. Possible topics (list not exhaustive) include:

  • Translation and ‘localization’ of development
  • Translation and development in emerging economies (such as Brazil, China and South Africa)
  • Translation and South-South cooperation
  • Translation, development, and indigeneity
  • Translation and indigenous languages
  • Translation and development of multiculturalism
  • Multimodal translation in development communication
  • Translation and philanthropy
  • Translation and aid effectiveness
  • Methodological and epistemological approaches

Finally, this special issue will allow translation studies scholars to address the issues of development related translation. At the same time, development studies scholars will benefit from cross-pollination with the field of translation studies and, in particular, social and activist approaches to translation, with language being used as a tool for transformation and change (Baker & Saldanha, 2011, p. xxi).

Selected papers will be submitted to a double-blind peer review as requested by LANS. 

Practical information and deadlines

Proposals: Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words, including relevant references (not included in the word count), to both Marija Todorova ( and Kobus Marais (

Abstract deadline: 1 May 2021

Acceptance of abstract proposals: 1 July 2021

Submission of papers: 1 December 2021

Acceptance of papers: 28 February 2022

Submission of final versions of papers: 1 June 2022

Editorial work (proofreading, APA, layout): June-November 2022

Publication: December 2022


Anderson, M., Brown, D., & Jean, I. (2012). Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid. Cambridge, MA: CDA Collaborative Learning Projects.

Banerjee, S. B. (2003). Who sustains whose development? Sustainable development and the reinvention of nature. Organization Studies, 24(1), 143-180.

Clemens, M. A., Radelet, S., & Bhavnani, R. (2004). Counting chickens when they hatch: the short-term effect of aid on growth. Center for Global Development Working Paper 44.

Cornwall, A. (2007) Buzzwords and fuzzwords: Deconstructing development discourse. Development in Practice, 17, 471–84.

Cornwall, A., & Eade, D. (Eds.). (2010). Deconstructing Development Discourse: Buzzwords and Fuzzwords. Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action Publishing.

Crush, J. C. (1995). Imagining Development. In J. C. Crush (Ed.), Power of Development (pp. 1–23). London, UK: Routledge.

Delgado Luchner, C. (2018). Contact zones of the aid chain: The multilingual practices of two Swiss development NGOs. Translation Spaces, 7(1), 44–64.

Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Footitt, H. (2017). International aid and development: Hearing multilingualism, learning from intercultural encounters in the history of OxfamGB. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17(4), 518–533.

Marais, K. (2018). Translation and development. In J. Evans, & F. Fernandez (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (pp. 95-109). London, UK: Routledge.

Marais, K. (2014). Translation Theory and Development Studies: A Complexity Theory Approach. London, UK: Routledge.

Marais, K. (2013). Exploring a conceptual space for studying translation and development. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 31(3), 403-414.

Mönks, J., Carbonnier, G., Mellet, A., & de Haan, L. (2017). Towards a renewed vision of Development Studies. International Development Policy – Revue internationale de politique de développement, 8(1),

Sanz Martins, A. (2018). Development in so many words The Oxfam GB experience. Translation Spaces, 7(1), 106 – 118.

Todorova, M. (2019). Civil society in translation: Innovations to political discourse in Southeast Europe, The Translator, 24(4), 353-366.

Training the trainer: Webinar series for translator and interpreter training

A webinar series for translator and interpreter training under the auspices of ATSA (Association for Translation Studies in Africa) and the University of the Free State

Coordinators: Prof. Prof. Kobus Marais (ATSA and University of the Free State, South Africa) and Prof.
Maria Gonzalez Davies (University Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain)


As the field of translation studies develops in Africa, requirements for training are growing. In particular,
there seems to be a movement from an interest in mere technical training to a fully-fledged scholarly
education in translation studies on the continent. Against this background, colleagues on the continent
have expressed an interest in training the trainer courses for lecturers in translation and interpreting
studies who need to design and teach at MA and PhD level.

In response, this a proposal for webinar series in 2021 to fulfil this need. This series also addresses
administrators setting up new educational programmes in translation, training leaders at translation
agencies, as well as students embarking on MA courses or doctoral studies and any readers interested in
the interface between translation and education.

The following is envisaged:

  1. A fully online webinar series of seven sessions of 90 minutes each for 2021.
  2. Six of these sessions will be facilitated by international experts on translator education, and two
    (one at the beginning and one at the end) will be facilitated by ATSA to situate the webinar in the
    African context ( .
  3. The six content sessions would be on the approaches and methods of translation/interpreting
    teaching. This would include topics like team teaching, ICT and curriculum design.
  4. One session each will be focused on translation and another on interpreting, but participants from
    both interest groups can attend both.
  5. ATSA will provide a certificate of attendance, stipulating the hours and topics attended.
  6. All the seminar leaders are invited to participate in al the seminars.

Please click here to view the programme.


Please register by paying the registration fees into the following account:
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62691743746
Please e-mail proof of payment to our treasurer, Prof Ilse Feinauer, at and to the
organizer, Prof Kobus Marais, at
Deadline for registrations: 25 January 2021

If one participant registers for all 8 webinars: $40
If one participant registers for only some of the webinars: $10 per webinar
If a University/Department register, they can register as many participants as they want: $80

PhD position: KU Leuven, Belgium

KU Leuven’s Research Group Translation and Intercultural Transfer brings together researchers from Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Kortrijk who deal with the complex and dynamic relationships within and between cultures. The PhD student will be part of this RG, within the larger whole of the Research Unit Translation Studies of the Faculty of Arts.

This joint PhD project will be based at KU Leuven with a minimum 12 month stay at The University of Melbourne.

PhD project: “Language is (not) a barrier”: Towards effective translation policies and practices for official communication with culturally and
linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Brussels

More information is available here:

Call for Contributions to Edited Volume: Translaboration in Analogue and Digital Practice: Labour, Power, Ethics

Edited by Cornelia Zwischenberger (University of Vienna, Austria) and Alexa Alfer (University of Westminster, UK), contracted with Frank & Timme, Berlin

Translaboration, as an essentially ‘blended concept” (Fauconnier & Turner 2002), responds to the confluence of ‘translation’ and ‘collaboration’ that is increasingly widespread not only in Translation Studies but also in a range of neighbouring disciplines. Translaboration’s central aim is to bring ‘translation’ and ‘collaboration’, as well as the often highly heterogeneous practices associated with these two notions, into dialogue with one another. This edited volume builds on exchanges first aired at our successful ‘Living Translation as Translaboration’ panel at the 2019 EST-conference at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and will focus on the ‘translation as collaboration’ vector of the translaboration concept (cf. Alfer & Zwischenberger 2020; Zwischenberger 2020).

Deadline for proposals: 15th of December 2020

Further information

Call for abstracts: Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation

Call for abstracts (Deadline: 15 September 2020)

Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation 

(incl. pivot AVT, machine translation and relay interpreting)

IATIS congress, Barcelona, 29 June – 2 July 2021

Convenors: Hanna Pieta, James Hadley, Jan Buts & Laura Ivaska

In an increasingly global society, people are often expected to translate from already translated texts or with further translation in mind. This is especially the case in contexts where multiple low-diffusion and/or low-resource languages are used . Such translating for and from translation, here called “indirect translation” and understood to include both oral and written texts (Assis Rosa, Pieta, and Maia 2019), has traditionally been perceived as a work-around to be avoided.

For quite some time now, research has focused on negative effects associated with this practice, particularly on mistakes that are added as one moves away from the ultimate source text (Pas 2013). Others have noted the disturbing economic implications of English as a dominant pivot language worldwide (de Swaan 2020), and the damaging consequences associated with taking translation work away from people who are already marginalized because of the language they use (Brodie 2012).

However, more recent studies have shifted the focus from these negatives, to the benefits associated with indirect translation, suggesting its potential to work as a tool for the social, economic and political development of countries and peoples (Schäffner, Tcaciuc, and Tesseur 2014); an empowering device that allows people from the margins to access relevant information (Van Rooyen 2018); a life-saving measure in crisis situations (Federici and O’Brien 2020); a productive way of maximining linguistic diversity in educational outlets (Torres-Simón, Pieta, Maia and Xavier, forthcoming); or a catalyst for feminist solidarity across borders (Castro and Ergun 2017).

The aim of this panel is to cast light on indirect translation and its role in the context of social, economic, political, technological or linguistic sustainable development. More specifically, we invite papers analyzing practices and products of indirect translation in relation to at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

We welcome proposals focusing on any type of indirect translation. Successful proposals will outline specifically which of the SDGs they address and how. For a full list and more details about the SDG, please see this page:

Proposal should be made in the form of a 300-word abstract, directly addressing one or more of the SDGs, accompanied by a brief bionote.

Panel convenors have secured a slot for a post-panel special issue of Translation Spaces (, to be out in 2023. It will result from a separate call, open to all, regardless of their participation in the panel.