Translation in the public sector @ UiA

From 2024, we will offer a one-year training programme in translation for public services (“Oversettelse i offentlig sektor”) consisting of six courses ranging from practical translation classes to classes on translation technologies and sight translation. The courses, which will be delivered online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, consist of 30 Credits and aim to equip participants with basic translation skills in the context of Norway’s public services. In 2024, the programme will focus on the following language pairs: Norwegian—Arabic/Tigrinya/Ukrainian. The general units will be taught in English. Norwegian and Arabic, Tigrinya and Ukrainian (depending on the language pathway students are registered in) will be used to teach the practical translation units.

In connection with this new programme, Jean attended inDialog4 – a conference on public service interpreting and translation that gave her great insights into the recent developments of a very friendly and welcoming research field. Although the main focus of the conference was on public service interpreting, insights derived from the training of translators in the context of public services will be meaningful to this scholarly area.

Dissemination³: Lørdagsuniversitetet and Forskningstorget in Kristiansand, and Tolkens Dag in Oslo.

The University of Agder hosts weekly seminars for the local community of Kristiansand, typically on Saturdays (Lørdagsuniversitet). One of our members, Chiara Astrid Gebbia, recently had the unique opportunity to share her research during one of these events.

On the 7th of October, Chiara delivered a speech centered around the question: “Can Metaphors Die?”. Metaphors play a ubiquitous role in our daily communication, often evading our conscious awareness. They reside within the folds of polysemy in our language and subtly influence our perception of professional roles, including that of translators.

In her presentation, Chiara breathed new life into these metaphors, shedding light on their significance and impact.

The National Science Week (Forskningsdagene) is an annual event in Norway where research institutions all over the country present some of their work to the public. Amongst other events, the University of Agder took to the streets (Forskningstorget) on September 23rd to disseminate its research with the vibrant local community of Kristiansand. Two members of our AFO group, Jean Nitzke and Chiara Astrid Gebbia, were given the responsibility of managing the exhibit that showcased the Department of Foreign Languages and Translation. 

To welcome attendees of all age groups, we designed two engaging hands-on activities centered around the metaphors and idioms we commonly employ in our daily lives. Visitors were also encouraged to share their own metaphors that encapsulated their perspectives on translation and languages to enrich the event.

And finally, Sandra Halverson and Jean Nitzke got the chance to represent the translation-related study programs of UiA at the Interpreting Day (Tolkens dag) at OsloMet on September 25th. The afternoon not only offered a very interesting program, but also gave enough time for inspiring and meaningful conversation. Many thanks to the colleagues at OsloMet for giving us the opportunity!

ICTIC 4 in Santiago de Chile and ICTIC 5 in Kristiansand

In early September, Jean Nitzke traveled to Santiago de Chile to present at the Fourth International Conference on Translation, Interpreting, and Cognition (ICTIC 4). ICTIC is a biannual conference where researchers on cognitive translation and interpreting studies from all over the world meet to exchange on their current research. Starting in Argentina in 2017, the conference has become an established event for the research community and tries to alternate between hosting universities in Southern America and Europe.

This year’s theme was “Methods we live by” and Jean presented on “Simulating realistic translation workflows in translator education: The challenges of hybrid teaching and multilingual courses”. She focused on the challenges and solutions on a course unit she and Sandra developed in the internally funded project simulating a translation office.

And we proudly announce that the next ICTIC in early June 2025 will be hosted by us! So, put a note in your calendar, save the date, and stay tuned.

Start-up symposium for new MA program in Japanese at the University of Bergen

On September 15, Sandra Halverson gave a talk for the start of the MA program in Janapese translation at the University of Bergen. The talk was titled “Translation and translation studies in Norway. Who, what, where?” and gave a brief overview of the landscape and development of the field of Translation Studies as a backdrop to describing the field’s current status in Norway.

In line with the theme of the symposium, she also discusses some characteristics of the practice of translation in Norway, contrasting the Norwegian case with the situation in many other European countries. The underlying theme of institutionalization provides a framework for the talk, which closes by discussing whether the anomaly identified in the talk matters, and if so, how.

Semester start 2023-2024

The beginning of the Master’s program in Translation and Professional Communication was inaugurated on the 24th and 25th of August. The students were welcomed by Professor Sandra Louise Halverson and the Head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Translation, Tale Guldal.

Our research group is continuously active in developing the only dedicated MA in Translation in Norway. You can find out more about the program here.

Talks at UCCTS 2023 – Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies

Two members of our research group presented at the UCCTS 2023, which was held at the University of Poznań.

Sandra Halverson’s plenary talk (“Broadening the scope: the gravitational pull hypothesis in a usage-based theory of translation”) had the aim to merge the concept of the “gravitational pull hypothesis” with the one of “default translation” within the context of a usage-based theory of translation. The focal point of her exploration lay in understanding how specific linguistic attributes in the source language exert a profound influence on the target text choices, drawing parallels with the captivating pull of gravitational forces on objects.

Jūratė Žukauskaitė’s poster presentation, titled “Investigating the Role of Entrenchment in Source Language Interference during Simultaneous Interpreting”, discussed the influence of entrenched language patterns from the source language on the process of simultaneous interpreting.

Both presentations align with the theme of the conference, which focuses on the use of corpora in contrastive and translation studies.

II Summer School in Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies

The recently concluded Second Summer School in Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies brought together scholars and students from around the world in the enchanting city of Cartagena, Spain. Organized by the Multilectal Mediated Communication & Cognition (MC2 Lab) in collaboration with EST and TREC, the event received support from the International Doctoral Schools of the University of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena.

Among other prominent scholars, such as professors Ricardo Muñoz Martín, Sharon O’Brien, and María Rojo López, our research leader, prof. Sandra L. Halverson, was one of the instructors.

The primary objective of the school was to offer research-focused courses specifically designed for aspiring translation and interpreting researchers.

Following the conclusion of the school, the members of the Bertinoro Translation Societies convened in Cabo de Palos to discuss the future directions of Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies. Chiara Astrid Gebbia had the valuable opportunity to present a poster on her research on adaptability and expertise in translation.

Workshop on language and translation policy with prof. Reine Meylaerts

On May 25th, the AFO research group hosted a workshop that focused on exploring the relationship between language policy and translation. The workshop was conducted by Professor Reine Meylaerts from the University of Leuven, who specializes in researching translation policies for minorities, migrants, and refugees.

During the workshop, our group had the privilege of discussing the current state of minority languages in Norway with Prof. Meylaerts. This event served as a significant milestone in advancing our research group’s efforts to map the translation landscape of the country.

21st century competence in language mediation – panel discussion and talk at TransELTE 2023

Last week, Jean Nitzke participated at the 25th TransELTE conference in Budapest, Hungary. This special event celebrated not only 20 years of translation studies research on PhD level at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, but also 50 years of translator and interpreter training in Hungary. The theme of the conference was “21st century competence in language mediation” and Jean was invited to contribute to a panel discussion on “21st century competence in translation: training and practices in the industry”. Further, she was asked to give a presentation on “Risks and decisions in the post-editing process” in the section on “Complementary competence in the light of translation technology”.

The conference also covered amongst others aspects of language mediation in public services, professional competence in public service interpreting, competence as seen by the translation industry and training institutions, and gave the PhD students the chance to present their projects. Additionally, Jean was allowed to sneak a peak at the Alumni event that preceded the conference where former students presented their work reality today. All in all, the conference was an inspiring event with a lot of new insights and thought-provoking discussions, but also stood out due to great hospitality and a stunning location.

3rd International Research School for Media Translation and Digital Culture

Online Research Training Event 26 June – 9 July 2023

The 3nd International Research School for Media Translation and Digital Culture, organized by the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), will take place from 26 June to 9 July 2023.

AFO member Prof. Luis Pérez-González has acted as Academic Director of SISU’s Media Research School since it was first launched in 2019.

The School aims to foster an open and wide-ranging take on media translation and digital culture, and to highlight the significance of both for and beyond translation studies. It encourages cross-fertilization between the two disciplinary sub-fields and addresses the new theoretical and methodological tools that translation scholars need in order to understand the strategic and catalyzing role played by translation in relation to a number of issues, including the following:

  • Reconfiguring the ecology of networked media – from mainstream news organizations to citizen journalism outlets; from printed written articles to multimodal assemblages; from professional reportage to amateur coverage of conflicts and natural disasters
  • (Re)producing shifting public discourses about cosmopolitanism, gender, nation, expertise, fandom or activism – among other core issues;
  • Developing more collaborative, participatory and deliberative processes of community formation, both online and on the ground;
  • Enabling disciplinary discourses and developments in the fields of multimodality, media sociology, cultural studies, journalism, globalization studies and critical theories of communication technology.

Like the highly successful 2021 edition, the 2023 edition will be run in virtual mode, using an advanced e-learning environment provided by SISU. This allows for the full range of activities normally included in the face-to-face delivery mode to be provided virtually, including teamwork and tutorials.

The featured theme for the third edition of the School is Translation and Sustainability in Media & Digital Culture

More information on the 2023 School’s programme and registration can be accessed here:

Teaching staff delivering the 2023 edition of the School will include Luis Pérez-González (University of Agder), Mona Baker, Jonathan Evans, Henry Jones, Kyung Hye Kim and Neil Sadler.

Registration will open in March 2023.

More information on the School is available at:

Please circulate this information among doctoral students and early career researchers with relevant research interests.

© UiA 2023