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British Academy Sponsored Workshop, Translation Studies Research Training, Amman 2013

Date(s): 2-4 September 2013

Venue: The British Institute, Amman, Jordan

This was the second installment in the British Academy sponsored series of capacity-building workshops which started in 2011, focused on training researchers in the Arab World, Iran and Turkey in the area of translation studies. For a full report on the 2011 workshop, click here. For information on the British Council sponsored symposium which followed on from the workshop, click here.


Teaching Staff

The teaching staff for the 2013 Amman Workshop were:

Prof. Mona Baker

Mona Baker is Professor of Translation Studies at the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, UK. She is author of In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (Routledge, 1992; second edition 2011) and Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account (Routledge, 2006), Editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (1998, 2001; second edition, co-edited with Gabriela Saldanha, 2009); Critical Concepts: Translation Studies (Routledge, 2009); and Critical Readings in Translation Studies (Routledge, 2010). She is also founding Editor of The Translator (St. Jerome Publishing, 1995- ), Editorial Director of St. Jerome Publishing, and founding Vice-President of IATIS (International Association for Translation & Intercultural Studies).

Dr Carol O'Sullivan

Carol O'Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Bristol where she co-ordinates the MA in Translation programme. Her research interests focus on translation history, literary translation, film and subtitling. She is the author of Translating Popular Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and has published articles on translation censorship, literary translation and film in a variety of books and journals. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Translation Studies (Taylor & Francis) and edited a special issue of the journal on methodology in translation history in 2011. She is a co-editor of the 2010 volume The Power of the Pen: Translation & Censorship in Nineteenth-century Europe (LIT Verlag).

Dr Christopher Rundle

Christopher Rundle is a tenured researcher in Translation Studies at the Department of Interpreting and Translation (Forlì campus) of the University of Bologna, Italy. He is also Honorary Research Fellow in Translation and Italian Studies at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures of the University of Manchester, UK. His main research interests lie in the history of  translation, in particular translation and fascism. He is the author of the monograph Publishing Translations in Fascist Italy (Peter Lang, 2010), and co-editor with Kate Sturge of the volume Translation Under Fascism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). He is the editor of the forthcoming Special Issue of The Translator (Vol. 20, No.1, 2014) on Theories and Methodologies of Translation History and a coordinating editor of the online translation journal inTRAlinea.


The following delegates took part in the workshop:

Amal Mohammad Abdel Maqsoud is a Lecturer of Translation Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Al-Alsun, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. She completed her Translation and Simultaneous Interpreting Diploma in 1994 and her Ph.D. in Translation Studies and Linguistics in 2003. She has taught a number of subjects since 1994, including translation, simultaneous interpreting, consecutive and at-sight translation, Lexicography, linguistic studies and History of the English language. Amal has also worked as an interpreter at a number of conferences. She is mainly interested in translation-oriented contrastive English/Arabic semantic studies, phonological analysis for translation purposes, pragmatics  of simultaneous interpreting and  English reduction techniques for interpreting purposes.

Majdi J. Abu-Zahra is a Lecturer of English at the Department of Languages and Translation, Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestine, where he has been teaching for 10 years. He teaches ENGC courses (university requirement courses) as well as courses on translation for the minor programme in translation. He has also written a number of papers and participated in various conferences and workshops on English language learning and teaching and on translation.

Anwar Al-Athwary is Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Faculty of Languages, Sana’a University.  He is Head of the Language Division at the Community Center for Translation & Language Teaching (CCTLT), at the same university. Dr. Al-Athwary received his B. A. in English from Taiz University, Yemen, and his M.A. in Linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He received his PH.D in Contact Linguistics (Translation and Arabicization) from Aligarh Muslim University, India. He has taught many courses in linguistics and translation at the undergraduate and postgraduate (Diploma & M.A.) levels, including Phonetics & Phonology, Contrastive Analysis, Business Translation, Media Translation, Semantics, and Research Methodology. His special areas of interest are translation and arabicization, phonetics and lexical borrowing.

Yousef M. Aljamal graduated from the Islamic University in Gaza in 2011. He then undertook a translation internship, as a media translator, with the Center for Political and Development Studies, CPDS, a Gaza-based think tank. In the past two years, he translated more than one million words of articles, studies, reports and books on Palestine from Western Media outlets. Aljamal is also a  blogger who is committed to promoting the Palestinian narrative in the West through translation and has organized, participated in and attended dozens of lectures and courses on translation, creative writing, social media, blogging and political discourse. He blogs at http://yeljamal.wordpress.com/author/yeljamal/. He has also translated for dozens of internationals and international convoys who visited Gaza in solidarity with Palestine. This includes Viva Palestina 5 convoys and the Kia Ora Gaza fact-finding-mission in July 2012.

Maysa al-Junaydi is a faculty member of the Language Center at Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron, Palestine. She is involved in designing a planned translation programme at PPU.  She has a BA in English Language and Literature from Bethlehem University and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from al- Quds University. Ms. Al-Junaydi has been teaching English in different schools and universities since 1998. She also took part in some symposiums and conferences held in Palestine as a simultaneous interpreter. Her research interests cover  audiovisual translation, translation theory, Arabic literature and conference interpreting.

Lamis al-Nakkash is a Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Cairo University, where she also teaches translation. She obtained her MA and PhD in comparative literature from Cairo University on the subjects of ‘The Novel as Fiction and Nonfiction: The Use of Documentary Material in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Son’allah Ibrahim’s Star of August’ and ‘Writing Loss: A Study of the Representation of the Experience of Loss in the Contemporary Novel’. Her published translations (into Arabic) include Beth Baron’s The Women’s Awakening in Egypt: Culture, Society, and the Press, as well as Part V (Romanticism) of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, both published by the National Center for Translation in Cairo.

Abdul Gabbar Al-Sharafi holds an MA in Translation (1997) and a PhD in Linguistics (2000) from Durham University, UK. After completing his doctorate, he worked at Qatar University as a Lecturer in English, before joining the Supreme Education Council of the Qatar Educational Reform Initiative ‘Education for a New Era’ in 2003 as Head of the Translation Unit, and later as Head of the English Curriculum Standards Unit. In 2006, he moved to the English Department at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. Since 2009, he has been the Assistant Head of the Department of English and Assistant Professor in Translation Studies. His publications include a book entitled Textual Metonymy: A Semiotic Approach, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2004, a number of articles on translation, a book on the art of debating (translation into Arabic) and an Arabic/English dictionary of debating terms (both published by Qatar Foundation). His main interests include translation studies, rhetoric, and textlinguistics.

Sarah Mohammed Jomaa Ali is based in Gaza Strip. She majors in English language and Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza and is due to graduate in June 2013. Sarah was born in Kuwait and grew up in the Gaza Strip. Among other things, she is mainly interested in language, translation, linguistics, literature, anti-Zionism and human rights. She blogs at sarahmali.wordpress.com.

Ahmad Ayyad is Assistant Professor at Al-Quds University in occupied Palestine, where he teaches courses in translation studies and English language. He received his PhD in 2012 from Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Prior to joining Al-Quds University, he worked as a visiting lecturer in translation studies at City University in London and as a researcher in media at the department of media and communications of the London School of Economics. Ayyad’s main research focus is on the sociology of translation. His Ph.D. thesis looked at the role of translation in contemporary conflict, specifically the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Ali Beikian is a Translation Studies lecturer at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities of Chabahar Maritime University, Iran, where he has been teaching various translation courses since 2004. He received his BA in English/Farsi Translation and Interpretation from the University of Kashan and his MA in Translation Studies from Allameh Tabatabaie University. He has been awarded a scholarship to do his PhD studies beginning in January 2014. His research interests include teaching translation, translation assessment, ideology in translation, corpus linguistics and machine translation, and he has embarked upon building an English-Farsi corpus which is predicted to reach thirty million words by 2017.

Mazdak Bolouri is a Lecturer in Translation Studies at Islamic Azad University, Qazvin Branch, Iran. He is a PhD candidate at Allameh Tabatabaei University, where he also teaches translation. He is a contributor to The Translation Studies Project at Ghatre Publishing House, Iran, and has co-translated Rethinking Translation as part of his contribution to the project. His interests include literary translation, literary and cultural studies, and Critical Discourse Analysis.

Nuwar Mawlawi Diab is Assistant Professor of English, Humanities Divisiion, Lebanese American University, Lebanon. In addition to teaching, she has held numerous administrative duties and is currently the coordinator of the newly established B.A.in Translation program. Diab’s research interests are in writing development, writing assessment, contrastive linguistics, and translation. Diab is a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL); the American Association of Applied Linguists (AAAL); the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS); and the Ameen F. Rihani Scholars’ Desk .

Hilal Erkazanci Durmus is a Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies at Hacettepe University, Turkey. She received her BA in Translation and Interpreting Studies from Hacettepe University in 2001, and her MA from the same university in 2003. She received her PhD in Language, Linguistics and Translation Studies in 2006 from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research areas of interest include stylistics, sociolinguistics, sociology and literary translation.

Marwa El-Zouka is a Lecturer at the English department, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University. She received her BA in Linguistics and Translation from the English Department, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University in 2000, and her MA in linguistics in 2005 and PhD in 2010 from the same university.  Dr. El-Zouka taught a number of courses in linguistics and translation since her appointment in the English Department in 2001. She also took part in some conferences held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina where she worked as a simultaneous interpreter.

Mohammed Farrah is Chair of the English Department and Assistant  Professor of English Language Studies, Hebron University, Palestine. He has a BA in English Language and Literature from Hebron  University, and an MA in TESOL and PhD in English Language Studies from the International Islamic  University in Malaysia. Dr. Farrah has published in the fields of online learning, online communication, collaborative learning and peer feedback in writing. He is Editorial Secretary of Hebron University Research Journal and is a member of the Advisory Board of Arab World English Journal.

Atef Hedhili holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tunis. His area of specialization is American Culture Studies. He currently teaches at the High Institute of Human Sciences of Tunis. His main teaching areas are American Studies and Translation. Dr. Hedhili's principal areas of research include the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, and freedom of religion, speech and of the press.. He is a freelance translator.

Ahmed Junina is a Lecturer in English and Translation at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. He has a BA in English Language and Literature and a Graduate Diploma in Translation with Interpreting, both from the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine. He received his MA in Arabic/English/Arabic Translation with Interpreting from the University of Salford, UK in 2011. Junina’s areas of interest are narration and re-narration during times of conflict as well as the sociology of translation, focusing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of field.

Ayşenaz Koş is a PhD candidate at Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain. She received her BA in 1993 from the department of Translation & Interpreting Studies at Boğaziçi University, Turkey,, and her MA in Translation Studies in 2004 from the same university. She teaches a number of courses at Boğaziçi University, including Introduction to Translation Studies, Theories of Translation, Translation Criticism, Technical Translation and Translation of Social Science Texts. She has also lectured at Yeditepe University, Istanbul, and was a research assistant at Boğaziçi University. Her doctorate involves analysis of the Turkish translations of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe from a feminist perspective.

Baya Lekkal  is a Senior Lecturer  and Head of the Department of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Algiers 2. She holds a Phd in Translation and an MA in Comparative Literature. She also has a BA in English Language and Literature and another in Arabic Language and Literature. Dr. Lekkal is responsible for the  "Ecole Doctorale", a postgraduate convention between Algeria and France. She has also been Editor of  the Annals magazine, published by of the University of Algiers, since 2008. She headsf a research team focusing on Translation of Children's Literature.

Layal Merhy is a Lecturer in Terminology and Didactics of Arabic as a Foreign Language at the Centre of Languages and Translation, Lebanese University, in Beirut, Lebanon. She holds an MA in Translation from the same university and is currently a PhD candidate studying Linguistics and Didactics at Grenoble University in France (LIDILEM research center). Her research interests include discourse analysis, pragmatics, translation and communication. She is a certified translator in Lebanon and has many years of experience as a freelance translator and proofreader.

Fatemeh Parham is a faculty member in the Department of English Translation at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran and a PhD candidate at the same university. She is Associate Editor of the journal Translation Studies. Her research interests include socio-cultural issues in translation as well as translation and information technology.

Ekrema Shehab is Assistant Professor of Translation Studies at the Department of English, Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine, where he has been teaching translation courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels since 1999. He obtained his BA in English Language and Literature and MA in Translation from Yarmouk University in Jordan, and received his PhD in Translation from the Department of English, College of Languages, University of Sudan in 2007. Dr. Shehab has published a number of articles on Arabic/English literary translation. He has worked as an accredited freelance translator for a number of international companies and has been a member of the panel of judges in New York for ARC Awards honoring outstanding achievements in Annual Reports since 2011. His research interests include literary translation, teaching of translation, pragmatics, discourse analysis and Islamic and cultural studies.

Khaldoon Sughayer is Head of the Language Center at Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron, Palestine. He has an MSc in Translation and Interpreting from Heriot-Watt University, UK and a BA in EFL from the Hebron University. He has taught EFL courses, supervised and edited BA, MA & PhD dissertations and worked as a translator and interpreter for a variety of institutions and NGOs. His research interests cover EFL, translation studies, discourse analysis, cultural studies and e-learning.

Rania Yacoub is Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Applied Science University (ASU), Jordan. She holds a PhD from the University of Salford, entitled Ideological Aspects of Dubbing into Arabic for Children – with Special Reference to Language Variety.
Dr. Yacoub’s main teaching area is translation and translation studies. Her areas of interest include audiovisual translation, ideology, translation for children and translator training. She is also a freelance Interpreter and translator.


Day One: 2 September 2013

09.00  Refreshments

09.30-10.00  Introduction to Workshop (Mona Baker and Carol Palmer)

10.00-11:30  Session One – Scope, Purpose and Meaning of ‘Theory’ in Translation Studies (Mona Baker)

A brief overview of the discipline of translation and interpreting studies, and the various ways in which translation and interpreting have been theorized so far. The session will also attempt to clarify what is meant by theory and theorizing in this context.

11.30-12.00  Tea/Coffee break

12.00-13.30  Session Two – Introduction to Audiovisual Translation (Carol O’Sullivan)

This workshop will look at the different types of audiovisual translation as a background to thinking about research and pedgagogy. The session will cover subtitling, dubbing, voiceover and forms of ‘access’ translation including audiodescription, in-vision signing and subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing. The workshop will look at the changing technologies which have affected the development of audiovisual translation. It will also look at the different agents involved in audiovisual translation, and the workflows and processes involved, including the use of software; the use of template files; the integration of translation and technical work. Recent years have seen very dynamic changes in the audiovisual translation industry with the advent of fansubbing, crowdsourcing and downloading of content; the implications of this for the future of the industry will be considered. The session will include an interactive element which will allow participants to discuss and evaluate their own audiovisual environments. 

13.30-14:30  Lunch break

14.30-15.30  Q&A Session 1 – Identifying research topics and designing research projects

15.30-17.00 Session Three – A case study on censorship of translation in fascist Italy (Chris Rundle)

The purpose of this first session is to use my own experience as a translation historian to establish a common ground for the methodological and theoretical reflections which will come in the next sessions. I shall be looking in detail at the Censorship of translation in Fascist Italy, explaining the lessons to be learnt in terms of the contribution that translation studies can make to our understanding of a historical subject/period.


Day Two – 3 September 2013

09.00  Refreshments

9.30-11.00  Session Four – The Narrative Approach to Translation (Mona Baker)

The socio-narrative approach to the study of translation and interpreting draws on a constructivist understanding of narrative as our only means of making sense of the world and our place within it. It proceeds from two basic assumptions about the relationship between human beings, their environment, and the stories that circulate within that environment. The first is that we have no direct, unmediated access to reality; specifically, our access to reality is filtered through the stories we narrate to ourselves and others about the world(s) in which we live. The second is that the stories we narrate do not only mediate our access to reality, but also participate in configuring that reality. Translation is then understood as a form of (re)narration that constructs rather than represents the events and characters it renarrates in another language. The narrative approach thus grants translators and interpreters considerable agency and acknowledges the decisive and highly complex role they play in their own societies as well as globally. Drawing on a wide range of studies and genres, this session will outline the theoretical assumptions that underpin the narrative approach, and then explain and exemplify the conceptual tools used in the analysis of translation and interpreting events from a narrative perspective.

11.00-11:30   Tea/Coffee break

11.30-13.00  Session Five – Methodology in translation history (Chris Rundle)

In this second session we shall be looking at issues of methodology in historical research. Based on the case study illustrated in the first session I shall show in detail how research methods can make a profound difference to the outcome of a historical research project and we will discuss the issue of what constitutes a historical source in translation history.

13.00-14.00  Q&A Session 2 – Writing academic papers and publishing in international venues

14.00-15.00  Lunch break

15.00-16.30  Session Six – Audiovisual Translation Research Methods (Carol O’Sullivan)

This workshop offers an introduction to the different research methods applied to audiovisual translation. Early work in audiovisual translation was very focused on thinking about the differences between subtitling and dubbing and evaluating which was ‘better’; more recent work has acknowledged that they are simply different types of translation, each with their own specific characteristics, drawbacks and points of interest. The workshop will cover the area of research which has sought to optimize access forms of translation. It will look at a range of methodological approaches to audiovisual translation research including cognitive approaches (e.g. the use of eyetracking technology); approaches based in linguistics (corpus approaches; multimodal analysis); cultural studies and historical approaches. We will also consider some of the practical challenges posed by this type of research, including the difficulties of interdisciplinary research, the need for improved textual scholarship and the technical challenges of building an audiovisual corpus. The session will conclude by identifying some of the resources available to support research in this field. 


Day Three – 4 September 2013

08.30  Refreshments

09.00-10.30  Session Seven – Developing and Delivering a Training Course in Subtitling (Carol O’Sullivan)

This workshop will consider some of the challenges involved in setting up a training course in subtitling, including materials development, bibliographical resources, language-specific training and course design, including course aims and learning outcomes. In part, the session will be based on my own experience of course development at the University of Portsmouth. Some sample models of exercises will be considered. The session will also consider the relative advantages and drawbacks of classroom versus distance learning delivery.

10.30-11.00 Tea/Coffee break

11.00-12.30 Session Eight – Theoretical issues in translation history (Chris Rundle)

The final session on history will follow on from the methodological theme of the previous day to look at the theoretical issues surrounding historical research into translation. In particular I shall be considering two key questions: choosing your audience when presenting your research and whether the study of translation should be seen more as an approach to a historical subject than as a historical object in itself. The discussion of these questions will draw on the material presented in the previous sessions.

12.30-13.00 Closing Remarks


13.00-14.00 Lunch 

14.00 Return to hotel

15.20 Pick up from hotel




16.00-18.00 Public Lecture (Jabal Amman/British Council)

The Politics and Ethics of Translation/Interpreting



Professor Ebru Diriker, Boğaziçi University, Turkey

Ethics and Politics of Conference Interpreting : Revisiting the Status
of the Profession(al)

Abstract. Like most professions, conference interpreting operates with explicit as well as implicit codes of ethics and conduct that are rarely problematized. This talk will explore the way the profession and professional are idealized in the codes and how this image links to the symbolic and economic capital of the interpreting profession. Contrasting the depictions of the idealized profession(al) with the recent debates on interpreting in zones of conflict as well as the way conflictual instances involving interpreters are portrayed in the world and Turkish media, the talk will argue for the necessity of an ethical turn in the scholarly and professional discourse on conference interpreting.


Professor Farzaneh Farahzad, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran
Translation in the Post Revolution Period in Iran

Abstract. The Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war which shortly followed it, created new conditions for the selection, production and reception of translated literature. Literary translation took two different paths at that time. In the case of novels, reprints and retranslations of world classics  significantly outnumbered  translations  of new works. This conservative position, coupled with fluent translation strategies, resisted the introduction of new forms into the local polysytem and sometimes even foreign values into the target society. But in the case of short stories which appeared in the major literary  magazines, things differed. The foreign forms and values were transferred through literal translation. Literary translation seems to have played a dual role then, both resisting the foreign discourse , forms and values which were apparently hard to tolerate because of the socio-political situation the country was experiencing,  and at the same time introducing and mediating them into the local polysystem.

Moderator: Professor Mona Baker, University of Manchester, UK


Dinner at Dead Sea