Conference theme

TTR turns 35

Redefining translation? Historical fluctuations, new practices, and epistemologies in the making


Keynote Speakers

Lynne Bowker, University of Ottawa

Michael Cronin, Trinity College Dublin

Kobus Marais, University of the Free State

Maria Teresa Zanola, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


To mark the 35th anniversary of the journal TTR, the conference “Redefining translation? Historical fluctuations, new practices, and epistemologies in the making” will bring together established and emerging scholars to address themes related to translation (including interpretation), terminology, and writing. Translation, together with terminology and professional writing, constitutes a complex set of practices, processes, and epistemologies that, no matter what they are called, (e.g., translation, adaptation, transfer, intertextuality, transformation), have always played a prominent role in civil society while also being used as tools of colonization and discrimination. Translation thus raises crucial ethical issues that call for serious reflection.

Starting from the tripartite definitions of translation proposed by Roman Jakobson (1959) and Gideon Toury (1995), among others, this conference invites scholars to reflect on the (re)definitions of translation and interpretation and their ethical implications throughout history. The following questions can serve as points of departure:

Does translation (along with interpretation) only involve transfer between languages, individuals, texts, communities or nation states? Or does it also concern any material, even biosemiotic, form of transfer that may or may not include interlingual exchange? Are translation and interpretation always synonymous with transfer?

Can we move from a restricted to an enlarged view of translation while also ensuring that this field of knowledge retains its specificity and common foundations? If so, what would these be (see Nouss, 2012)?

Is translation exclusive to human beings, that is to say, does it only take place between humans? What role does or should technology play in the translation process in light of the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and neural machine translation (NMT)? How do these changes affect human translation? What are the characteristics of the contemporary translating subject? To what extent can advances in AI and the ethical issues they raise enrich our analysis of the production of bilingual or multilingual content?

Given the complex power dynamics that characterize the Anthropocene, what roles can translation and interpretation play in mediating and raising awareness of contemporary issues? Clearly, the mediating role that both translation and interpretation play, whether in community settings or times of crisis, is a pressing current issue.

Insofar as translation can also be considered a cognitive act that precedes and facilitates communication despite differences, what cognitive theories can help us better understand translation and its practices?

As an interpretative act, translation is a heuristic tool that has the potential to participate in the production and circulation of knowledge. How might this potential be achieved?

This conference seeks to encourage dialogue on the important social role that translation plays in the formation and transformation of knowledge as well as in the movement and mediation of ideas.

Papers will focus on historical fluctuations (e.g., definitions of translation), new practices (e.g., linguistic revitalization thanks to translation), and epistemologies (e.g., the science of translation, hermeneutics, the interpretive school, various sociologies of translation, and complexity theory) that have defined, still define, and will define translation in the broader sense going forward.

The following avenues of reflection correspond to the three (inter)disciplines that form the title of TTR:


Inclusive translation: gender, accessibility, decolonization, Indigenization

Translation, AI, and NMT: the role of humans

Translation and diversity: ethical issues

Translation, pseudo-translation, self-translation: toward new paradigms?

Translation and adaptation: the limits of translation

Translation and interpretation: social contexts, crisis situations

Translation and migration: movement, displacement, uprooting, confinement

Post-translation and transmediality: new forms of translation

Translation and pedagogy: what to teach and how? What is (or should be) the role of


Translation and official bi- or multilingualism: increasing accessibility, equity, and

diversity or maintaining the status quo?



Socioterminology or terminology and sociology?

Terminology and interpretation: the role of terminological research

Terminology, AI, and NMT: the human contribution

Terminology and pedagogy: how to teach terminology as a key element to ensuring a more equitable society?

Translation and terminology: are they inseparable?


Professional Writing

Professional writing, editing, revision, and post-editing: are they essential relationships?

Inclusive writing: diversity, gender, accessibility, decolonization, Indigenization

Professional writing and terminology: are they inseparable?

Professional writing and pedagogy: to what extent has writing become an essential competence for future translators? How should new generations be trained?




Scientific committee

Valérie Florentin (York University)

Ryan Fraser (University of Ottawa)

Marie-France Guénette (Université Laval)

Alexandra Hillinger (Université Laval)

Gillian Lane-Mercier (McGill University)

René Lemieux (Concordia University)

Denise Merkle (Université de Moncton)


Organizing committee

Hélène Buzelin (Université de Montréal)

Gillian Lane-Mercier (McGill University)

Christine York (Concordia University)


List of References

Bowker, Lynne and Jairo Buitrago Ciro (2019). Machine Translation and Global Research: Towards Improved Machine Translation Literacy in the Scholarly Community. Bingley, UK, Emerald Publishing.

Cattrysse, Patrick (2019). “Adaptation Studies, Translation Studies, and Interdisciplinarity.Reflections on Siblings and Family Resemblance.” Adaptation, 12, 3, pp. 206-221.

Cordingley, Anthony, ed. (2013). Self-Translation. Brokering Originality in Hybrid Culture. London, Bloomsbury.

Cronin, Michael (2017). Eco-Translation. Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene. New York/London, Routledge.

D’hulst, Lieven and Yves Gambier (2018). A History of Modern Translation Knowledge.Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Doerr, Nicole (2018). Political Translation: How Social Movement Democracies Survive.Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Gambier, Yves and Luc van Doorslaer, eds. (2016). Border Crossings. Translation Studies and other disciplines. Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

García, Adolfo M. (2019). The Neurocognition of Translation and Interpreting. Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Gaudin, François (2003). Socioterminologie, une approche sociolinguistique de la terminologie. Brussels, Duculot De Boeck.

Gentzler, Edwin (2017). Translation and Rewriting in the Age of Post-Translation Studies. New York/London, Routledge.

Giannakopoulou, Vasso (2019). “Introduction: Intersemiotic Translation as Adaptation: InMemoriam of Laurence Raw.” Adaptation, 12, 3, pp. 199-205.

Guzmán, María Constanza and Lyse Hébert, eds. (2015). The View from the Agent: Daniel Simeoni’s “Traductologies”. Toronto, GREF.

Jakobson, Roman (1959). “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation.” In Reuben Arthur

Brower, ed., On Translation. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, pp. 232-239.

Lavieri, Antonio and Danielle Londei, eds. (2018). Traduire l’autre. Pratiques linguistiques et écritures ethnographiques. Turin/Paris, L’Harmattan.

Leblay, Christophe (2016). “Génétique textuelle et écritures mono- et plurilingues.”TTR, 29, 1, pp. 33-59.

Marais, Kobus (2019). A (Bio)Semiotic Theory of Translation. The Emergence of Social-Cultural Reality. New York/London, Routledge.

Marais, Kobus and Reine Meylaerts, eds. (2021). Complexity Thinking in Translation Studies. Methodological Considerations. New York/London, Routledge.

Nouss, Alexis (2012). “Un bilan de 40 ans de traductologie : Entrevue avec Alexis Nouss, Propos recueillis par Salah Basalamah.” Global Media Journal - Édition canadienne, 5,1, pp. 29-37.

Price, Joshua M. (2023). Translation and Epistemicide: Racialization of Languages in the Americas. Tucson, University of Arizona Press.

Samoyault, Tiphaine (2020). Traduction et violence. Paris, Seuil.

St. André, James (2023). “Implications of computer code translation for TranslationStudies.” The Translator, 16. DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2023.2205418.

Tesseur, Wine (2023). Translation as Social Justice. New York/London, Routledge.

Toury, Gideon (2012 [1995]). Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond.Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Venuti, Lawrence (2019). Contra instrumentalism: a translation polemic. Lincoln,University of Nebraska.

Woodsworth, Judith, ed. (2018). The Fictions of Translation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia,John Benjamins.

Zanola, Maria Teresa, ed. (2021). Terminologie diachronique : méthodologies et études de cas. Numéro thématique de Cahiers de Lexicologie, 118.

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