Current PhD/Research MA students

Nermeen Al Nafra
Developing Translators’ Skills

One of the main concerns in current approaches to translation training is to provide translators with the necessary skills in order to take responsibility for their decisions. Taking into consideration the calls for different translation training approaches in order to equip translators with the theoretical knowledge of translation to empower them in their role as cultural mediators, this study will investigate how and to what extent following a training programme at postgraduate level affects trainee translators’ ability to defend and justify their decisions. This study is based on the hypothesis that translation training and translation theory equip trainees with a level of competence which enables them to systemise their options while translating and justify their choices. This study will attempt to demonstrate to what extent trainee translators integrate the theoretical knowledge acquired throughout the course into translation practice. It focuses on the translation strategies used by trainee translators to identify translation problems and the justification of the decisions made. The one year masters degree programme in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham is used to undertake this qualitative research. Data will be collected at different stages throughout the academic year (2012-2013). The research methods used in this longitudinal case study consist primarily of a translation task completed by trainee translators. This task is preceded by a short questionnaire and retrospective interviews. This is followed by a textual analysis using linguistic and discourse text analysis models.

Asmaa Alduhaim
Cross Cultural Political Discourse Translation

The research will conduct a comparative analysis of the translation outcome of three different countries. The analysis will start with a detailed study of the political discourse in each country, followed by the analysis of the translation carried out by the media.

Matthew Chozick
Translating Japan's cultural Cache into International Cachet: A Study of Post-Meiji 'Reverse-Importation' from The Tale of Genji to Puffy AmiYumi

Translating Japan's Cultural Cache into International Cachet: A Study of 'Reverse-Importation' from The Tale of Genji to Puffy AmiYumi.

The Japanese term gyakuyunyu describes a process of ‘reverse-importation’ by which sales of a domestic commodity increase in a native market due to popularity achieved in a foreign market. While gyakuyunyu is often used by Japanese in the context of industrial or commercial products, it is also employed to describe cultural output, and this latter usage has seen increasing frequency in recent years as Japan has sought to promote its ‘national cool’ overseas. To date, there has been little scholarship on cultural gyakuyunyu despite its influence on the reception of many Japanese literary, film and musical works. One such work is Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji, which began to be read widely in a novelistic, central position of Japanese literature as its fin-de-siècle reputation evolved in tandem with English and then modern Japanese translations. Parsing such inter-connections between historical circumstances and linguistic polysystems, this thesis aims to better illuminate mechanisms of ‘reverse-importation’ through which foreign modes of cultural production and consumption can be domesticated.

Book reviews and literary criticism

  • Academic book reviews and criticism in Japan Times, Asian Business and Management, Literary Encyclopedia, Translation Studies Abstracts Online, Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, Metropolis Magazine and other places in both English and Japanese.

Articles in academic journals

Translated books

  • Wisut Ponnimit, Him Her That, English trans. from Japanese, includes essays by translator and Banana Yoshimoto (New York and Tokyo: Awai Books 2013).
  • Tokyo Visualist, ed. by Masayo Fukaya and Kazuhiro Hasegawa, English trans. from Japanese with Luke Baker (Tokyo: D.D. Wave Co. and Kawade Shobo Shinsha 2009).

Edited collections

  • Tokyo Verb Studio, ed. with and contributed articles with Midori Ohmuro and Keisuke Tsubono (New York and Tokyo: Awai Books 2012).

Translations in books

  • Yuki Okumura, ‘On Kawara’s Pure Consciousness, or Many Worlds (and) Interpretation’, Japanese trans. from English in Dokyumento 14 no yube, ed National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (Tokyo: Seigensha Art Publishing 2013).

Galateia Dimitriou
Ezra Pound in Greece, 1935-2005

Using Ezra Pound's translations in Greek as a starting point, this thesis looks at Pound's reception in Greece with a particular focus on George Seferis and contemporary poets.


  • Translation (in Greek) of George Oppen's 'The Mind's own place' in Poietiki, Issue 3, Patakis, Athens, 2009.

Lorena Gavazzoni
Comics in Italy: Influences, Adaptations and Fascist Exploitation of the genre in a historical perspective

Combining research perspectives and methods pertaining to Cultural Studies and a historical analysis of Fascist policies in the publishing industry, my research will illustrate the evolution of this genre in relation to contemporary cultural transformations shedding further light on a series of unexplored transition moments in the development of Italian comics. Or, in comic hero Tex Willer’s words: “There are still many chestnuts on the fire: let’s burn our fingers!”

Anne M. Leahy
Paths to Signed Language Interpreting in Great Britain and America since 1150 AD

The scant scholarship at the nexus of signed language interpreting and translation history in Anglophone countries tends toward memoir and folklore, and focuses on the perspective of the deaf party. My research pivots toward the interpreter’s perspective, investigating the linguistic and social foundations of how lay bilingual-bimodals began to function as intermediaries between hearing and deaf primary interlocutors. Also, I analyze surviving records to discover the salient features in the work of untrained interpreters, given the limitations of a visual modality which could not have been precisely transcribed.

I maintain a record of research dissemination at

Ira Ortigosa Pascual
Basque language cinema: lost in translation?

Cinema has always been an important medium for putting into words a society’s identity and culture. But in today’s globalized society, where the majority of the films are filmed and/or distributed in major languages, more regional industries struggle to make an international name for themselves. This is particularly difficult in bilingual nations with complex political statuses such as the Basque Country. Audiovisual translation has played a very important part in linguistic normalization, and the Basque population has been able to enjoy different foreign programmes and films translated into Basque. But despite the governmental help, original Basque-language films do not reach the broad audience they deserve and many times it is assumed the source language is what hinders this industry. Basque films relay on subtitling and dubbing to show themselves to the rest of the world, but does the audiovisual translation do them justice?

This audiovisual translation research will cover linguistic and metalinguistic aspects. It will analyse the linguistic accuracy of the translations, that is, the conveyance of the message, the translation of language-specific constructions and sayings etc. and the metalinguistic aspect, focusing on the conveyance of Basque culture, society and identity through the language. Based on five case studies of different genres, this research will analyse the accuracy of the audiovisual translation in order to conclude whether any of the techniques is culturally and linguistically accurate and whether they help or hinder the small but growing industry of Basque cinema.

Waleed Ahmad Othman
A Systemic Functional and Relevance-Theoretic Approach to Explicitation in Translated Arabic

I am studying explicitational shifts manifested by clause augmentation (insertions and alterations of adjuncts related to location, manner, and cause) in translated Arabic based on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Using a data set comprising an English novel (Lord of the Flies) and three Arabic translations, I propose an SFL-based model for the identification of lexicogrammatical shifts and delimiting those that can be considered optionally explicitational. My proposed model is based on three parameters.

  1. The parameter of systemic possibility, which makes use of the notion of Choice in SFL, determines whether a translation shift is optional or non-optional.
  2. Local instantiation is a parameter that determines whether a shift is explicitational or not based on a shift’s traceability to the linguistic context, the physical context, the socio-cultural context, and/or translator’s assumptions. Systemic possibility and local instantiation are micro-level analysis parameters that determine the optionality and explicitational nature of individual shifts between the ST and the TT, regardless of their congruency with the typical patterning or norms of the TL or a specific TL register.
  3. Global instantiation. Global instantiation is a macro-level parameter that is applied on the text for the evaluation of the global effect of explicitational shifts in order to determine whether that text features more explicitness than is typical in the TL or a TL specific register.

It is not enough to depend on systemic possibility and local instantiation in determining whether a TT is optionally explicit and how explicit it is to the target readership. This is because a shift can be optionally explicitational as an individual instance and at the same time contribute, together with other similar shifts, towards congruency of the TT in terms of explicitness.

Paloma López Serrapio
Translation, advertising and identity in Galicia(n)

My research will consider the nature and functions of advertising language in the Galician context, as well as the languages and linguistic strategies that are used to advertise Galician products and companies. Which language is preferred for advertising in Galicia and in which context; how is advertising language translated? Does advertising contribute to the construction and projection of a Galician identity?

Helen Tatlow
The works of Heinrich von Kleist and their translation into English

Supervised by Dr Elystan Griffiths and Dr Hilary Brown

I am researching English translations of Heinrich von Kleist's play, Der Prinz von Homburg. I shall provide an overview of the reception of the play in the English-speaking world and consider in depth the reception and effectiveness of a selection of the translations, with detailed analysis of sections that pose particular challenges to the translator.