Dr Emma Tyler

Dr Emma Tyler

Department of Modern Languages
Lecturer in French Studies
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Contact details

Room 414, Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I have been working at the University since the 1990s, and specialise in teaching French language skills and translation skills at undergraduate level. I also train translators at postgraduate level. I am the convenor of the new undergraduate pathway in Translation Studies and Senior Admissions Tutor for the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music. 


I was born and brought up in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. I came to the University of Birmingham to study French at the end of the 1980s, graduating with a first class degree in 1991. I stayed on to do a PhD and began teaching almost straight away, becoming a full-time member of staff in 1996.

Translating (from French into English) is one of my passions. I hold the Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation (2001) and I am an Associate Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. I have occasionally worked as a business interpreter at trade fairs, on behalf of the French Trade Commission, and as a translator in a variety of domains, from alarm systems to bathymetrics.

In August 2015, I was awarded a Senior Fellowship at the Higher Education Academy.


First year: I run a module entitled Talking About Translation that I have developed for the new pathway in Translation Studies on our BA in Modern Languages.

Second year: I run a specialist module that I developed called Translation in Practice, which will help you to improve your reading comprehension skills and your translation skills, as well as teaching you how to use some professional translation software.

Final year: I teach the translation-into-French class on French Core Language, along with delivering the French seminars for Translation Theory and Practice.

Postgraduate level: I deliver the French sessions for the two modules Practical Translation and Specialised Translation on the MA in Translation Studies. I have also developed and run a module called Reading French for Researchers, available to postgraduates across the campus, which teaches students with little or no experience of the language how to read research papers in French.

In addition, I deliver some lectures on the following modules:

  • Landmarks in European Literature (Y1)
  • French Core Language (Y1)
  • Introduction to French Literature and Film Studies (Y1)
  • Translation Theory and Practice (Y4)

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising the following postgraduates:

  • Mohammed Saleh (The Assessment of the Role of Interpreters in Influencing Narratives of the Libyan Conflict) please link to his profile.

Other activities

With Andrew Watts, I have recently co-edited a new book to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. Fortunes of War: The West Midlands at the Time of Waterloo explores some of the little-known connections between our region and Waterloo, and was published by History West Midlands in the summer of 2015. The collection contains an article I wrote on Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, who was exiled to England in the period 1810-1814, and spent four years living in Worcestershire. The article is based in part on genealogical research that I carried out for the owner of the residence, while I was taking time away from my University career to look after my three children.

In September 2014, I delivered the keynote speech on The role of translation in MFL teaching and learning at the 2nd Language Learning and Teaching Workshop, a joint Newcastle-Durham venture at Durham University.

In June 2010, I won the New Talent in Translation prize, organised by the French Book Office (Ambassade de France), judged by Adriana Hunter (literary translator), Will Hobson (contributing editor to Granta magazine and literary translator), and Alison Samuel (former Publishing Director of Chatto & Windus). The two source texts were an extract from François Beaune's Un Homme louche and an extract from Alain Mabanckou's Black Bazar.