Professor Emma Tyler

Photograph of Emma Tyler

Department of Modern Languages
Professor of Translator Education
Head of School of Language, Culture, Art History and Music
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Contact details

Room 414, Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I specialise in training students to become translators. Until very recently, I was the convenor of the MA in Translation Studies (campus and distance) and led to project to update and relaunch the programme. I am also the Director of Taught Admissions for the College of Arts and Law.


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 June 2010, I won the New Talent in Translation prize, organised by the French Book Office (Ambassade de France).

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


In 2021-22, I am not teaching, while I focus on an institutional project. Usually, my teaching is concentrated at postgraduate level on the MA in Translation Studies.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising the following postgraduates:

  • Abrar Abdulrhman Abulnassr, Tracking problem solving strategies and time as indicators of translation competence acquisition across different proficiency levels.
  • Ali Alqahtani, Assessing the relevance of Saudi undergraduates’ translation competence to the requirements of the Saudi translation market.
  • Mohammed Aldosari, Understanding Linguistics features as emotional and sense of self stimulators in Tourism Promotion : A Corpus-Based Investigation of Translated Tourism Texts
  • Ahmed Alharbi, A Comprehensive Approach to the Translation of Figures of Comparison in Contemporary Self –Help Genre
  • Yaru Chen, English Translation of Traditional Chinese Medical Classic Huang Di Nei Jing Su WenA Corpus-based Pragmatic Study
  • Sara Corpino, The translation of dialects: Atzeni’s language in English and French
  • Lucia Antonia Dino-Guida, A synchronic screenshot of ‘in-tune’ cultures – investigating song translation in Italian dubbed Animated Musical Comedies

Students who have been awarded their PhD:

  • Mohammed Saleh (awarded 2018): The Assessment of the Role of Interpreters in Influencing Narratives of the Libyan Conflict
  • Mary Bardet (awarded 2020): Adapting, abridging and rewriting: The French translations of E. Nesbit’s work (1906- 2017)
  • Xiaolong Tang (awarded 2020): Using Technology to Facilitate Students Learning Chinese Characters

Find out more - our PhD French Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

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.