Dr Xiaohui Yuan PhD, MA, BA

Department of Modern Languages
Associate Professor in Interpreting and Translation Studies

Contact details

G22 Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am an Associate Professor in Interpreting and Translation studies. My research specialities include interpreter’s identity and identity management, representing interpersonal features in translation and interpreting, and use of interpreting in mediation.




I am a researcher in interpreting and translation studies. I have also undertaken professional interpreting with international organisations and government bodies such as the UN agencies in Geneva, the World Health Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union and so on. I endeavour to combine theoretical sophistication and practical application in my research. I had a short spell of working as a financial analyst for one of the Big Fours in London prior to my academic career.



  • Practical Translation (Chinese-English)
  • Interpreting 

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome PhD enquiries in the areas of representing sociolinguistic aspects in translation and interpreting, interpreter's role and identity.

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


Interpreter’s identity and identity management:

In my recent work (Yuan 2022), I have proposed a Symbolic Interactionist Model of Interpreter’s Identity Management (SIMIIM) to conceptualise the macro social influence, the meso-communicative factors, and the micro individual similarities/differences and changes in interpreters’ role behaviour. The model is useful to help interpreting trainers, trainees and professionals, to reflect on how our sense of self impacts on our role-choice behaviour in interpreting and how to better evaluate existing interpreting ethics, informed by an enhanced understanding of the relationship between society, identity and role, and the psychological process and impact of identity (non)verification.

Representing interpersonal features in translation and interpreting

 In this broad area, I have undertaken research to explore how interpersonal features embodied in the concept of face/face management are represented in audio-visual translation with audience response, in literary translation and in political interpreting.

Language use in social contexts (impact focused)

  • Dispute resolution and negotiation: facilitative linguistic features vis-à-vis evaluative linguistic features in dispute resolution, use of interpreting in dispute resolution and negotiation
  • Politeness in cross/intercultural interactions, the concept of face in the East and the West


Other activities

I undertake extensive impact activities with dispute resolution organisations such as the Centre of Effective Dispute Resolution, the UK Civil Mediation Council and the International Mediation Institute.

I also have a personal website documenting my work in the area: www.cimiccommunication.com


Recent publications


Yuan, X 2012, Politeness and Audience Response in Chinese-English Subtitling. Peter Lang.


Yuan, X 2023, 'Emotion in intercultural communication: A sociocultural model', Studies in Media and Communication , vol. 11, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v11i1.5765

Yuan, X 2022, 'A symbolic interactionist approach to interpreter's identity', Interpreting and Society - An Interdisciplinary Journal . https://doi.org/10.1177/27523810221100990

Yuan, X 2022, 'A symbolic interactionist model of interpreter-facilitated communication -- key communication issues in face-to-face interpreting', Frontiers in Communication, vol. 7, 1000849. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2022.1000849

Yuan, X 2021, 'Reconceptualising interpreter's role: a perspective from social identity theories', FORUM-International Journal of Interpretation and Translation, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 84-104. https://doi.org/10.1075/forum.20012.yua

Yuan, X 2014, 'Face management in literary translation', New Voices in Translation Studies, vol. 11, pp. 54-95. <https://www.iatis.org/index.php/new-voices-in-translation-studies/item/1034-issue11-2014>

Yuan, X 2013, 'Face revisited – negative face in Chinese culture', China Media Research , vol. 9, no. 1.

Yuan, X 2013, 'Interpersonal representation in interpreting politician-journalist interactions', China Media Research , vol. 9, no. 4.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Yuan, X 2014, Use of Interpreters in Mediation. in D Richbell (ed.), How to Master Commercial Mediation . 1st edn, Bloomsbury. <https://www.bloomsburyprofessional.com/uk/how-to-master-commercial-mediation-9781780436821/>

Special issue

Yuan, X 2013, 'Managing Language and Cultural Challenges in Cross-border Deal-making', China Media Research , vol. 9, no. 4.

View all publications in research portal