Translation Process: Integrating Perspectives

Intensive graduate seminar

Translation Process: Integrating Perspectives
Tallinn University

July 8, 2013

This intensive seminar invites Ph.D. students in various fields of cultural research to discuss what happens in and around translation. The focus is not the translation product and its textual analysis but the translation process, understood as involving not only the source and target texts but also the linguistic systems and the cultures involved.

The seminar thus focuses on the situated translation process, on translators and their performance in rich social context. There is no doubt that the genesis of translations differs considerably at different historical periods and with different translators: the source material can be represented in widely different ways that manifest a different course of semiosis of the translator using certain historically evolved and evolving linguistic and cultural practices. So what is it that conditions a translation? Are there causal powers determining it or just contexts within which translations operate?

As translation is a ‘three-in-one’ process combining interlingual translation with intralingual and intersemiotic ones, we invite the participants of the event, both established researchers and graduate students, to contribute to an interdisciplinary discussion of current research methodologies in the study of the situated translation process.


Venue: Tallinn University, Mare building, room M-134

Open for public

10.00 Welcome
10.15 Saussure’s Icoses of Language and Translation – Douglas Robinson (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Venue: Tallinn University, Mare building, room M-648

For registered participants only

11.45 Coffee break
12.00 The source of motivation for human translators: rules, the flow, and intentional behaviour – Arvi Tavast (Tallinn University)
12.45 Ecology Meets Translation Studies – Elin Sütiste and Timo Maran (Tartu University)
13.30 Lunch
14.30 Translating Medieval Buddhist Texts – Alari Allik (Tallinn University)
15.15 Translating Poetry as Probing Obscurities – Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov (Tallinn University)
16. 00 Theory of Language and Practice of Translation: A Case Study – Anne Lange (Tallinn University)
16.45 Coffee break
17.00 Process(es) of Translation – Peeter Torop (Tartu University)
17. 45 The Situatedness of Translation Studies – Luc van Doorslaer (CETRA, University of Leuven)

Translation Process_Program

Requirements for participation

Registration is closed!

The participation can limit itself to listening or include a 20 minute paper related to the topic of the seminar. Students who are not members of GSCSA are required to add a short CV to specify their education and research interests. You will be notified of your participation by March 22, 2013.

Students are expected to do preparatory reading in order to participate in the seminar. Upon full participation in the programme and presentation of a paper/or completion of a 2000-word essay (in Estonian or in English) on the topics of the seminar (deadline October 1, 2013) students will be awarded 2 ECTS points.

The language of the seminar is English.

Participation in the course is free of charge; the accommodation and travel costs of the students of GSCSA will be reimbursed.

Preparatory reading

Robinson, Douglas (2003) Performative Linguistics: Speaking and Translating as Doing Things With Words, London & New York: Routledge.

Robinson, Douglas (2011) Translation and the Problem of Sway, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Robinson, Douglas (forthcoming) Ecologies of Translation. Performing the Crowd.*

* Electronic copies are available for registered participants; please address Tuuli Piirsalu (