Successful conference on Computer-Assisted Literary Translation

Swansea Translation and Interpreting Group (STING) has hosted its first full-scale conference on Computer-Assisted Literary Translation (CALT).

The conference, which follows the success of two international workshops in 2019, attracted more than 400 registrations from across the globe to its talks and lectures, all delivered via Zoom, with recordings available online until the end of June.

Keynote speakers were Duncan Large, Professor of European Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia, and Jan Rybicki, Professor of English Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.

Among the major international collaborations discussed was trailblazing digital language technology research by Professor Andy Rothwell and Professor Tom Cheesman, with key colleagues in Computer Science at Swansea and the Universities of Bristol, Central Lancashire, East Anglia, Dublin City and Amsterdam.

“Our researchers have played leading national and international roles in pioneering techniques and applications in computer-assisted literary translation,” said Dr Geraldine Lublin, research lead in Modern Languages and Translation. “We are spearheading innovative working practices and bringing together academics and postgraduate researchers in languages, translation studies, linguistics, and computer science, alongside professional practitioners.”

The conference united UK and international academics, professional translators, and language industry partners to maximise the benefits of new technologies while promoting the essential human character of culturally engaged translation.

“Literary translators tend to resist using the systems which dominate the lives of most other professional translators: CAT tools, translation memories (TM), termbases, and machine translation systems,” said Professor Rothwell.

“However, in the last five years developments have taken place which suggest that there are pluses as well as minuses for literary translators in the use of different kinds of computer-assisted translation tools.

“The conference explored the actual and potential impact of some of these developments on literary translators and readers from both theoretical and empirical standpoints, with an emphasis on applications and illustrative case studies.”

To find out more about the work of CALT members, please visit https://calt2021conference.wordpress.com/