[CFP] Tenth IATIS Regional Workshop

Tenth IATIS Regional Workshop


Reconceptualizing Translation in the Digital Age: Asian Perspectives

September 3-4, 2020

Hosted by

Kansai University (Senriyama Campus), Osaka, Japan

Call for Papers

Translation in an age of technology accelerates the breakdown of borders between nations and the homogeneity of cultures. At the same time, technology has led to diversity in translation audiences, norms, and means deployed in practice. In order to capture the increasing variety of translation activities, Translation Studies has extended – and deconstructed – the notion of translation and the scope of research. We know that translations play an important role in our society; however, a question arises as to whether we all agree on the definition of translation. For example, has machine translation changed our society in the same sense as other forms of translation historically have? Can machine translation plus post-editing be powerful enough to change the role of translation in serving cross-regional interactions? How is automated and/or user-generated translation influencing new audiences of cultural contents? In this transition to translation in an age of technology, it is essential to operationalize ‘translation’ among researchers investigating it.

Japan is an almost monolingual country and translation technology plays a critical role in the development of Japanese modern society. The government, industries and the translation communities have been engaging with new initiatives involving cutting-edge innovations. The Japanese government project for machine translation, Minna no jido Hon’yaku@TexTra, is one of the examples of such efforts. On the grass-roots level, new audiences of foreign contents such as music, movies and games are using freely available automated translation as their new language, generating a brand-new global culture and community. And this is also the case in Asia’s neighbouring countries such as China and Korea, with their distinctive history, culture and politics, which have active interactions with other countries, both in Asia and the rest of the world. Translation is inextricably linked to the evolution of our languages, thoughts, cultures and nations, and now, technology’s role cannot be ignored in the evolution.

On the surface, conventional human translation, machine translation, post-editing and computer-assisted translation are understood as different activities in terms of both process and purpose. But the differences are often poorly agreed upon which seems to impede interdisciplinary collaboration, especially among Translation Studies researchers and researchers from related disciplines such as natural language processing (machine translation developers). In order to develop successful next-generation translation technologies, analyze the impact of translation activities in the digital age, and design educational curricula that produce translators who can survive digital evolution, this workshop aims to bring together researchers from different fields to reconsider the way machine translation is conceptualised and researched.

The September 2020 IATIS regional workshop in Osaka, Japan, focuses on ‘updating’ translation to survive digital evolution and future paradigm shifts in communication. This will be a mini-conference with opportunities for networking with inter-disciplinary researchers for sustainable and future translation. In particular, we invite papers that address how the different research sectors can collaborate to reconceptualize translation and expand the potential of translation research. Possible themes are described below:

  • Past, present, and future of translation/interpreting practice in Asia and throughout the world;
  • Connections between past technologies, translation, and the modernization of (Asian) language;
  • Issues and challenges of multimodal translation, such as audiovisual translation and game localization;
  • Examples of and/or calls for collaborative research and/or training between different stakeholders, such as translation industry members, practitioners, users, and scholars, in order to deal with new forms of translation practice;
  • Investigation into the working conditions and environments of present or future translators/interpreters;
  • Community translation/interpreting in the digital age;
  • The aftermath of digital evolution, in particular with the advent of neural machine translation.

Abstracts in English (for 20-minute presentations), of no more than 300 words, are invited to be submitted to Dr. Masaru Yamada (yamada@apple-eye.com) and Dr. Akiko Sakamoto (akiko.sakamoto@port.ac.uk) together with the authors’ short bio by March 31, 2020.

Working language

The working language for this workshop is English.

PhD students and Early-Career Researchers

There will be sessions exclusively assigned for PhD students and early-career researchers to have opportunities to present their own research. We strongly encourage young researchers to participate the workshop.

Workshop Organisers

Dr. Masaru Yamada, Kansai University, Japan.

Dr. Akiko Sakamoto, University of Portsmouth, UK.


Kansai University (Senriyama Campus), Osaka, Japan http://www.kansai-u.ac.jp/English/about_ku/index.html.

Kansai University is easily accessible via the Hankyu Line; the journey from the centre of Osaka (Umeda) to the Senriyama Main campus normally takes around 20 minutes. The metro station Kandai-mae is on the Hankyu Line, directly in front of the University campus. The most convenient international airport is Kansai International Airport (KIX) Appx. one hour from central Osaka by direct train services. Osaka Airport (ITM) is also close to the venue (https://www.kansai-u.ac.jp/English/about_ku/location_takatsuki.html).

Important Dates

First call for participation/proposals: October 1, 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals: February 10, 2020  (Extended till March 31, 2020)

Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2020

Workshop at Kansai University: September 3-4, 2020


This workshop is funded by IATIS Regional Workshop Fund, Kansai University Fund and Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau