[CFP] Linguistica Antverpiensia Issue 20

Call for papers

Issue 20, publication year 2021

Interpreter Research and Training: The Impact of Context

Guest editors

Katalin Balogh¹, Esther de Boe², & Heidi Salaets¹

¹KU Leuven, Belgium | ²University of Antwerp, Belgium

Katalin Balogh is coordinator of the training program on legal interpreting and translating at the Faculty of Arts of the KU Leuven (Antwerp Campus) where she teaches interpreting techniques for future legal interpreters. She teaches deontology for the students Master in Interpreting. Her main research area is legal interpreting. She was and is involved in several European projects on legal interpreting such as the CO-Minor-IN/QUEST 1&2 and most recently the ChiLLS (Children in Legal Language Settings) projects. 

Esther de Boe holds a MA in Translation and a European Master of Conference Interpreting (EMCI), as well as a MA in Liberal Arts. She has recently (2020) concluded her doctoral thesis, comparing quality of interpreter-mediated communication between face-to-face interpreting and remote interpreting methods in healthcare settings. Esther de Boe teaches interpreting studies, remote interpreting and specialized interpreting courses French-Dutch (consecutive and simultaneous interpreting) at the University of Antwerp. She is also a sworn interpreter in the Netherlands. 

Heidi Salaets is head of the Interpreting Studies Research Group at the Faculty of Arts at KU Leuven. She has ample expertise in research, training and practice in different fields of dialogue interpreting, such as legal, court and community interpreting in general. She coordinates European research projects on legal interpreting (e.g. interpreting for minors in legal settings; training for LLDs (Languages of Lesser Diffusion) and organizes joint interprofessional training of legal actors and/or students in law and interpreting students.


Interpreter Research and Training: The Impact of Context

The theme of our special issue deals with the impact of context in dialogue interpreting in its many forms. As established extensively by interpreting studies scholars (Angelelli, 2004; Hatim & Mason, 1997; Roy, 2000; Wadensjö, 1998, to name just a few), context is of crucial importance in dialogue interpreting. Not only do dialogue interpreters draw on contextual cues to make sense of and maintain the continuity of the communicative exchange (Hatim & Mason, 1997, p. 42), the very interactional nature of interpreter-mediated communication makes it simply impossible to decontextualise this type of exchange (Wadensjö, 1998). Since in interpreter-mediated events, meaning is co-constructed by all participants, in continuous negotiation with the direct discourse environment, interpreters are, at the same time, influenced by context and contribute to the ways in which context develops (Mason & Ren, 2012). In other words, context and contextualization are an inherent part of the interpretation process (Janzen & Shaffer, 2008).

Contributions will focus on the impact of different contexts on the ways in which dialogue interpreting unfolds in practice and how this phenomenon is being investigated and addressed in research and training. Whereas previous comparable research in interpreting studies has addressed different interpreting contexts (e.g., Rosendo & Persaud, 2015; Vlasenko, 2019), these studies mainly focused on the sociocultural and political features of interpreting. In our volume, context is to be understood in a larger sense.

Therefore, we invite, on the one hand, contributions related to those dialogue interpreting contexts that may be perceived as “usual” contexts. Examples of these are institutional healthcare, legal interpreting and other community interpreting contexts, in which language mediation is mostly achieved by professional and specifically trained interpreters. On the other hand, we particularly invite contributions examining dialogue interpreting in less usual contexts – meaning less or non-institutionalised and professionalised contexts that do not always involve professional interpreting (for instance, prisons, emergency departments of all kind, youth centres that take care of non-accompanied minor refugees, emergency refugee camps). These less usual contexts are of particular interest for interpreting studies, since they do not always conform to norms guiding professional language mediation and theory. As a consequence, they may stretch existing conceptual boundaries defining interpreting and may bring about a revision of theoretical assumptions in this domain.

It is also recommended that contributions focus on the potential impact of unusual circumstances on more usual interpreting working settings and conditions in today’s highly globalized, multicultural technologized society. Interpreters are required to deal with unexpected phenomena and innovative communication channels. As a result, they have to cope with a range of challenges as a matter of course. These challenges can put an enormous strain on the psychological, cognitive and emotional resources of interpreters and can affect interpreters’ ethics and the quality of their performances. Our issue will provide a platform for scientific exchanges between scholars and trainers investigating interpreting practice against the backdrop of a continuously changing environment. In this way, we hope to contribute to a constructive cross-fertilization between interpreting practice, theory and training.

By examining the impact of context on interpreting, more general societal challenges posed by cultural diversity, inequality, multilingualism and technological progress are addressed. In order to realise real interdisciplinary research reports, we welcome researchers from different disciplines closely connected to Translation Studies, that is, Communication Studies, (Inter)Cultural Studies, Language Learning, (Applied) Linguistics & Literature, but also academics from Psychology, Sociology, Medical Studies, Pedagogy, Law & Criminology in the Humanities – the list is obviously not exhaustive – to reflect on the previous contexts, in which they often take part together with translators and interpreters. Ultimately, researchers and experts of the aforementioned disciplines (practitioners or trainers) are encouraged to work together with interpreting studies scholars. Moreover, training models can benefit from this collaborative, interdisciplinary research allowing for the interpretation of results in a broader theoretical and social framework. Therefore, interprofessional joint training and other innovative training programs that can contribute to this interdisciplinary framework are much appreciated. In the same vein, we welcome all kinds of innovative qualitative and quantitative research methods going from ethnographic studies to corpus studies.

In summary, we would like to invite contributions related to the impact of the varied and diversifying contexts in which interpreters work. On the one hand, we would like to investigate this impact on interpreters’ performance, their well-being, the adequacy of their competences and interpreting training, as well as on their sense of professionalism and the application of ethical codes. On the other hand, we want to examine how context impacts on the users of interpreting services, that is, the primary participants of an interpreter-mediated encounter and, ultimately, on the quality of the interpreter-mediated encounter as a whole.

More concretely, we would like to invite authors who deal with research and training programs related to: 

  • Interpreting for refugees in different contexts
  • Interpreting for vulnerable groups of population
  • Interpreting in all possible societal and challenging contexts

Moreover, we welcome authors who discuss topics in the above-mentioned contexts with regard to impact of context on:

  • Users of interpreting services
  • Interpreters and the interpreting profession
  • Interpreting quality
  • Interpreting training
  • Interprofessional joint training models
  • Technology-mediated interpreting and
  • Impact of “less usual” interpreting methods on interpreting in institutionalized “usual” contexts.

Selected papers will be submitted to a double-blind peer review as requested by LANS.  

Practical information and deadlines

Proposals: Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words, including relevant references (not included in the word count), to both Heidi Salaets (heidi.salaets@kuleuven.be) and Esther de Boe (esther.deboe@uantwerpen.be).

Abstract deadline: 1 May 2020

Acceptance of abstract proposals: 1 July 2020

Submission of papers: 1 December 2020

Acceptance of papers: 28 February 2021

Submission of final versions of papers: 1 June 2021

Editorial work (proofreading, APA, layout): June-November 2021

Publication: December 2021


Angelelli, C. V. (2004). Medical interpreting and cross-cultural communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511486616

Hatim, B., & Mason, I. (1997). The translator as communicator. London: Routledge.

Janzen, T., & Shaffer, B. (2008). Intersubjectivity in interpreted interactions: The interpreter’s role in co-constructing meaning. In J. Zlatev, T. P. Racine, C. Sinha, & E. Itkonen (Eds.), The shared minds: Perspectives on intersubjectivity (pp. 333-355). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Mason, I., & Ren, W. (2012). Power in face-to-face interpreting events. In C. Angelelli (Ed.), The Sociological Turn in Translation and Interpreting Studies (pp. 234-253). Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Rosendo, L. R., & Persaud, C. (2015). Interpreting in conflict situations and in conflict zones throughout history. Linguistica Antverpiensia: New Series – Themes in Translation Studies 15.

Roy, C. (2000). Interpreting as a discourse process. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vlasenko, S. V. (2019). Introduction: Interpreting in Russian contexts. Translation and Interpreting Studies: The Journal of the American Translation & Interpreting Studies Association. 14(3), 437–441. doi:10.1075/tis.00045.vla 

Wadensjö, C. (1998). Interpreting as Interaction. London/New York: Longman.