Call for Papers

In linguistically diverse communities both locally and globally, cultural and linguistic mediation practices are more prevalent than first impressions lead us to believe. The maintenance of linguistic rights in multilingual and multicultural societies would require, among other things, regular availability of the services of translators and interpreters. However, this is often not the case, so that non-professional or poorly trained language mediators often come to the rescue and play an indispensable role in facilitating communication across linguistic or cultural divides in many different contexts, including education, social services, health care, business management and legal settings. These ad hoc language mediators often are the metaphorical bridge builders who facilitate constructive co-existence.

The need for these ad hoc language practitioners has recently been acknowledged where large numbers of migrants are moving from war, prosecution, poverty and other kinds of destitution into safer spaces. Within the African context, the divide between the first and second economy is also relevant, where in the second, i.e. informal economy, non-professional interpreters and translators are the norm in public spaces. It has become increasingly clear that such circumstances are likely to prevail for some time yet.

The critical role of non-professional interpreters and translators needs proper recognition, also within the domain of interpreting and translation studies. This is a dynamic research field currently being explored and pushing the boundaries of what we know about informal multilingual communicative practices. The designation “non-professional” in itself is rather blurred in that it is often used as equivalent to  “ad hoc”, “unpaid”, “volunteer”, “informal”, “limitedly trained” in translation or interpreting.

NPIT4 provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners within the field to share recent and relevant work within this discipline and related to the activities of non-professional interpreters and translators. It builds on discussions initiated at the first three international conferences on Non-Professional Interpreting and Translation held in Bologna/Forlì(2012), Mainz/Germersheim (2014) and  Zurich (2016). We invite proposals for panels, presentations or posters that deal with any theoretical, empirical, methodological or ethical aspect of research related to the general theme of the conference.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Defining and mapping the field of non-professional interpreting and translation
  • Ad hoc interpreting and translation in everyday life
  • Language brokering by family members  (oral, written or sign language)
  • Non-professional sign language interpreting
  • Recruiting and/or training non-professional interpreters and translators
  • Certification and para-professionalism
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to research non-professional interpreting and translation
  • Community translation and interpreting
  • Non-professional translation and interpreting in crisis situations
  • Temporary interpreters and translators in conflict situations
  • Interpreting in prisons and between prisoners
  • Religious interpreters and translators

Submissions for this conference were closed on 2017-06-15.