Seminar Series 2021-22

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Please find below details of the Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments.  Due to the current world situation these seminars are taking place online, if you would like to join us, please email April Harper for a link.  {A [dot] Harper2 [at]}

This vibrant seminar series hosts leading scholars and CEOs of companies to report on their work and vision related to the technology for translators and interpreters covering among other topics translation and interpreting tools and resources and Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence solutions. The seminar series has both strong research and industrial foci and as such serves not only as a forum showcasing latest research, professional practices, software and business developments but also bridging the gap between academia and the industry.

This seminar series is hosted by Professor Ruslan Mitkov.

Professor Gloria Corpas Pastor, University of Wolverhampton/University of Malaga

21 & 28 January 2022, 11:00-12:30

Title and abstract TBC


BA in German Philology (English) from the University of Malaga. PhD in English Philology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (1994). Professor in Translation Technology at the Research Institute in Information and Language Processing (RIILP) of the University of Wolverhampton, UK (since 2007). Professor in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Malaga, Spain (since 2008).  Honorary Adjunct Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China (since 2020). Published and cited extensively, member of several international and national editorial and scientific committees. Her research lines cover computational and corpus-based phraseology, lexicography, corpus-based translation, and language technologies applied to translation and interpreting. Spanish delegate for AEN/CTN 174 and CEN/BTTF 138, actively involved in the development of the UNE-EN 15038:2006 and currently involved in various ISO Standards (ISO TC37/SC2-WG6 “Translation and Interpreting”). Extensive experience in evaluation, validation and quality assurance of University degrees (BA, MA, and Doctorate). Chair of the Evaluation and Verification Commission of the Arts and Humanities field for Madri+d. Consultant for the Spanish Ministry of Research and other University programmes evaluation bodies (ANECA, AQU, ACCUEE, DEVA). President of AIETI (Iberian Association of Translation and Interpreting Studies, 2015-2017), Vice-President of AMIT-A (Association of Women in Science and Technology of Andalusia, 2014-2017), Director of the Department of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Malaga (2016-2021), she is currently Board member of the Advisory council of EUROPHRAS (European Society of Phraseology) and member of the Presidential Committee of AIETI, which is an advisory body of the association.

Maria Stasimioti, University of Thessaloniki

17 December 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title and abstract TBC

Lyke Esselink, University of Amsterdam


10 December 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Text-to-sign translation: making information accessible


Communication between healthcare professionals and deaf patients is challenging, and the current COVID-19 pandemic makes this issue even more acute. Sign language interpreters can often not enter hospitals and face masks make lipreading impossible. To address this urgent problem, SignLab Amsterdam developed a system which allows healthcare professionals to translate sentences that are frequently used in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 into Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Translations are displayed by means of videos and avatar animations. The architecture of the system is such that it could be extended to other applications and other sign languages in a relatively straightforward way.


In the first part of this talk, I will present an overview of the system created by SignLab Amsterdam. I will provide a background on the problem at hand, explain the basics of sign languages and sign synthesis, and outline our system and the process behind its implementation. The second part of the talk will focus on an extensive evaluation study that we did, of which the results are not yet published. I will cover the methodology of this study, some important lessons that we learned from the process, and unveil some of the results.



Lyke Esselink is a Master’s student in Artificial Intelligence at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, and completed her bachelor’s degree in AI at the University of Amsterdam. Since the start of 2020, she combined her education with her interest in sign language through research at SignLab Amsterdam, where she has investigated the translation of text to Sign Language of the Netherlands. Research interest areas include Machine Translation, Natural Language Processing and accessibility technologies.

Dr Todor Lazarov, New Bulgarian University/Sofita

3 December 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Modern Enterprise Translation Management: Problems, Compliance and Resources


Modern-day LSP companies have extensive translation experience and deep industry know-how. They work with vendors who already use “some” language technology – e.g. certain CAT tools, certain file formats, etc. Companies often own, but unfortunately rarely have full control of their linguistic assets and resources. LSPs benefit from TM usage and leverage, but usually they find it difficult to manage their production process and to effectively manage their linguistic resources. Most probably these statements describe the most common situation for most LSPs! In this presentation the author will outline the most common problems for modern day LSP companies regarding the effective management of internal and external linguistic resources. We will elaborate on compliance problems (such as compliance with the industry specialized ISO 17100) and we will try to construct and describe a system for effective management of linguistic resources and ROI. The current trend is to collect linguistic resources with as much as possible meta-information, but rarely this meta-information is useful for practical business purposes – we will try to elaborate on how converting this “artefacts” into useful “instruments” can benefit the production process and in addition – how the mainstream LSP production process can be used to create resources for different NLP tasks.



Dr. Todor Lazarov holds a PhD degree in Computational linguistics and has a diverse background in Linguistics. He has also specialized Artificial Intelligence in the University of Amsterdam. Todor teaches courses in the programmes of the Centre for Computational and Applied Linguistics in New Bulgarian University and he is also working as Research and Development Manager at Sofita Translation Agency. He has a diverse experience with CAT tools and has also established successful collaboration with different commercial MT providers. His research interests include machine translation, modern translation technologies, machine translation evaluation and CAT tools. Todor is also providing subject matter expertise and consultation to different LSP`s in Bulgaria.

Rocío Caro, University of Wolverhampton

26 November 2021, 14:00-15.30

Title: Integration of TM and MT


Translation Memories (TM) and Machine Translation (MT) have been used by translators for a long time, but research has mainly studied them separately until very recently. Nowadays, however, not only academic research is focused on the integration of TM and MT, but many CAT tools include the possibility of working with an MT engine as well. Some companies claim that the integration of the two technologies is beneficial for translators as it may increase their productivity, but there are not comprehensive studies on the topic and very little is known about the efforts, productivity and opinion of translators on using translation tools that integrate TM and MT, and the quality of the final texts. In the first part of the talk, I will present the different ways TM and MT can be integrated, which are divided into two main categories: internal or external integration. In the second part, I will present the project we are currently carrying out to study the post-editing efforts (technical, temporal, and cognitive) of translators working in an external integrated environment (i.e., both TM and MT segments are presented to the translator), the preliminary findings, what we found about the opinion of translators, and the next steps of the project.

Dr Antonio Toral, University of Groningen

19 November 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Machine-Aided Literary Translation: State of Affairs in the Early 2020s


To what extent can machine translation be used to translate literary texts? Could such machine translations be of any use to professional literary translators? Could readers benefit in any way from the resulting machine-aided translations?

Through these and other related questions, I aim to present the current state of affairs concerning the application of machine translation to literary texts, focusing on fiction. Taking into account the shortcomings encountered to date, I will then outline potential lines of research that may occupy us in the first half of the 2020s.



Antonio Toral is an Senior Lecturer in Language Technology at the University of Groningen. He holds a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the University of Alicante and has carried out research in the area of Machine Translation (MT) since 2010. His research interests include the application of MT to literary texts, MT for under-resourced languages and the analysis of translations produced by machines and humans.

Dr Celia Rico, Machine Translation Specialist

12 November 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Translation and machines: artefacts, instruments and the evolving role of the translator


The advent of neural machine translation has undoubtedly affected the translation industry, speeding up the digitalization process, taking translator productivity to new heights, and lowering production prices. One of the immediate consequences is the gradual depletion of the traditional role of translators, who see their work reduced to the revision of isolated segments produced by a machine. The risk of translation becoming a marginal activity is high (Pym 2014, 37) if the task is simplified in the mechanical substitution of words and phrases detached from the communicative context in which they originated. We can even think of the subrogation of the essential work of translators, who are forced to leave their main job in the hands of the computer.

This trend, which, on the other hand, is not alien to other production processes or services, can be explored in the light of a tension between “artefacts” versus “instruments” (Alonso and Calvo 2015): an artefact is an isolated object that performs a series of functions without having any relationship with its user, while the instrument is associated to the user as an essential part of a process. From this perspective, we can analyse both the technological object itself and the different ways in which users (or society, by extension) interact with it.

In this talk, I will use this framework to analyse the changes that the latest developments in machine translation have brought to the job profile and workflows of professional translators. My contention is that linear processes of translation that conceive machine translation as an artifact are obsolete, and that only by considering this technology as an instrument can translators remain in control of the process.


Celia Rico holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics, an MSc in Machine Translation and an MBA. With an extensive background in Translation Technologies research, Dr. Rico’s publications have concentrated on areas such as translation memory evaluation, machine translation, post-editing, and the impact of new technologies on the translation profession. Her major contributions to this field are to be found in different international publications. She is member of the Expert Committee “Post-editing of Machine Translation Output” at ISO TC37. 

Dr Maria Kunilovskaya, University of Wolverhampton

5 November 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Human Translation Quality Estimation and Translationese


In the first part of the talk I will present a fairly novel NLP task of human translation quality estimation (HTQE) and discuss problems associated with benchmarking human translation quality. How far do human assessors agree on (human) translation quality? What types of labels/scores can be used to reflect quality? What are the existing approaching to predict these labels? If a professional jury in a translation contest manages to achieve agreement on the top-ranking and, especially on bottom-ranking, translations (with possible fine-grained disagreements about the exact ranks) what does it take to teach a machine to distinguish between good and bad translations? Such a model can be applied in educational and certification contexts for filtering out translations that are definitely below the expected standard to reduce the workload for human assessors. The second part of the talk will explore the concept of translationese, and its potential for learning human translation quality. Do you expect good translations to read smoothly and naturally as if originally-written in the target language? Can we use the distance between translations and the expected target language norm to measure translation quality? I will largely draw on the findings reported in our latest publications:

Kunilovskaya, M. and G. Corpas Pastor (2021). Translationese and register variation in English-to-Russian professional translation. In L. Lim, D. Li, and V. Wang (Eds.), New Perspectives on Corpus Translation Studies. Springer.

Kunilovskaya, M., Lapshinova-Koltunski, E., & Mitkov, R. (2021).Translationese in Russian Literary Texts. Proceedings of the 5th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature. EMNLP.

Dr Laura Mejías Climent, Jaume I University

29 October 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: A technological approach to audiovisual translation: How to localize a video game


New technologies have brought about the emergence of modern forms of audiovisual entertainment. In this current and technologized landscape, localization has become a key industry to ensure that all kinds of digital, multimedia and multimodal products reach markets different from the one where the product was originally developed. It is a complex process encompassing the adaptation of the product at different levels, not only the linguistic one but also at technical, legal and aesthetic levels.

Localization is typically used to modify software products, video games and website content. Each group share aspects such as the digital and technological nature of the products and their added interactive dimension. The process of localization in each group is also similar to a certain extent. Nonetheless, some differences can be noticed when analyzing the processes thoroughly.

In this context, this presentation aims to describe the particularities that localization entails when dealing with video games and their audiovisual assets. To do so, the concept of video games as multimodal and technological products will be reviewed, as well as some key aspects of the localization industry, focusing on the adaptation of audiovisual contents requiring some form of audiovisual translation (dubbing or subtitling).  


Laura Mejías-Climent holds a PhD in Translation (Universitat Jaume) and works as an Assistant Professor and researcher (group TRAMA) at the same university. She has taught at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide and ISTRAD (both in Sevilla), and teaches at the Universidad Europea (Valencia). She has worked as a translation project manager and a professional translator specialized in audiovisual translation and localization. She has also taught in the USA thanks to a Fulbright scholarship.

In addition to her PhD, she holds a Master’s Degree in audiovisual translation, a Master’s Degree in translation and new technologies, and completed the Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and Languages. Her lines of research focus on Descriptive Translation Studies (translation for dubbing and video game localization), and she is currently involved in a research project combining machine translation and dubbing.

Dora Murgu & Aleks Sandor Milovanovic, Interprefy

15 October 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: The backstage of a hybrid event – a complex string puppet called RSIBOX 


Hybrid events have been at the core of Interprefy since its creation in 2014 when remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) was only accepted as a sideline to in-person events, where complex language pairs or space restrictions could require expanding the pool of in-person interpreting teams to one that also included remote participation. The real breakthrough came in 2018 when Interprefy won their first UN tender and the International Seabed Authority signed on with Interprefy as the first UN agency to replace onsite interpreters for their major meetings with remote interpreters for a whooping cost savings of almost a million dollars. From there it went strength to strength and culminated at WHA73 which was watched by a total of 800 million people worldwide, being the first world health assembly that was fully online in the history of World Health Organizatio).

At Interprefy we have developed our own plug and play equipment (RSIBOX) which can be used onsite for seamless bridge between AV and Remote setups. The RSIBOX originated from experimentation in hybrid environments and is a piece of hardware that has been used on most football championships, Euro 2020 being the most prominent example.

During this webinar Aleks and Dora will speak about what goes on backstage for a seamless hybrid event and discuss the technology behind our RSIBOX. This webinar is oriented at EM TTI students who have a particular interest in interpreting technology, AV systems and hardware.


Dora Murgu. Romanian born and Spanish bred, Dora started her career as a conference interpreter. She soon transitioned into the backstage of interpretation services after creating a pioneering training program for OPI which she later taught at universities across Spain for over six years. She has presented several papers at major industry conferences and published articles on interpreting quality management, interpreter training and OPI service provision in Spain. She has worked for major LSPs and RSI providers for the past 13 years and currently holds the position of Interpreter Engagement Manager at Interprefy, one of the leading RSI platforms on the market. When she’s not immersed in the world of interpreters she threads the waters of the Arabian Gulf with her SUP board in Dubai, where she lives with her family.

Aleks Sandor Milovanovic. Raised in South Africa, Hungarian citizen Aleks Sandor moved to Switzerland in 2014. As one of the most senior members of Interprefy (the 3rd to be precise) he built the original Operations Team for which he was responsible during the first startup phase of the company. Shortly before COVID hit he created the Special Operations Department to more efficiently respond to a high demand of very sensitive clients such as the UN, IMF and UEFA. The innovation that stemmed from his leadership included the Interprefy Gateway solution which was first used at the Google PES 2018 and notably at the UN Hybrid Rooms setup which enabled UN to resume their operations after nearly three months of meetings without interpretation. In his spare time, Aleks enjoys kayaking and cycling around lake Zurich. 

Dr Joss Moorkens, Dublin City University

8 October 2021, 11:00-12:30

Title: Ethics and NMT


Neural MT can facilitate communication in a way that surpasses previous MT paradigms, but there are also consequences of its use. As with the development of any technology, MT is not ethically neutral, but rather reflects the values of those behind its development. This talk considers the ethical issues around MT, beginning with data gathering and reuse and looking at how MT fits with the values and codes of the translator. If machines and systems reflect value systems, can they be explicitly ‘good’ and remove bias from their output? What is the contribution of MT to discussions of sustainability and diversity? Rather than promoting an approach that involves following a set of instructions to implement a technology unthinkingly, this talk will highlight the importance of a conscious decision-making process when designing a data-driven MT workflow.


Joss Moorkens is an Associate Professor and Chair of postgraduate translation programmes at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. He is also a Funded Investigator with the ADAPT Centre and a member the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies. He has authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers on translation technology, user interaction with and evaluation of machine translation, translator precarity, and translation ethics. He is General Coeditor of the journal Translation Spaces with Prof. Dorothy Kenny, and coedited the book ‘Translation Quality Assessment: From Principles to Practice’, published in 2018 by Springer, and special issues of Machine Translation (2019) and Translation Spaces (2020). He leads the Technology working group (with Prof. Tomas Svoboda of Charles University) as a board member of the European Masters in Translation network and sits on the advisory board of the Journal of Specialised Translation.

Dr Parthena Charalampidou, University of Thessaloniki

1 October 2021, 11:00 – 12:30

Title: Storytelling and multimodal metaphors in technical and operative content of multilingual corporate websites.


Technical Communication constitutes a prerequisite for a product’s safe and efficient usage, as well as an inextricable part of its dissemination processes and branding strategy. It has to be localized, i.e. culturally adapted to the countries in which a company’s products or services are marketed, supporting their respective languages, and optimized for multilingual SEO. Traditionally, Technical Communication was offered in printed form only and took place through written discourse usually accompanied by supporting images. However, with the advent of technology and the development of digital means of communication, Technical Communication has transformed into a multisemiotic and multimodal form of communication. Dynamic pictures and videos have replaced static technical content found in imagetexts. Moreover, interactive elements allow users to share their personal experiences with the product and even become producers of Technical Communication content themselves (Kimball, 2006).

In this context, technical content is no longer isolated from the company’s marketing strategy but is rather very often integrated into it through the hypermodal possibilities offered by the multimedial context in which it occurs. The brand’s storytelling can then take various forms and can become intertwined, through different traversals, with the product’s technical documentation. Thus, although technical content was formally considered mainly informative, new realities reveal that technical content can be both operative and expressive, in line with the marketing story of the brand.

In this talk we will address this new form of multimodal technical content and the development of digital storytelling in localized  and international corporate website versions. We will examine, comparatively and contrastively, the multisemiotic narratives that are being developed in different cultural contexts, in order to appeal to different audiences, either local or international ones. Particular attention will be given to multimodal rhetorical tropes such as multimodal metaphors and the way they contribute to a corporate website’s narrative. Multimodal metaphors’ culture-specificity is expected to unveil discrepancies in different language versions.

Short bio

Parthena Charalampidou holds a BA in English Language and Literature, an MA in Language and Communication Sciences and a PhD in Translation and Website Localization from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research interests revolve around semiotic, rhetorical and cultural approaches to translation and she is particularly interested in the localization of promotional digital genres (transcreation) and in the application of technology and corpora to translation. Currently, she teaches Localization and Multimodal translation at the department of Translation, School of French Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is also a member of the teaching staff of the Joint EMT Postgraduate Programme “Interpreting and Translation” and has been a Visiting Scholar of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme ‘Technology for Translation and Interpreting’ for the spring semester of 2020-2021. She has worked as a freelance translator and she is a member of scientific associations for translation and semiotics. She has participated in national and international conferences and her research has been published in various scientific journals, volumes and conference proceedings. She has recently translated Miguel Jimenez Crespo’s book “Translation and Web Localization” in Greek.