Dilek Dizdar (Mainz - Germersheim)


Working with Case Studies in Translation Research - Questions raised and some Deconstructive Inspiration

Working with case studies has been a major way to conduct historical research in translation studies. The method was particularly shaped by the descriptive approach introduced by Toury (1980) who conceives of translation studies as an empirical discipline. The main aim in a historical study, according to Toury, is to situate translated texts in a historical context by reconstructing translation norms which were effective in that context. The empiricist approach has been criticized from different perspectives in translation studies (German functionalism, poststructuralism and others) but still is widely used, especially by young researchers. In this lecture, the reasons for this popularity and some problems which arise when we work on case studies will be discussed by means of an example. The lecture will combine a discusssion of epistemological issues (such as the problem of objectivity and the researcher's perspective) with inspirations from decontruction which will be applied to the example case study.


Dilek Dizdar is professor of intercultural German studies and translation studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and deputy director of the interdisciplinary research platform the Centre for Intercultural Studies. She studied translation, interpreting and theoretical linguistics at Boğaziçi University of Istanbul and gained her doctorate from the Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg in 2006. Her research focuses on the areas of translation theory, deconstruction and translation, translation politics, migration and translation, and the role of translation and translation studies within arts and humanities. Due to her interest in promoting young researchers in translation studies, she has initiated two PhD research groups at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Cultural Studies and Linguistics in Germersheim. Currently she is head supervisor of the doctoral research group Politics of Translation and staff member of the CETRA Research Summer School at the University of Leuven. For her work in the area of translation studies, Dizdar was honoured by the Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature with the Colloquia Academica prize in 2009. She is currently also a memberof the Gutenberg Research Council of Mainz University.

Wolfgang Pöckl (Innsbruck)


Translation in German-speaking countries after 1945: Four linguistic varieties, Four literatures, Four translation cultures

 The main challenge for historiographers of translations into German seems to be the fact that there never has been a homogeneous target culture. Germany and Austria have always represented two separate cultural areas with different literary currents etc. 

Since some decades, German has also been considered a pluricentric language. The linguistic “architecture” varies from country to country, and so do the respective translation cultures.

In post-war Germany, divided into two states (Federal Republic of Germany, German Democratic Republic), the established translation cultures differed profoundly in ideological as well as in commercial respects. In Austria and in (diglossic) Switzerland, where dialects play an important role in everyday life, intralingual translation has become an indispensable resource of communication.

Today, Germany is predominant on the translation market but Austrian editors traditionally hold some niches (for instance literatures from the Balkan Peninsula) and pave the way for authors whose mother tongue belongs to the less widely spoken languages. 


Born in 1952 in St. Gilgen (Austria), Wolfgang Pöckl studied German and French philology at the University of Salzburg from 1970 to 1975. He took his PhD in Romance Philology in 1978 and the “habilitation” in 1988 at the same university. From 1994 to 1997 he directed a research project (Contrastive Textology) financed by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF). In 1997, he became Full Professor at the University of Mainz (Germany), where he taught French and Italian linguistics, literature and culture at the Translation Studies Faculty in Germersheim. Since 2003, he has been professor of Translation Studies at the University of Innsbruck. From 2005 to 2013, he was Head of Department.

Visiting professorships: Valencia (Spain), Lausanne (Switzerland), Luxemburg and Graz (Austria).

His principal areas of investigation are Contrastive Linguistics and History of Translation.

Andreas F. Kelletat & Aleksey Tashinskiy

Übersetzen im Exil (1933–1945)

Die Jahre 1933 und 1945 markieren tiefe historische Einschnitte. Was aber bedeuten diese Daten für die Geschichte des Übersetzens? Wie haben sich Leben und (translatorisches) Werk von Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzern 1933 bzw.1945 verändert? Wer konnte bzw. musste ins Exil gehen? Wie waren dort (in Wien, Zürich, Prag, Paris, Stockholm, London, Rom, Jerusalem, Kairo, Moskau, Mexiko, New York, Neuseeland usw.) die Lebens- und Arbeitsbedingungen sowie Publikations­möglichkeiten? Wie lassen sich zu diesen Fragen nach Umfang, Art, Dauer und Geografie des Exils Informationen „aus dem Internet“ gewinnen? Welche (digitalen) Recherche-Hilfsmittel stehen uns zur Verfügung? Und wie lassen sich die Resultate der Recherchen in Geschichten bzw. Geschichte des Übersetzens überführen?


Andreas F. Kelletat: Geboren 1954 in Hamburg. Studium der Fächer Germanistik, Osteuropäische Geschichte und Skandinavistik in Köln. Seit 1984 in der universitären Ausbildung von Übersetzern und Dolmetschern tätig, zunächst als DAAD-Lektor und Professor in Vaasa (Finnland), seit 1993 am Arbeitsbereich Interkulturelle Germanistik der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Germersheim. Herausgeber des Germersheimer Übersetzerlexikons.

Aleksey Tashinskiy: Geboren 1984 in Taschkent, Medizin-Studium dort. 2012 Abschluss des Zweitstudiums als Übersetzer und Konferenzdolmetscher mit den Arbeitssprachen Russisch, Deutsch und Englisch. Doktorand am Germersheimer Fachbereich Translations-, Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Mainz. Redakteur des Germersheimer Übersetzerlexikons (uelex.xde).

Carsten Sinner (Leipzig)

Foto: Urbschat/Berlin

On Oral history in Translatology


In 2013, the Institute of Applied Linguistics und Translatology at Leipzig University set up a programme in order to carry out a research project on the history of translation and interpreting from a perspective which has mostly been disregarded by Translatology; the translators’ and interpreters’ own point of view. The Oral History project is located at the intersection of biography studies, historiography of translation and translatology, source critique and the digitalization of both theory/research and practice.

The course gives an overview of possibilities and limits of the Oral History approach and a short introduction into some of the techniques used in Oral History research.


Carsten Sinner graduated in translation (Spanish, Portuguese) at Humboldt University (Berlin). PhD at Potsdam University on Spanish in Catalonia, Habilitation/Second book on Portuguese in the 18th and 19th century. He holds the chair of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (Ibero-Romance Languages) at Leipzig University and is also director of the Basque , Catalan, and Galician centres as well as of the Judeo-Spanish Research Centre at the same institution. His research focuses on contact linguistics, translation, mediation and the historiography of linguistics and translatology. Visiting professor at several universities, including the University of Havanna, Cuba, the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, the Catolic University of Temuco, Chile, and the University of Brasília, Brazil.

Among his recent publications are Varietätenlinguistik (Narr, Tübingen, 2014), “Sprachmittlung im universitären Übersetzungsunterricht” (Hispanorama 155 (2017), 4-10) and, together with Beatriz Morales, “Translatologische Perzeptionsstudien als Grundlage der Bestimmung gelungener Übersetzung” (Lebende Sprachen 60 (2015), 1, 111-123).

Małgorzata Tryuk (Warsaw)


Interpreters through history

In the research into community interpreting, especially during crisis, war, in situation of armed conflict, or under duress, the ethical dimensions of the tasks undertaken by translators and interpreters has been broadly analysed in numerous studies. In extreme and extraordinary circumstances, e.g. in concentration camps during World War II, the generally accepted norms for translation and interpreting in community settings are no more applicable. It has been shown that interpreting under conditions where terror or an aggressively monolingual environment prevail can be understood as opposing the specialized habitus of community interpreter.

The course will combine a discussion of ethical issues in translation and interpreting studies and an analysis of biographies and ontological narratives of war interpreters and translators.


Małgorzata Tryuk is Full Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland; she is head of Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, head of the Department of Interpreting Studies and Audiovisual Translation and local Coordinator of the EMCI Postgraduate Program at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw. She studied Translation and Interpreting at the Higher School of Foreign Languages and at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw from 1971 to 1976. She took her PhD in Applied Linguistics in 1984 at the same university and the habilitation in Interpreting Studies at the “Adam Mickiewicz University” in Poznan in 2004.

Her principal areas of investigation are Interpreting Studies and History of Translation and Interpreting. She is editor and author of books, papers and chapters in Polish, French and English on terminology, translation and interpreting in public services, conference interpreting and translating. In  2015, she published the book On Ethics and Interpreters at Peter Lang, Frankfurt. She was visiting professor at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Cultural Studies and Linguistics. at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz  Germersheim in 2011.