top of page

Translating Scotland's Heritage

An RSE-funded Research Network

Led by Dr Sharon Deane-Cox (University of Strathclyde) in conjunction with Historic Environment Scotland

Mediating the past - challenges & opportunities

This research network is a collaborative forum that aims to encourage and advance thinking around the translation of Scotland’s heritage sites across languages, cultures and peoples. It starts from the premise that translation - understood broadly to include interlingual and intralingual translation, sign language interpreting and audio description - plays a fundamental role in how the historic environment is accessed and experienced by visitors. 

We have already initiated stimulating, long-overdue dialogues between researchers, heritage and translation professionals, as well as advocates for the Deaf and Blind communities. We are keen to harness the insights that have emerged from these discussions for the effective transmission and promotion of Scotland’s past, while raising wider awareness of the economic, cultural and interpersonal value of quality translation.

If you are interested in learning more about our previous and forthcoming activities, please have a look at the information below. And feel free to contact us with any comments, suggestions or queries - we'd love to hear from you! 

Communication Tower

"Europe’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is our common wealth - our inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come. It is an irreplaceable repository of knowledge and a valuable resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion. It enriches the individual lives of hundreds of millions of people, is a source of inspiration for thinkers and artists, and a driver for our cultural and creative industries."

European Commission (2014)

Public Lecture

Prof David Katan: 'So what’s so special about Tourism Translation?'

Tourism translation is hardly considered a subject area by translation theorists, and is rarely done well in practice. In this paper I would like to give an overview of what it is in tourism translation that marks it out as distinctly different from many other translation fields, and what aspects of communication and translation theory would help in improving tourism translation.

In particular I will focus on 3 areas. The first is a discussion of the differences between translation as language transfer and translation as re-narration, particularly with regard to the heritage sector. It will be suggested that translated texts do not automatically narrate, and that communicating heritage requires attention to mindfulness, flow and culture-bound tourist gazes. Secondly we will look at specific translation issues with regard to an adaptation of Greimas’ typology (savoir, vouloir and pouvoir faire texts), each text type requiring its own translation priorities and solutions. Finally, we will touch on preferred culture-bound communication (and other) orientations and how they can be used to improve tourism translation.

Bio: David Katan is full professor of English and Translation at the University of Salento (Lecce). His 80+ publications include the seminal Translating Cultures: An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators (Routledge) and contributions to the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies, the Benjamins Handbook of Translation Studies and the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. He has been editor-in-chief of Cultus, the Journal of Intercultural Mediation and Communication since its creation in 2008. His current research interests focus on public service translation, translation of tourism guides and transcreation.

Upcoming Events

  • IATIS 2021 Barcelona - Panel 6: Heritage and Art in Translation
    IATIS 2021 Barcelona - Panel 6: Heritage and Art in Translation
    Tue, 14 Sept
    Pompeu Fabra University
    14 Sept 2021, 09:00 – 17 Sept 2021, 17:00
    Pompeu Fabra University, Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
    14 Sept 2021, 09:00 – 17 Sept 2021, 17:00
    Pompeu Fabra University, Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
    Important update: This will now be a hybrid event taking place from 14th to 17th September 2021.
  • Public Lecture - Accessing Heritage
    Public Lecture - Accessing Heritage
    Tue, 23 Feb
    Zoom webinar
    23 Feb 2021, 15:30 – 17:00 GMT
    Zoom webinar
    23 Feb 2021, 15:30 – 17:00 GMT
    Zoom webinar
    Joint public lecture hosted by the IRC & the CTISS (Heriot Watt University). Speakers: Anna Fineman (VocalEyes) "Whose heritage? Supporting equal access for blind and visually impaired people" and Dr Ellen Adams (KCL) "Integrating access into the mainstream"

Contact Us

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page