Funded research projects

Brief details of our current and recently completed funded research projects are listed here. Further details can be obtained either by visiting the relevant websites or by contacting those involved in the research.

Several projects were funded by the European Union (H2020, European Directorate for Justice, Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus+). We have also received funding from the AHRC.

Technologies in interpreting

Dates

2015 - 2018.

Details

As a result of globalization and the continuous development and improvement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), spoken language travels through new devices and means. The same phenomenon is observed in the field of spoken-language interpreting where, alongside traditional “face-to-face” interpreting, remote interpreting is spreading through teleconferencing and videoconferencing systems. There is therefore a strong need to update existing theoretical models of interpreter-mediated communication and approaches to educating interpreters and their clients so as to include ICT-based communication and interpreting techniques.

Building on insights from linguistics and multimodality, the research focuses on the concept of situated orality. It tests and develops this concept in relation to orality in technology-mediated communication and in relation to different fields of interpreting (public service, healthcare, legal and business interpreting). The frameowrk will be applied to (a) the analysis of remote, interpreter-mediated dialogue interactions and (b) the development of educational materials for trainee and professional interpreters.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Elena Davitti.

Partners

  • University of Bologna/Forlì (IT, lead partner)
  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • University of Seville (ES)
  • University of Granada (ES)
  • Dualia SL (ES)
  • VeasyT (IT).

Funded by the European Commission, Erasumus+ programme.

See the SHIFT project website for more information.

Dates

2014 - 2016.

Details

This project built on the work conducted in the AVIDICUS 1 and 2 projects (see below). The practical insights from these projects relate directly to European eJustice. The important role of videoconferencing in European eJustice and the multilingual nature of Europe mean that bilingual, interpreter-assisted videoconferences are likely become frequent in legal proceedings across Europe. Justice sector institutions in Europe therefore need to make appropriate provisions for the integration of interpreters in video links, especially links between courts and remote defendants or witnesses. In line with this, AVIDICUS 3 focused on the design and implementation of bilingual videoconferencing solutions in the justice sector. The project conducted a comprehensive assessment of the videoconference solutions used in different types of justice sector institutions across Europe in order to ascertain whether these solutions are suitable for bilingual communication involving an interpreter. A related aim was to make the training solutions developed in AVIDICUS 1 and 2 more accessible. Based on the insight that that traditional face-to-face training can be costly or impractical, AVIDICUS 3 developed an innovative method for using the medium of videoconference itself to deliver training in bilingual videoconferencing.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Elena Davitti
  • Research Fellow: Sara Dicerto.

Partners

  • University of Surrey (lead partner)
  • KU Leuven (BE)
  • Ministry of Security Justice (NL)
  • Institut Télécom (FR)
  • University of Alicante (ES)
  • University of Trieste (IT)
  • Ann Corsellis OBE (UK).

Funded by the European Union Criminal Justice Programme, Project JUST/2013/JPEN/AG/4553, 2014-16.

See the Video-Mediated Interpreting (AVIDICUS projects) website for more information and/or follow the project on Twitter.

Dates

2011 - 2013.

Details

Based on the outcomes of AVIDICUS 1, the AVIDICUS 2 project investigated a) the impact of factors such as such as training, familiarisation and quality of equipment on the quality of videoconference-based interpreting, and b) the potentially changing communicative dynamics in videoconference-based interpreting. The first strand replicated the AVIDICUS 1 studies, involving the same interpreters but providing them with short-term training in videoconference-based interpreting before they participated again. Moreover, better equipment was used. The findings of this research create a complex picture, making it impossible to say without reservation that training, familiarization and the use of better equipment resulted in a clear performance improvement. The second strand of research focussed on the analysis of the communicative dynamic in real-life court hearings that used videoconferencing and interpreting and revealed differences in the dynamics of the communication between traditional and video-mediated settings. Videoconference interpreting in court seems to entail a reduction in the quality of the intersubjective relations between the participants and a greater fragmentation of the discourse.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Margaret Rogers
  • Research Fellow: Judith Taylor.

Partners

  • University of Surrey (lead partner)
  • Lessius Hogeschool Antwerp (BE)
  • Local Police Antwerp (BE)
  • Ministry of Justice (NL)
  • Legal Aid Board (NL)
  • TEPIS Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators (PL)
  • Télécom (FR)
  • Ann Corsellis OBE (UK).

Funded by the European Commission Criminal Justice Programme, Project JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1558, 2011-13.

See the Video-Mediated Interpreting (AVIDICUS projects) website for more information and/or follow the project on Twitter.

Dates

2008 - 2011.

Details

Videoconference technology is now widely used in criminal proceedings to speed up cross-border communication, reduce costs and increase security. The emerging settings – e.g. video links between courtrooms and witnesses abroad, between police stations and prisons – also involve bilingual communication and therefore require interpreters to be integrated into the videoconference setting. Moreover, videoconference technology offers a potential solution for shortages of qualified legal interpreters, especially for minority languages. Remote interpreting via video link using interpreters at distant locations, possibly abroad, is gaining momentum in criminal proceedings.

While these developments had begun to change the practice of legal interpreting, very little was known about the viability and quality of videoconference-based interpreting. There was a high risk of potential miscarriages of justice through the combined effects of technical mediation (videoconferencing) and linguistic mediation (interpreting). Relevant training for legal practitioners and interpreters regarding videoconference-based interpreting was non-existent. Addressing these issues, the AVIDICUS project conducted the first ever surveys among legal interpreters and judicial institutions in Europe to elicit interpreter experience with videoconference-based interpreting and institutional plans to use it. This enabled us to identify the most pressing problems and the most likely future occurrences of videoconference-based interpreting.

We then conducted a comparative study to compare the interpreting quality (e.g. accuracy) achieved with traditional methods of interpreting and in video links for the situations identified (e.g. police interviews in the UK). The quantitative analysis of the data shows a higher number of interpreting problems and a faster decline of interpreting performance over time in video links, suggesting greater difficulties for interpreters and a faster onset of fatigue. Based on these findings, the project developed guidelines of good practice for video interpreting in criminal proceedings, and designed and piloted training modules for interpreters and legal practitioners. This researched formed the basis for one of our REF2014 impact case.

The AVIDICUS guidelines were recognised as European-wide guidelines for videoconference-based interpreting in legal proceedings and integrated in the European e-Justice portal.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Margaret Rogers
  • Research Fellow: Judith Taylor.

Partners

  • University of Surrey (lead partner)
  • Lessius Hogeschool Antwerp (BE)
  • Local Police Antwerp (BE)
  • Ministry of Justice (NL)
  • Legal Aid Board (NL)
  • TEPIS Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators (PL)
  • Ann Corsellis OBE.

Funded by the European Commission Criminal Justice Programme, Project JLS/2008/JPEN/03, 2008-11.

See the Video-Mediated Interpreting (AVIDICUS projects) website for more information and/or follow the project on Twitter.

Dates

2012 - 2013.

Details

The DUTT project was a collaborative project led by the National Offender Management Service for England and Wales. Within the context of the European Union Framework Decisions 909 and 947 on the cross-border transfer of custodial and non-custodial sentences in Europe, the aim of the DUTT project was to study and evaluate the use of video-conferencing technology and touch screen facilities as a means of enhancing the cross-border resettlement of offenders between European Union member states. Surrey contributed a qualitative assessment of the use of videoconferencing technology in cross-border resettlement.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Research Fellow: Judith Taylor.

Funded by the European Commission Criminal Justice Programme, 2012-13.

Dates

Start date: February 2018
End date: March 2020

Summary

The University of Surrey has been commissioned by the Office of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner to undertake an independent evaluation of the Video Enabled Justice (VEJ) programme. The VEJ programme involves the pilot implementation of new digital and video technology in magistrates’ courts and police custody suites including: a new digital booking tool designed to identify and reduce time gaps between cases; and the installation of new video technology in police custody suites.

The evaluation will document the conduct of first appearances, breach of bail and arrest warrant hearings both before and after the implementation of new digital and video equipment. These hearings will involve defendants detained in police custody, appearing either via a video link from custody suites, or in person at magistrates’ courts. Comparative analysis of hearings conducted in face-to-face mode and in VEJ video-enabled mode, both before and after the implementation of the new equipment, will support a systematic appraisal of the differences and similarities as experienced by courtroom participants between these modes.

Objectives

The evaluation will assess the extent to which quantitative and qualitative benefits of the new digital and video equipment have been achieved. It will also identify any unintended consequences or issues resulting from the pilot initiative. Overall, the evaluation aims to inform the optimisation of the affordances offered by the VEJ platform and system.

Methodology

The evaluation will triangulate both primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative data. The main stages of the research will involve:

  • Desk-based research to appraise the policy context and review of the academic and practitioner literature bases.
  • Systematic observations of the ‘before’ stage prior to the VEJ pilot, including video-enabled hearings with old-style technology and traditional face-to-face hearings.
  • Systematic observations of the ‘after’ stage following the implementation of the VEJ pilot, including video enabled hearings with the new-style technology and traditional face-to-face hearings.
  • The systematic observations will be analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential models, triangulated against qualitative field data.
  • Semi-structured interviews with legal professionals, lay participants and other individuals with relevant knowledge and/or experience of the magistrates' courts.
  • Analysis of secondary quantitative data.

The team

Principal investigator: Professor Nigel Fielding

Co-investigator: Professor Sabine Braun

Researchers: Dr Graham HiekeChelsea Mainwaring

Contact

For further information about this project, please contact Dr Graham Hieke.

Technologies in interpreter education

Dates

2015 - 2018.

Details

As a result of globalization and the continuous development and improvement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), spoken language travels through new devices and means. The same phenomenon is observed in the field of spoken-language interpreting where, alongside traditional “face-to-face” interpreting, remote interpreting is spreading through teleconferencing and videoconferencing systems. There is therefore a strong need to update existing theoretical models of interpreter-mediated communication and approaches to educating interpreters and their clients so as to include ICT-based communication and interpreting techniques.

Building on insights from linguistics and multimodality, the research focuses on the concept of situated orality. It tests and develops this concept in relation to orality in technology-mediated communication and in relation to different fields of interpreting (public service, healthcare, legal and business interpreting). The frameowrk will be applied to (a) the analysis of remote, interpreter-mediated dialogue interactions and (b) the development of educational materials for trainee and professional interpreters.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Elena Davitti.

Partners

  • University of Bologna/Forlì (IT, lead partner)
  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • University of Seville (ES)
  • University of Granada (ES)
  • Dualia SL (ES)
  • VeasyT (IT).

Funded by the European Commission, Erasumus+ programme.

See the SHIFT project website for more information.

Dates

2013 - 2014.

Details

Research into the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to create Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in different educational settings shows positive results but also raises questions about the affordances of different technologies and the impact of system design on the learning process. In the context of interpreter - mediated communication, questions that need to be investigated are how and what interpreting students and users of interpreting services learn in VLEs; how different VLEs can support different types of learning activities; how VLEs are able to simulate real-life conditions to bridge the worlds of work and education; and how VLEs simulating interpreter-mediated communication can work for learners from diverse backgrounds. Against this backdrop and capitalising on the outcomes of previous research and development projects, EVIVA evaluated the educational opportunities of three types of VLE which were deemed to be particularly useful in the context of interpreter-mediated communication, i.e. video-based environments, videoconference-based environments and 3D virtual environments. Click here to see an overview of the VLEs evaluated in EVIVA.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigators: Margaret Rogers, Elena Davitti
  • Research Fellows: Catherine Slater, Sara Dicerto.

Partners

  • University of Surrey (lead partner)
  • Bangor University (UK)
  • University of Cyprus (Cyprus)
  • University of Poznan (Poland)
  • Steinbeis Transfer Centre Language Learning Media (Germany).

Funded by the European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, Project 531140-LLP-1-2012-1-UK-KA3-KA3MP, 2013-14.

See the eVIVA project pages for more information.

Dates

2011 - 2013.

Details

The rise of migration and multilingualism in Europe requires professional interpreters in business, legal, medical and many other settings. Future interpreters therefore need to master an ever broadening range of interpreting scenarios and skills. This is difficult to achieve with traditional teaching methods and in times of reduced teaching contact hours. Also, in many of the emerging interpreting scenarios, a client-side understanding of what working with an interpreter involves is crucial, but efforts to educate potential clients of interpreters are scarce and normally separate from interpreter education.

Addressing the needs of future interpreters and users of interpreters in higher education, vocational training and adult learning contexts, this project used the exciting features of 3D virtual environment technology to create the first bespoke 3D virtual environment that supports the acquisition and application of skills required in interpreter-mediated communication.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Margaret Rogers
  • Research Fellow: Catherine Slater.

Partners

  • University of Surrey (lead partner)
  • Bangor University (UK)
  • University of Cyprus (Cyprus)
  • University of Poznan (Poland)
  • University of Tübingen (Germany)
  • Steinbeis Transfer Centre Language Learning Media (Germany)
  • Bar Ilan University (Israel).

Funded by the European Commission, Lifelong Learning Progamme, Project 511862-2010-LLP-UK-KA-KA3MP, 2011-13.

See the IVY project pages for more information.

Dates

2009 - 2011.

Details

The context for this project was Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), an innovative pedagogical approach which opens up new opportunities for language learning/teaching and for the development of language proficiency in interpreter/translator training. The project compiled a suite of video-based corpora of conversations, interviews and presentations, and developed a methodology for their pedagogical exploitation in language and interpreter education. The corpora are freely accessible at the BACKBONE project website.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Co-Investigator: Margaret Rogers
  • Research Fellow: Catherine Slater.

Partners

  • University of Tuebingen (Germany, lead partner)
  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • University of Murcia (Spain)
  • Erciyes University (Turkey)
  • Academy of Humanities and Economics in Lodz (Poland)
  • University of Limerick (Ireland)
  • Steinbeis GmbH & Co KG für Technologietransfer (Germany)
  • Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie du Jura (France).

Funded by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme, Project 143502-LLP-1-2008-1-DE-KA2-KA2MP, 2009-11.

Technologies in translation and lexicography

Details

The AHRC project "Collocaid: combining learner needs, lexicographic data and text editors to help learners write more idiomatically", is led by Ana Frankenberg-Garcia (Surrey), with Jonathan Roberts (Bangor) and Robert Lew (Poznan) as co-investigators. See the Collocaid project website for more information.

Multimodal and audiovisual translation

Details

MeMAD is a is a H2020 research project (2018 - 2020) which is led by Aalto University (Finland). The project will develop novel methods and models for managing and accessing digital audiovisual information in multiple languages and for various use contexts and audiences, based on a combination of computer vision technologies, human input and machine learning approaches to derive enhanced descriptions of audio-visual content. These descriptions will benefit the Creative Industries, especially TV broadcasters and on-demand media service providers, as well as people using their services, by enabling them to access audiovisual information in novel ways.

As a partner in this project, CTS is responsible for Workpackage 5, Comparing Human and Machine-Generated Multimodal Content Description and Translation. Building on our expertise in investigating the semantic, pragmatic and discursive foundations of human audio description as an instance of multimodal translation and our experience of developing multimodal corpora, we will analyse and compare human and machine-generated descriptions of audiovisual content. The main objectives are to identify characteristic features and patterns of each method and to re-model audio description, which was originally developed as an aid for visually impaired people, into a method of describing audiovisual content for diverse audiences. The ultimate aim is to contribute to a conceptual solution for machine-assisted video description. The outcomes of this Workpackage will facilitate story-telling and the re-use of content in the broadcasting context, and improve media access for visually impaired people and other diverse groups.

Investigators

  • Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun
  • Research Fellow: Kim Starr.

Partners

  • Aalto University (FI)
  • University of Helsinki (FI)
  • Eurecom (FR)
  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • YLE (FI)
  • Lingsoft (FI)
  • Limecraft (BE)
  • Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (FR).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 780069.

Find MeMAD on the Web | Twitter | LinkedIn.

Translation and interpreting in the context of migration

Dates

2014 - 2016.

Details

This project, which was led by Middlesex University (UK), examined aspects of spoken-language interpreting in mediation and civil justice in the European area of justice. The project drew together a multi-disciplinary group from six member states, (Belgium, Holland, Italy, Romania, Spain, UK) to a) undertake an evaluation of the European Union (EU) acquis and other EU legislation directly or indirectly impacting on to the provision of interpreting and translation in civil justice proceedings; b) investigate how the corpus of work completed in successive EU part- funded projects on interpreting and translation in criminal justice can be adapted for civil justice; c) develop methodologies and online materials for practicing legal interpreters and translators to self-assess their competencies against the requirements of interpreting in civil justice; d) research the practice and impact of interpreting in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, including the use of bilingual mediators.

Investigators

Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun

Funded by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, Project JUST/2013/JCIV/AG/4000004684, 2014-16.

See the Understanding Justice project pages for more information.

Dates

2011 - 2013.

Details

The QUALITAS project was led by the University of Alicante. The aim of QUALITAS was to provide a roadmap for the development of valid and reliable certification procedures for interpreters working in judicial and police venues which would be provided to all 27 EU member states. Surrey contributed a qualitative assessment of the use of remote, videoconference-based testing procedures.

Investigators

Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun.

Partners

  • University of Alicante (lead partner)
  • Legal Aid Board (Netherlands)
  • University of Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Middlesex University (UK)
  • Free University of Studies for Innovation and Organisation - Lispio (Italy)
  • Lessius University College (Belgium)
  • University of Surrey (UK).

Funded by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, Project JUST/2011/JPEN/AG/2889, 2011-2013.

See the QUALITAS project pages for more information.

Dates

2011 - 2013.

Details

Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings calls on member states to "request those responsible for the training of judges, prosecutors and judicial staff involved in criminal proceedings to pay special attention to the particularities of communicating with the assistance of an interpreter so as to ensure efficient and effective communication" (Article 6).

Building mutual trust 2 (BMT2) was a European project led by Middlesex University to address this call by offering a video-based learning environment that demonstrates best practices when working with suspects, defendants and witnesses through a spoken language interpreter. The video materials are available freely through the BMT2 website. Surrey contributed to the training module on remote interpreting. 

Investigators 

Principal Investigator: Sabine Braun.

Partners

  • Middlesex University
  • University of Surrey.

Funded by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, Project JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1566, 2011-13. 

See the Building mutual trust project pages for more information.

Translation

Date

2013.

Details

Transnationalism, translation and travel in literary and cultural studies (TRANS) was a bi-lateral research project undertaken by the University of Surrey and the University of São Paolo (USP) that sought to establish and enhance international research in Arts and Humanities across the two universities. The project examined literary, linguistic and cultural movements relating to the phenomena of travel, translation, migration, mobility and diaspora through an interdisciplinary lens drawn from expertise in literary and cultural studies, languages and translation.

The work of TRANS was comparative, qualitative, theoretical and historically driven as well as providing cultural insights on pertinent issues in the world today. This research on transnationalism was unique in that it united internationally recognised researchers from across the two universities.

Investigators 

  • Principal Investigator: Professor Justin D Edwards (formely Surrey)
  • Co-Investigator: Professor Sandra Vasconcelos (USP)
  • Dr Ana Claudia Suriani da Silva (formerly Surrey)
  • Professor John Milton (USP), Prof. Margaret Rogers (Surrey)
  • Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas (Surrey)
  • Professor Laura P. Zuntini de Izarra (USP).

Partners

  • University of São Paolo
  • University of Surrey.

University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) 2013 bi-lateral research collaboration project between Surrey and USP.

Dates

2010 - 2013.

Details

The point of departure for this network project was that multilingual skills and high quality translation are key to creating and maintaining a multilingual and multicultural Europe, and that trained professional translators play a vital role in that process despite the recent advances in machine translation and multilingual information processing. In 2009, the efforts of professionals and academics specialising in the field of translation studies to address the issue of advanced translator education and training resulted in internationally recognized professional quality standards and quality control criteria and benchmarks. This was followed by the official launch of the European Masters in Translation Network (December 2009), under the auspices of the Commission’s DGT, as an important move towards the recognition of a Europe-wide reference framework for the high level training of translators.

The aim of the Optimale network was to build on, and feed into, the work being undertaken by the European Masters in Translation (EMT), extending the geographical scope of the surveys and monitoring process, and strengthening ties with institutions and professional bodies outside the circle of universities currently in the EMT network.

Investigators

Principal Investigators: Margaret Rogers, CI Vassilis Korkas.

Partners

This European network involved 70 partners from 32 different European countries (including 27 within the EU; Lead Partner: Université Rennes 2, France).

Funded by the Erasmus Academic Network; Project 177295-LLP-1-2010-1-FR-ERASMUS-ENWA, 2010-2013.

See the Translator Training website for more information.