Published: 29 April 2024

CTS Newsletter #3

Welcome to our April Newsletter, and the first of 2024. We have had a busy and proactive start to the year here at the Centre for Translation Studies (CTS), and we are excited to update you on our achievements over the last few months. Continue reading to discover all the latest news and updates.

CTS ITI CPD Course: Translation and AI
  • Weekly 90-minute sessions 
  • Start Date: 10th May 2024
  • 5 modules over 10 weeks
  • Limited places

Translation and AI: a done deal, right? Google, OpenAI, all other companies will take over the business of translation and they will not need translators... In this CPD course, organised in collaboration with ITI UK, Constantin Orasan, Félix do Carmo and Dimitris Asimakoulas will show that the future will be very different from what these narratives say. We will show how translators can work with AI (neural machine translation, large language models and other natural language processing tools) to their professional advantage. Across five different modules, you will be able to participate in practical tasks and discuss case studies, which will all contribute to help you speak like a specialist in AI and to explain why, also because of AI, translation may become one of the most sought-after professions. For more information and to enrol, go here:


How can AI assist in breaking down barriers to digital media accessibility?

We are delighted to announce that Sabine Braun, Director of CTS, and Elena Davitti have been awarded £2.15 million by the Leverhulme Trust to establish a new Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Network for AI-Enabled Digital Accessibility (ADA). The Network will support new research in an AI-enabled paradigm to investigate how AI, alongside human experience in audiovisual translation and input from user communities, can be used to develop responsible solutions for accessible digital content. The Network’s name, ADA, pays homage to computing pioneer, talented writer and translator Ada Lovelace, who resided in Surrey and overcame societal barriers faced by women in 19th Century England to Pursue her passion for mathematics. 

You can find more details about this exciting award on the University of Surrey Website. We will soon be inviting applications for PhD studentships in ADA, starting Autumn 2024. If you are interested and would like further information, please email

Sabine’s article on AI-enabled digital accessibility was featured in the Leverhulme Trust’s Newsletter in February 2024.

Collaborating with the Institute for Translation and Interpreting (ITI)

In collaboration with the Institute for Translation and Interpreting (ITI), CTS hosted two webinars in January focusing on themes related to AI and Translation/Interpreting. In the first webinar ‘What every Translator and Interpreter should know about AI’, Constantin Orasan presented a brief overview of key concepts we should understand when we discuss AI in the context of translation, while Félix do Carmo explored the risks associated with using AI in translation, and shared strategies for engaging in informed discussions about AI with colleagues and clients. The second webinar ‘How is AI changing translation and interpreting practice’ was dedicated to applications of AI, with Sabine Braun exploring how AI can be used in different interpreting workflows and modes of interpreting, and Dimitris Asimakoulas demonstrating and discussing uses of AI in creative writing and translation. We were overwhelmed by the interest, with each 90-minute session attended by over 200 people. Thank you to all who joined us. These webinars also served as introductions to new continuing professional development (CPD) offerings launched by CTS in collaboration with the ITI.  If you would like to watch the webinars, please contact ITI. Meanwhile, Sabine Braun has joined the ITI Working Group on AI. The group provides expertise to the ITI Board and supports the Board in championing the value of human translators and interpreters.

Welcome Dr Yuan Zou, Lecturer in Translation Studies

We congratulate Yuan Zou on her new appointment as Lecturer in Translation Studies. Yuan previously held a position in CTS as a Research Fellow working on translation technologies. In January she started her new position as Lecturer in Translation Studies aiming at co-developing next-generation human-centred AI for translation and interpreting together with Computer Scientists. Her research interests include language technologies, evaluating and benchmarking AI-based translation and interpreting, and improving digital media accessibility via live subtitles and audio description with the help of language technologies. 

Yuan is currently teaching Public Service Interpreting. Prior to joining Surrey, she was a Lecturer (Education) in Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast, where she gained experience in teaching Consecutive Interpreting, Simultaneous Interpreting, Commercial Interpreting, Public Service Interpreting, and in Translation. In her spare time Yuan loves to play badminton, squash and pickleball. 

European Association for Machine Translation sponsors research in CTS

We have successfully completed two projects funded by the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT), where we created translation-related resources. The project “Quality Estimation for Indic Languages” brought together researchers from CTS, the Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence (PAI) and Unbabel to create datasets to train and test Machine Translation Quality Estimation (MTQE) and Automatic Postediting systems for Indic languages (English to Gujarati, Tamil, Hind, Telugu). Parts of the datasets are already freely available and enabled the organisation of the MTQE shared tasks as the Conference of Machine Translation (WMT2023). CTS PhD student Shenbin Qian also received funding from EAMT for the “Post-editing for a Machine Translated Dataset of Emotion-loaded Microblog Texts” project which developed resources that for evaluating the quality of MT of emotion-loaded user-generated content. The dataset is available in our Github repository: Sindhujan, a PhD student co-supervised by CTS and PAI, received EAMT funding to develop resources for Explainable Quality Estimation for Malayalam.

CTS joins European Masters in Lexicography

Thanks to CTS’ expertise in corpus linguistics for lexicography and bilingual lexicography, CTS have been invited to be an Associate Member of the European Masters of Lexicography (EMLex). EMLex is an international Erasmus Mundus programme offered jointly by a consortium of European universities. This two-year degree with lecturers from different universities belonging to the consortium includes a one-semester stay abroad.


Neil Coulson, friend of CTS, founder of CommSOFT Ltd

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our esteemed colleague, Neil Coulson, Founder and CEO of CommSOFT Ltd, on 12th March 2024. As a long-term supporter and friend of CTS, Neil has been a beacon of inspiration for our research, initiating numerous joint projects, serving as an invaluable collaborator, advisor, and co-author. We feel incredibly fortunate to have shared in Neil's unwavering dedication to highlighting the disparities between human and machine translation, and to developing human-centric ways of using technology in translation. Even during our most serious conversations and challenging projects, Neil’s dry sense of humour never failed to bring a smile to our faces. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathies go out to Neil’s wife, Alison, and Neil’s family during this difficult time.

Thank you, Neil, for being such a great friend of CTS.


CTS visit to China Pharmaceutical University

Last month, Ana Frankenberg-Garcia and Fang Wang were invited to join the 18th Sino-Foreign Cultural Exchange week at China Pharmaceutical University (CPU). At the Opening Ceremony, Dr Frankenberg-Garcia highlighted Dr Zhao Lianzhen’s visiting fellowship at CTS and the value of cooperation between the two institutions. Ana and Fang then had the opportunity to meet and lead conversations with many students majoring in English at CPU. 

Ana also delivered a presentation on Learning to Learn Translation and Interpreting where she explained that machine translation can help the public translate texts that are not normally professionally translated (such as blogs and online product reviews) but emphasised the need for professional translation and interpreting in business, healthcare, government and legal settings, due to the many risks associated with machine translation, from costly errors to reputational loss, and impacts on fairness of justice and people’s health. Ana also explained how CTS’s Translation and Interpreting students learned to work and engage critically with a fast-evolving range of language technologies to provide quality and competitive professional services.

Fang, in turn, gave a talk on Studying Depression and Experiencing Wellbeing in Britain: a Chinese Perspective, presenting an account of her academic trajectory as a Chinese PhD student in the UK studying the language of depression through corpus linguistics to her current British Academy project and Lectureship at CTS, where every year she provides academic support and personal pastoral care to students coming from different parts of China to study Translation and/or Interpreting at Surrey. 

Ana and Fang were impressed with the warm welcome received in China, and look forward to forging closer links between CTS and CPU.

CTS student recruitment tour

In March, Matthew Crisp, Senior International Officer for East Asia, University of Surrey, and Fang Wang, conducted a joint student recruitment tour in China in March 2024, visiting Shanghai, Nanjing, Changsha and Chengdu. They met with key agencies and hosted a series of offer holder events. 

At UKEC (UK Education Centre), Matthew and Fang agreed to hold taster sessions on ‘translation and interpreting in the future’ to highlight the importance of translation studies. 

One of the highlights of the trip was a large-scale meeting with 41 agencies from across China, organised by Study Group, where Matthew and Fang had the opportunity to introduce CTS’ courses and forge links with agents for future collaboration.

During offer holder events in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Chengdu, Fang and Matthew provided information about living in Guildford and studying at the University of Surrey. This was an excellent opportunity to answer questions and support offer holders, who are at the very beginning of their Surrey study journey. We look forward to welcoming those students to CTS very soon. 


Slator – Language industry intelligence

The recent SLATOR 2024 Interpreting Technology and AI report features contributions from CTS’ Elena Davitti and Tomek Korybski. Elena and Tomek were interviewed to provide insights based on their research projects, SMART and MATRIC. They commented on hybrid workflows for live interlingual communication including AI-powered real-time speech-to-text and the unique skills language professionals bring into such workflows, creating complex forms of Human-AI Interaction. Following Elena’s contribution to a report on live subtitling in August 2023, this is the second time in six months that CTS have provided expertise for a major industry publication. 

The law society gazette

Collaborating with John Worne, the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIOL)Diana Singureanu co-authored an opinion piece in the Law Society Gazette addressing the challenges faced by legal interpreters in the UK. These challenges include fragmentation, downward pressure on rates, and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, making the profession less attractive to new starters. The article aims to raise awareness for the recent 'Working Together' White Paper, published by an expert working group comprising interpreting/translation associations, making ten urgent recommendations for moving towards creating a sustainable language services ecosystem for the UK’s courts and criminal justice system. Read ‘Lost in Translation’ on page 28 of the Law Society Gazette. 

Frontiers in Artificial intelligence

Within the framework of the recently concluded ESRC-funded SMART project (Shaping Multilingual Access through Respeaking Technology, ES/T002530/1, 2020–2023), led by Elena Davitti, a new paper was published in November 2023 on Frontiers in Artificial intelligence, Research Topic: Human-Centered AI at Work: Common Ground in Theories and Methods through collaboration with cognitive psychologist Anna-Stiina Wallinheimo and neuroscientist  Simon Evans. The article focuses on cognitive findings in relation to the complex cognitive activity investigated in the project, namely interlingual respeaking as an emerging form of real-time speech-to-text relying on the interaction between language professionals and speech recognition software. The study builds on an experiment involving over 50 language professionals undertaking a bespoke 25-hour upskilling course and exploring its effect on cognition, particularly executive functioning and working memory. To find out more, read the press release and download the paper here


Mental Health Communication Research

Fang Wang attended the 12th International Corpus Linguistics Conference at Lancaster University in July 2023 and the 21st China National Mental Health Research conference organsied by the Chinese Society of Psychiatry (CSP) in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in China in September 2023 to present her British Academy funded research into popular and scientific discourse on antidepressants in Britain and China, and to establish further collaboration with Chinese medical professionals working in mental health settings. Following the CSP Conference, Fang also attended China-UK nursing academic forum at Shanghai Mental Healthcare Centre, together with her collaborators Professor Chunbo Li, Vice President of Shanghai Mental Health Centre, Professor Lin Wang and her team from Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Professor Fiona Nolan, Clinical Professor in mental healthcare research in the UK, who have provided support to Fang’s research in the field of cross-cultural studies in mental healthcare settings. 

Translating and the computer- TC45

CTS participated in the 45th Translating and the Computer Conference (TC45) held in Luxembourg in November 2023, presenting a paper exploring the implications of Google Translate Error Analysis for Mental Healthcare Information. This research forms part of the EU project MHealth4all. The study specifically focused on evaluating accuracy, comprehensibility, and the broader implications for multilingual healthcare communication. Read it on arXiv.

Translation is thriving in Saudi Arabia

The Translation Forum, held in Riyadh last November, celebrated Arab poetry by bringing together international experts in poetry, language and translation. The forum was organised by the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission of the Saudi government, and had the participation of local and international professional organizations, such as IAPTI and NAATI, international companies like Nimdzi and Slator, and academic experts like Sharon O’Brien, Claudio Fantinuoli and Ruslan Mitkov.

CTS was represented at the event by Francesca Frittella and Félix do Carmo. Francesca moderated a panel discussion on ‘Simultaneous Interpreting and AI’, while Félix was one of the speakers of the panel on ‘Innovative approaches in teaching translation’, and he also held a workshop on the ‘Challenges of teaching neural machine translation’.

The forum was a vibrant event, with unique spaces and activities including a commercial fair, a space for students to experiment and compete in translation and interpreting tasks, a room for participants to interview speakers, and a space dedicated to writing poetry. The event highlighted that translation is a thriving activity in Saudi Arabia, with an increasing number of professionals, support from the government, new professional associations and companies.

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (TALC) Conference

Ana Frankenberg-Garcia was a keynote speaker at the 6th Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (TALC) Conference, University of Bialystok, Poland, December 7-8, 2023, presenting on Lexicography for (English) academic writing.


NeTTT Conference

CTS is co-organising the NeTTT conference ( which aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry in the field of translation and interpreting. The conference will take place between 3 and 6 July in Varna, Bulgaria. 

The deadline for submitting papers for the conference is 30th April 2024.


Congratulations to all of our MA students who graduated in April. It was a lovely day to celebrate all of their hard work and dedication. We also celebrated the graduation of one of our PhD students, Dr Diana Singureanu, who has since joined CTS as a Research Fellow in Interpreting Studies. Congratulations, Diana. 


Meet Felix Clutson

As a bright-eyed seven-year old, I watched, transfixed, as Dennis Bergkamp scored one of the great World Cup goals. His last-minute winner against Argentina was a thing of beauty, all grace, angles and artisanal precision. Years later, I heard the Dutch commentary from that day and it gave me goosebumps – Bergkamp's name belted out five times at increasing volume. Yet, in that delivery there were nuances of emotional, cultural importance, community and wonder. You can watch that moment on YouTube here.

Football has always served somewhat as a prism for life for me, and it is this that I look through, constantly, for my PhD. I am an AHRC TECHNE funded student at CTS, looking at footballing identity through the medium of museums. My working languages for this are English, German and Football (dyed in the wool Reading fan dialect). I am particularly interested in the tensions between football as a game rooted in local community identities and football as a global commercial product, and my PhD title at present is 'Mia San Mia and Bergkamp in Marseille: Language and identity in football locales'. 

For my research I have visited museums at Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Hamburger SV, FC St. Pauli, SV Werder Bremen, and FC Bayern München. Using the original and translated texts I collected, I will undertake a critical discourse analysis focusing on the construction of identity narratives. To gain a better understanding of museum processes, I have a placement this Spring at the Hockey Museum in Woking. This will involve creating finding aids – a framework to help potential researchers get a better idea of what the museum has, hopefully increasing accessibility. As the only museum in the world dedicated to field hockey, there is a wealth of materials and artefacts which could be of interest to a wide range of researchers. I played hockey throughout school and university, so I'm looking forward to diving back in. If there's any single fact I can rely on, it's that the smell of frozen astroturf never leaves you.

If you want to hear more about what I and other AHRC TECHNE funded students are researching, you can listen to Technecast, which I co-host/produce. We hear papers from researchers and practitioners working in the arts and humanities, usually followed by a brief interview. I produced episode ‘Unit 38: Work and Labour – A people’s design service’ where I spoke to the director of a people-focused architecture collective working with a community football club in London. You can listen here

If you'd like to collaborate, or hear more, my email is

Congratulations Ahmed Saeed and Cheima Bouchrara

We are delighted that two of our PhD students have recently passed their Viva! Congratulations to Dr Ahmed Saeed (Exploring the visual interface in Remote Simultaneous Interpreting) and Dr Cheima Bouchrara (“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury”. Uncovering Discursive and Linguistic Patterns in Closing Arguments in US Criminal Trials) on this fantastic and well-deserved achievement.

European Midwifery association education conference

In October 2023, Soumely Madell, presented her PhD research at the 7th European Midwifery Association Education Conference in Athens. This research forms part of her PhD topic, ‘Exploring multilingual communication in the NHS maternity from the perspectives of service providers and service users’. Soumely said, ‘I was grateful for the opportunity to present (remotely) my service user PhD findings, giving insights about service users thoughts on language technology in maternity, a high-stakes activity. The conference as a whole showcased midwifery education and technology development to help nurture student midwives.’ Soumely’s abstract ‘insights from language discordant service users of UHSussex NHS maternity trust about technology use and implications on pedagogy’ was published in the European Journal of Midwifery.



Our Masters courses are eligible for the International Excellence Award, for full details and information about other funding opportunities please see our website. 


Convergence lecture Series (Online)

We were thrilled Fabio Alves was able to join us at Surrey in January for our ongoing convergence lecture series. Fabio, Professor of Translation Studies at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) presented a hybrid lecture on  ‘Mapping translation as a cognitive activity from a relevance-theoretic perspective’.

In November we were joined online by Gloria Corpas Pastor, Professor of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Malaga. Gloria presented ‘At a loss with technology? Some current research initiatives to assist (or even replace) interpreters’.

On 17th April Professor Robin Setton, Conference Interpreter, Researcher, Trainer, Translator and Author presented ‘Artificial Communication: The limits of AI.’

You can view most of the presentations from our Convergence Lecture series on our You Tube Channel. More information about our upcoming lectures will be posted on our Social Media accounts and circulated to our mailing list. If you would like to join our mailing list please 


Our programmes are more than a masters - watch our video for information about the modules and the many language combinations that we offer! 


Thank you for your continued participation and support. We invite you to stay connected with us through our social media channels and to share our newsletter with your network. If you ould like to be added to our mailing list, please email


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