Dr Khetam Al Sharou
I am a Research Fellow in Translation/Interpreting Technologies and Natural Language Processing at the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey. I also hold a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Translation Studies, University College London. I have a PhD in Translation Studies from University College London and an MSc in Translation and Computer Assisted Translation Tools from Heriot-Watt University. My research interests focus on the human-machine interaction and their wider applications, translation pedagogy, didactics in H.E., and intercultural healthcare training. Since 2013, I have been working as a freelance translator and a creative reviewer, and also as a translator trainer, providing specialised training courses in the area of English-Arabic Legal Translation to professional translators and lawyers in Europe and the Middle East. I previously taught at the Higher Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Damascus University and other universities in Syria.
INTERACT is an H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Network, led by Prof. Sharon O’Brien (Dublin City University), and aimed at researching translation in crisis scenarios. It brings together a unique combination of actors from social science, humanities, technology developers and humanitarian responders to collaborate and to educate each other. As a member of the UCL INTERACT team, I was therefore involved in Work Package 4 (Crisis Machine Translation), Work Package 2 (Crisis Translation Policy – Research), and in part to Work Package 5 (Citizen Translator Training). The network funds support research secondments. I took research secondments at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and at the cross-sectorial partner, Unbabel, in Lisbon. At Unbabel, during and after my secondment, I worked on developing English-Arabic models for the MT engines created for crisis translation.
I led, in collaboration with Ceri Butler, doctoral researcher at the time affiliated at UCL School of Medicine, the cross-disciplinary research project “Beyond Medical Practice: cultural and linguistic training of refugee doctors for integration and employment in the United Kingdom” (2017-2018). It was funded by the highly competitive UCL Grand Challenges scheme. It aimed at providing cultural and linguistic training to refugee doctors to facilitate their integration into employment in the UK.
I contributed to the 'Migration Emergency: Sicily as the Backdoor to Europe' project during my Erasmus+ internship at University of Catania. It focussed on communication in emergencies at the arrival of migrants in Sicilian ports and how people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds communicate at such times.
I contributed to the Multilingual Health Project, focussing on providing a multilingual aid to healthcare workers working with migrants, during my Erasmus+ internship at University of Ljubljana, under the supervision of Prof. Nike K. Pokorn. My contribution included adapting existing aids to online use - reviewing the Arabic version of their multilingual handbook for facilitating communication in healthcare which was published in eight languages. I also participated in their training workshops aimed to train medical staff on how to handle patients from other cultures, Muslims in this case, for a better understanding and effective communication.