Professor Sabine Braun
I am Professor of Translation Studies and Director of the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Surrey. In addition, I am currently the Deputy Head of the School of Literature and Languages and Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
My research focuses on technology-assisted methods, modalities and socio-technological practices of translation and interpreting, especially:
- Videomediated interpreting (e.g. its system design and implementation; how it changes the professional practice of interpreting; especially its impact on interpreting quality, ergonomics, interactional dynamics, user satisfaction; its use interpreter education);
- Audio description as a form of intermodal translation, how it can be used to improve media access for visually impaired people and to improve visual machine perception.
I am also interested in
- The design of multimodal corpora and the use of corpusbased methods to inform the field of interpreting studies and to improve interpreter education;
- The application of educational technologies such as video platforms and 3D virtual worlds to the field of interpreting.
Areas of specialism
Intersemiotic and audiovisual translation;
Corpus-based interpreting studies;
University roles and responsibilities
- Professor of Translation Studies
- Director of the Centre for Translation Studies
- Deputy Head of the School of Literature and Languages
- Associate Dean (Research)
Contact the press team
Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7773 479911
Senate House, University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
My research focuses on technology-assisted methods and modalities and socio-technological practices of translation and interpreting.
I have a long-standing interest in video-mediated interpreting, i.e. all methods and modalities of distance interpreting that involve the use of video links ('remote interpreting', 'videoconference interpreting') and that are increasingly to deliver interpreting services in business, legal and healthcare contexts; I have adopted discourse analytic, cognitive-pragmatic and sociological approaches, and have combined qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate and inform the integration of videoconferencing technologies into professional interpreting practice as a means of improving access to public services.
A related area of interest is audio description, an important media access service for blind and partially sighted people and an emergent modality of intermodal translation; I have worked on developing a theoretical framework for an in-depth understanding audio description and am interested in the application of audio description to multimodal content analysis and visual machine perception, and in the (semi-)automatic generation of audio description.
I am interested in the use of multimodal corpora and corpus-based methods to inform the field of interpreting studies and to improve interpreter education.
In relation to interpreter education, I am interested more broadly in the application of educational technologies such as video platforms and 3D virtual worlds to the field of interpreting; I have created a multimodal corpus of spoken English (ELISA) for pedagogical purposes and have led a multidisciplinary team that developed the first 3D virtual learning environment for interpreting students and interpreter clients.
Over the past few years, I have investigated the use of video-mediated interpreting in legal settings. I have led several multinational European projects in this area (AVIDICUS 1-3) and have contributed knowledge on video-mediated interpreting to other European projects relating to interpreter certification and training for legal professionals. I have also worked closely with the European Council Working Party on e-Law (e-Justice) to develop guidelines for video-mediated interpreting in legal proceedings and have advised institutions including the Metropolitan Police Service in London and the London Probation Trust on the introduction of videoconferencing and interpreting (read more). In earlier research in this field, I have analysed the adaptation strategies which interpreters develop in this unfamiliar and difficult form of interpreting. Currently I am a partner in the European SHIFT project which develops resources for the teaching of remote interpreting, and a Co-Investigator in the Video-Enabled Justie project, which investigates the use of video-mediated communication (incl. interpreter-assisted video links) in the justice sector. Follow me on Twitter for updates on this research (@vr_interpreting).
- Video-Enabled Justice (Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, 2018-20; Principal investigator: N Fielding, Dept of Sociology) Role: Co-Investigator
- SHIFT in Orality: Shaping the Interpreters of the Future & Today (European Commission, 2015-18; co-ordinator: University of Bologna in Forli) Role: Project partner | http://www.shiftinorality.eu
- AVIDICUS 3 Assessing videoconference interpreting in the Criminal Justice System: Assessing the implementation (European Commission, DG Justice, 2014-16) Role: Project leader | http://www.videoconference-interpreting.net
- AVIDICUS 2 Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System (European Commission, DG Justice, 2011-13) Role: Project leader | http://www.videoconference-interpreting.net
- AVIDICUS 1 Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System (European Commission, DG Justice, 2008-2011) Role: Project leader | http://www.videoconference-interpreting.net
- Understanding Justice (European Commission, DG Justice, 2014-16, co-ordinator: Middlesex University) Role: Project partner | http://www.understandingjusticeproject.com
- Building Mutual Trust 2 (European Commission, DG Justice, 2011-13; co-ordinator: Middlesex University) Role: Project partner | http://www.buildingmutualtrust.eu/
- QUALITAS Ensuring Interpreter Quality through Testing and Certification (European Commission, DG Justice, 2011-2013; co-ordinator: University of Alicante) Role: Project partner | http://www.qualitas-project.eu/
My interest in multimodality and audiovisual media has also led me to conduct research into audio description, an emergent practice helping blind and partially sighted people to follow and enjoy audiovisual content (e.g. films, TV programmes, theatre plays). I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to audio description as a complex form of intermodal mediation. In 2007, Margaret Rogers and I organised an interdisciplinary research seminar on Audio Description for Visually Impaired People: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda to contribute to developing audio description as an academic discipline. More recently, I have become interested in the application of audio description to other fields, especially to Multimodal Content Analysis, Computer vision and Machine perception, and in the (semi-)automatic generation of audio descriptive content.
Educational technologies in interpreting
The thought of interpreting in a 3D virtual world is an interesting expansion of more forms of remote interpreting via telephone or video link. Apart from that, virtual worlds are also useful for simulating interpreter-mediated communication and can therefore be used in educational contexts. However, many questions remain regarding the educational affordances of 3D virtual learning environments compared to other, more traditional virtual learning environments. To investigate some of these questions, I have recently led two multinational research projects. The first (IVY) focussed on the development of the first bespoke 3D virtual environment in the interpreting context, whilst the second (EVIVA) evaluated the benefits of different types of virtual learning environments including the IVY 3D world, videoconferencing and video corpus environments through the lens of constructivist principles of learning and especially using the key notion of situated learning, which is crucial in the context of interpreting. Find out more.
- EVIVA Evaluating the Education of Interpreters and their Clients through Virtual Learning Activities (European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, project leader, 2013-14) Role: Project leader | http://www.virtual-interpreting.net
- IVY Interpreting in Virtual Reality (European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, 2011-12)Role: Project leader | http://www.virtual-interpreting.net
Corpus-based interpreting studies
I am particularly interested in how we can make spoken corpora and corpus analysis techniques fruitful in the context of communication, language and interpreter education. Some years ago, I developed the ELISA corpus, a small video-based multimodal corpus of spoken professional English, as a resource for second-language learners and interpreters, and a method for the pedagogical exploitation of such corpora. In the European project BACKBONE, this idea was expanded to create further video corpora for English and other languages, and to develop additional tools and resources for interpreter training. Find out more.
The use of corpus-based methods to inform interpreter education and interpreting studies is a continued interest of mine.
- BACKBONE Content and Language Integrated Learning (European Commission, Lifelong Learning, 2009-10, co-ordinator: University of Tuebingen) Role: project partner | http://projects.ael.uni-tuebingen.de/backbone/moodle/)
- SACODEYL Compilation and Open Distribution of European Youth Language (European Commission, Sokrates-Minerva, 2005-08, partner; co-ordinator: University of Murcia) Role: Project partner
- ELISA Exploration of an English-Language Interview Corpus as a Second-Language Application (University of Tuebingen Early Career Researcher Grant, 2003-04) Role: project leader | http://www.corpora4learning.net
Academic consultancies and advisory work
Advocacy Training Council 2013-15: Design of a training module for trainee advocates in how to work effectively with interpreters (http://www.advocacytrainingcouncil.org/interpreters)
London Probation Trust (2012-13) Analysis of videoconference communication and interpreting in European cross-border resettlement cases, contribution to the European DUTT Project
Metropolitan Police Service, London 2010-11: customised training for police-certified interpreter in video-mediated interpreting
Workshops and seminars
I have also held numerous workshops and seminars on video-mediated interpreting and previously on the use of corpora for pedagogical purposes.
Recent keynotes and invited lectures
2015 Using mixed methods to research new modalities of interpreting. Insights from the AVIDICUS projects. Interpreter-mediated justice: Different languages, different research methodologies. Heriot-Watt University, 7/11/2015.
2015 Videoconference and Remote interpreting: new challenges and new research questions. International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting (IPCITI), Edinburgh University, 28-30/10/2015.
2015 Remote interpreting: current insights and future research directions. Keynote. 5th International Conference of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 7-10/072015.
2014 Videodolmetschen. Von der Forschung zur Lehre. Chancengleichheit Migration Gesundheit. Abschlusstagung des Pilotprojektes Videodolmetschen im Gesundheitswesen. Ãsterreichischen Plattform Patientensicherheit & Instituts fr Ethik und Recht in der Medizin; Universit Wien. 9/12/2014.
2014 On video interpreting. Translation research seminar. Centre for Translation Studies. University of Stockholm (Sweden) 10/10/2014.
2014 Interpreter Education in an Avatar-based 3D Virtual World. Collaborative and innovative approaches to Bringing technology into interpreter education classrooms. Seminar organised by the Higher Education Academy and AHRC. Heriot Watt University Edinburgh (UK), 06/02/2014.
2013 Disruptive innovation? The introduction of remote interpreting in police interviews. International research seminar Traduzione e interpretazione per la societe le istituzioni. Trieste (Italy), 21-22/11/2013.
2013 Interpreter education in 3D virtual reality. New modes of learning. 17th Annual Conference of the DG Interpretation, European Commission, Brussels (Belgium), 21-22/03/2013.
2012 Keep your distance? Remote interpreting in legal proceedings: a critical assessment of a growing practice. Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, 29/11/2012.
2012 Video-mediated interpreting in criminal proceedings: research findings and initial recommendations. European TRAFUT workshop. Antwerp (Belgium), 18-20/10/2012
2012 Keep your distance? The use of videoconference technology for remote interpreting in legal settings - a critical assessment of a growing practice. Videoconferencing in courts. International research seminar organised by L'Institut des Hautes Etudes sur la Justice, Sorbonne Law School and University of Western Sydney, Paris (France), 28-29/06/2012
2012 Video-mediated interpreting in criminal proceedings: findings from the AVIDICUS project. Seminar on European e-Justice “Videoconferencing in court proceedings organised by the Danish Ministry of Justice. Copenhagen (Denmark), 16-17/02/2012
2011 Video-mediated interpreting: potential and challenges. Seminar on intercultural mediation organised by the Belgian Ministry of Health. Brussels, 18/11/2011.
2011 Recommendations and guidelines for videoconference and remote interpreting in legal/criminal proceedings. Outcomes of the AVIDICUS project. Presentation to the European working party on eLaw (eJustice). Brussels, 16/10/2011.
2011 The Experience of Remote Translation. Seminar A Virtual Day in Court, organised by Cisco and the Royal Academic Society. London, 14/07/2011
2011 The use of videoconference technology to provide interpreting in criminal proceedings: Findings from the EU project AVIDICUS. Conference on The Future in the Present: Public Service Interpreting and Translation in a Wild Wired World. Alcala (Spain), 13/04/2011.
2010 Bridging the gap: onsite and remote interpreting in dialogue situations. International Symposium: New Insights into the Study of Conversation. Granada (Spain), 28/05/10.
2010 Videoconference and remote interpreting in criminal proceedings: experience from the AVIDICUS project. Chartered Institute of Linguists, CPD seminar. London, 09/10/2010.
I have taught a range of different modules including Interpreting Studies, Public Service Interpreting, Interpreting Technologies and Audiovisual Translation at postgraduate level. I am also supervising a range of PhD projects in the areas of Interpreting and Audiovisual Translation in the Centre for Translation Studies.
Postgraduate research supervision
I am interested in supervising PhD projects in the following areas:
- Interpreting, all modalities
- Interpreting technologies, especially video-mediated interpreting
- Intersemiotic and audiovisual translation, especially audio description
- The discursive and cognitive-pragmatic foundations of translation and interpreting
- Corpus-based interpreting studies
- Technologies in interpreter education
- Education of interpreter clients.
Current PhD students
- Bouchrara, Cheima. Persuasion in Curtroom Discourse: A critical discourse analysis of closing arguments in US criminal cases
- Carloni, Arianna. The role of continued dance training in the reception of audio description
- Delfani, Jaleh. Creativity in audiovisual translation
- Gabrych, Marta. Quality in police interpreting
- Merakchi, Khadidja. Metaphors in popular science discourse
- Starr, Kim. Audio description as a means of encouraging autistic audiences to engage with emotions
- Zhang, Wei. Patient-centred approaches in medical interpreting.
- Ninrat, Rangsima. Translation of allusions
- Zhang, Shasa. Documentary translation and ideology
Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised
- Al-Jabri, Hanan (2017). TV Simultaneous Interpreting of Arabic Presidential Speeches into English During the Arab Spring.
- Daniel WIlson (2017). An Investigation into the Comprehensive Development of L2 Pragmatic Competence in the EFL Classroom: A Case of Advanced Serbian EFL Learners.
- Perdikaki, Katerina (2016). Film adaptation as translation.
- Gough, Joanna (2016). The patterns of interaction between professional translators and online resources.
- Dicerto, Sara (2015). Multimodal Pragmatics: Building a new model for source text analysis.
- Bale, Richard (2014). Spoken corpus-based resources for undergraduate initial interpreter training and lexical knowledge acquisition: empirical case studies.
- McGonigle, Frances (2013). Audio Description and Semiotics: The translation of films for visually-impaired audiences.
- Unal, Melis (2013). Coherence in consecutive interpreting: a comparative study of short and long consecutive interpretations of English texts into Turkish.
- Yeung, Ho Man (Oscar) (2012). An applied genre analysis of the discursive practices in insurance contexts.
- De Leo, Davide (2011). The translation of judgments in different and similar legal systems and languages / language varieties: an empirical study.