The department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication wants to be an international player in the field of scientific research within Applied Language Studies and similar disciplines.

Through research groups, the department wants to contribute to the scientific exploration and the further development of translation science, interpreting science, multilingual communication, translation and language technology and translation and language didactics.

The department creates the necessary conditions to this end and strives to implement the research results and to make them available to third parties.   

Research groups

Research at the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication is performed in four research groups:

  • EQTIS (Empirical and Quantitative Translation and Interpreting Studies) specializes in quantitative corpus-based and process-based research of language use in different translation modes (written translation, interpreting, audiovisual translation). An important aspect of our research is the use of advanced statistics to measure the effect of different linguistic and contextual factors on translational choices simultaneously.
  • MULTIPLES (Research Centre for Multilingual Practices and Language Learning in Society) is concerned with the study of language and discourse as aspects of social life. It engages with the applied and educational dimensions of this field and does so with particular reference to contemporary multilingualism. We connect researchers with backgrounds in various linguistic disciplines, including Sociolinguistics, Language Acquisition (first, second and foreign), Language Teaching and Learning, Language in Education, Discourse Analysis, Linguistic Anthropology, Translation and Interpreting studies.

    Research extends into a range of institutional and professional contexts of language use (educational, social welfare, business, media), as well as specific niche interests (e.g. Sign Language studies). We take note of the challenges of language learning, multilingual provision and language professionalization in today’s globalized, multilingual society as inviting an empirical programme of both description, interpretation and explanation of practices and processes, as well as a sustained pedagogical effort which spreads across areas of language acquisition, learning and mediation.

    Research activities are organized into two closely linked, multidisciplinary research and knowledge clusters:

    1. Language in society
    2. Language learning

    MULTIPLES fosters collaboration across both clusters and invites the sharing of ideas and methodologies to create productive and effective academic partnerships.

  • Created in 2006, LT³ conducts fundamental and applied research in the domain of language and translation technology and has extensive expertise in the use of machine learning for a wide range of language technology problems, part-of-speech tagging and lemmatisation, anaphora resolution, word sense disambiguation and named entity recognition. LT³ is currently very active in the following areas:
    • Terminology: Terminology management is crucial both for accurate translation and for intelligent search applications. Whereas CvT-GenTerm, the department's Terminology Centre, focuses on the manual construction of term banks, LT³ has developed a tool that automatically extracts term lists from monolingual and bilingual corpora. On-going research projects focus on the automatic detection of synonyms and hypernyms and terminology extraction from comparable corpora.
    • Translation technology: Translation technology has become an integral part of the translation process, and is one of the more recent additions to the LT³ research agenda. Current topics of interest are the comparison of different methods of translation (human vs. post-editing, human vs. CAT), translation quality assessment, and confidence estimation for machine translation.
    • Sentiment analysis and subjectivity detection: The actual meaning of a text goes far beyond the word level. LT³ is currently developing methodologies for sentiment analysis and subjectivity detection through the deep semantic analysis of text and deeply annotated corpora. Envisioned applications are the automatic detection of cyberbullying, suicide detection, opinion mining, personalised advertising, and the detection of subjectivity in annual reports.
  • Research within TRACE (Translation and Culture) draws on methodologies from the interdisciplinary field of translation studies and focuses on translations of literary and other texts that serve as a cultural product. The group works in close collaboration with the VUB/UGent alliance research group Centre for Literature in Translation (CLIV). Members of the research group analyse the discursive traces that translators leave in translation, both in terms of textual and paratextual shifts (prefaces, footnotes, annotations). Studies also consider the specific role of translators as cultural mediators in a given period and the interaction between the agents involved in the editorial and translation process.