CfP: Exploring Translation (Un)Awareness

We are glad to announce a call for chapters for an upcoming edited volume to be published by Routledge, as part of their Routledge Research programme.
CfP: Exploring Translation (Un)Awareness

We are glad to announce a call for chapters for an upcoming edited volume to be published by Routledge, as part of their Routledge Research programme. We invite scholars and practitioners to submit abstracts of 500-700 words, along with references and a brief biographical note of approximately 100 words. The estimated timeline for the publication process is as follows:

  • Deadline for abstract submissions: 1st February 2024.
  • Confirmation of acceptance: 1st March 2024.
  • Deadline for first draft chapters (approximately 5000 words): 1st November 2024.
  • Feedback provided to contributors on first drafts: 15th December 2024.
  • Final chapter submissions (ranging from 7,000 to 8,000 words): 1st March 2025.

We look forward to receiving insightful and pioneering contributions that align with the thematic focus of our volume, described below. Please, send your abstracts by 1st February 2024 to Tanya Escudero (, Päivi Kuusi ( or Tuija Kinnunen (

Call for Papers in PDF format


Exploring Translation (Un)Awareness

Editors: Tanya Escudero (Tallinn University), Päivi Kuusi (University of Helsinki), Tuija Kinnunen (Tampere University)


As members of society, we often read about public awareness raising campaigns asking us to recognize problems that probably need more consideration from our side. These campaigns disseminate information about topics like diseases, climate change, inclusion, endangered species, etc. We get educated and informed. In this volume, we seek to bring together diverse perspectives on the role of and need for translation in our societies, with the ultimate aim to raise awareness of the importance and complex nature of translation – that is, to raise translation awareness.

With translation awareness we refer to the recognition by the agents – be they organisations, institutions or individuals – of the nature, role and functions of translating and translations in our societies. It could include the agents’ understanding of the role of translating and translations in social activity and as a social practice; explicit knowledge of the translation process, including its practical aspects and implications; conceptions of translation quality; and the agents’ attitude towards translating, translations, and any actors involved in the translation process, including ideological considerations (cf. language attitude, Baker 1982; language awareness, Cots & Garrett 2017; and language ideology, Gal & Woolard 1995). In each case, the awareness can range from a complete lack of recognition to explicit and detailed knowledge concerning the subject.

In linguistics, the notion of language awareness has been used to highlight the role of language in, for example, education or work (see, for instance, Koller 2018). Within the field of Translation Studies, the topic of insufficient awareness or recognition of translation has been a longstanding discussion. The problem has become acute in research on crisis translation where several scholars have addressed the issue. O’Brien and Federici (2019) claimed that “the lack of appropriate linguistic and cultural awareness in crisis communication may lead to catastrophic consequences”. Particularly with the outbreak of the covid pandemic, the issue came into even sharper focus, due to the global nature of the crisis, and the shortcomings in terms of translation awareness among public and private institutions became evident in the research on the subject (see, among others, Wang, 2019; Hu, 2022; O’Brien & Federici, 2023). The limitation in recognising the importance of T&I has been a constant in public services, where the use of non-professional translators and interpreters is common practice. Enríquez Raído et al. (2020) point out, as the causes of this phenomenon, “the availability of bilingual staff and community volunteers, the misrecognition of the T&I role, difficulties around procurement of highly skilled practitioners, and cost concerns”. Tesseur (2021) highlighted the “necessity to provide guidance and training to ‘educate staff on the importance of translation and about the time, effort and resources it requires”. And in the introductory article to the recently launched journal “Translation in Society”, van Doorslaer and McMartin refer to research exchanges contributing to the “shared awareness of the importance of translation to social practice”, highlighting the need for dialogue between translation studies and sociology (2022). However, despite the recognition of different aspects of translation unawareness, the problem has only started to receive dedicated attention and has not been explicitly labelled.

In The Handbook of Language Awareness, Malmkjær defends the advantages of making the population more “aware of translation and interpreting than they seem to be” and regrets the few surveys that can be found focusing on this subject (2017: 451). In this volume, we propose to provide foundational research to address this need and invite the contributors to explore their topics through the notion of translation awareness. The aim of the volume is to explore the origins and outcomes of translation awareness (or lack thereof) across diverse domains. We invite papers that examine the interrelationships between this concept, translation policies, and real-world translation practices, as well as elaborate on the notion of translation awareness, refine or redefine the concept and discuss its usefulness in both research and public awareness raising. Potential topics include, but are not restricted to the following:

  • Translation awareness, accessibility and/or democracy
  • The role of translation and interpreting in communication strategies in multilingual spaces (municipalities, cities, companies, etc.)
  • Intercultural communication in crisis settings
  • Management of translation flows and actors involved in the translation process in governmental or municipal organisations
  • Misrecognition of the role of T&I in different settings and consequences
  • Translation awareness in domains of technology and media
  • Translation awareness in research
  • Translation awareness, culture and cultural services
  • The role of NGOs in translating and interpreting for migrant communities and linguistic minorities, including their cooperation with authorities
  • Reception of translated public communication materials by migrant communities and linguistic minorities



Baker, C. (1992). Attitudes and Language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Enríquez Raído, V., Crezee, I., & Ridgeway, Q. (2020). “Professional, ethical, and policy dimensions of public service interpreting and translation in New Zealand”, Translation and Interpreting Studies 15(1), 15–35. DOI: 10.1075/tis.20007.enr

Gal, S. & K. A. Woolard (1995). Constructing Languages and Publics: Authority and Representation, Pragmatics 5(2), 129–138.

Hu, B. (2022). “Translation as an Ethical Intervention? Building Trust in Healthcare Crisis Communication”. In: Federici, F.M. (eds) Language as a Social Determinant of Health. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-87817-7_7

Koller, V. (2018). “Language awareness and language workers”, Language Awareness, 27(1-2), 4-20, DOI: 10.1080/09658416.2017.1406491

Malmkjær, K. (2017). “Language Awareness and Translation”. In Peter Garrett and Josep M. Cots (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness. Routledge

O’Brien, S. and Federici, F. M. (2019). “Crisis translation: considering language needs in multilingual disaster settings”, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 29(2), 129–143. DOI:10.1108/dpm-11-2018-0373.

O’Brien, S. and Federici, F. M. (2023) “Introduction. Crisis Translation beyond Words into Action”. In Sharon O’Brien and Federico M. Federici (eds.), Translating Crises. London: Bloomsbury.

Tesseur, W. (2021). “Translation as inclusion?: An analysis of international NGOs’ translation policy documents”, Language Problems and Language Planning, 45(3), 261-283. DOI: 10.1075/lplp.21002.tes

Wang, P. (2019) “Translation in the COVID-19 health emergency in Wuhan. A crisis manager’s perspective”, The Journal of Internationalization and Localization, 6(2), 86 – 107. DOI: 10.1075/jial.00014.wan