Regional Workshop

Reconceptualizing Translation in the Digital Age: Asian Perspectives

On-line (Zoom) conference,

hosted by Kansai University, Osaka, Japan

September 3-4, 2020

Due to the corvid-19 situation, we've decided to hold the workshop online.

Kansai University will host the 10th IAITS Regional Workshop on September 3 and 4, 2020. The workshop focuses on ‘updating’ translation to survive digital evolution and future paradigm shifts in communication. This will be a mini-conference with opportunities for networking with inter-disciplinary researchers for sustainable and future translation. During the conference, there will also be a session open to the public. We are pleased to announce confirmed speakers for the session.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Kyo Kageura (University of Tokyo)

  • Minako O'Hagan (University of Auckland)

  • Kumiko Torikai (Rikkyo University, Professor Emerita)


Translation in an age of technology accelerates the breakdown of borders between nations and the homogeneity of cultures. At the same time, technology has led to diversity in translation audiences, norms, and means deployed in practice. In order to capture the increasing variety of translation activities, Translation Studies has extended – and deconstructed – the notion of translation and the scope of research. We know that translations play an important role in our society; however, a question arises as to whether we all agree on the definition of translation. For example, has machine translation changed our society in the same sense as other forms of translation historically have? Can machine translation plus post-editing be powerful enough to change the role of translation in serving cross-regional interactions? How is automated and/or user-generated translation influencing new audiences of cultural contents? In this transition to translation in an age of technology, it is essential to operationalize ‘translation’ among researchers investigating it. (expand texts to see more)

Japan is an almost monolingual country and translation technology plays a critical role in the development of Japanese modern society. The government, industries and the translation communities have been engaging with new initiatives involving cutting-edge innovations. The Japanese government project for machine translation, Minna no jido Hon’yaku@TexTra, is one of the examples of such efforts. On the grass-roots level, new audiences of foreign contents such as music, movies and games are using freely available automated translation as their new language, generating a brand-new global culture and community. And this is also the case in Asia’s neighbouring countries such as China and Korea, with their distinctive history, culture and politics, which have active interactions with other countries, both in Asia and the rest of the world. Translation is inextricably linked to the evolution of our languages, thoughts, cultures and nations, and now, technology’s role cannot be ignored in the evolution.

On the surface, conventional human translation, machine translation, post-editing and computer-assisted translation are understood as different activities in terms of both process and purpose. But the differences are often poorly agreed upon which seems to impede interdisciplinary collaboration, especially among Translation Studies researchers and researchers from related disciplines such as natural language processing (machine translation developers). In order to develop successful next-generation translation technologies, analyze the impact of translation activities in the digital age, and design educational curricula that produce translators who can survive digital evolution, this workshop aims to bring together researchers from different fields to reconsider the way machine translation is conceptualised and researched.

The September 2020 IATIS regional workshop in Osaka, Japan, focuses on ‘updating’ translation to survive digital evolution and future paradigm shifts in communication. This will be a mini-conference with opportunities for networking with inter-disciplinary researchers for sustainable and future-facing translation. In particular, we invite papers that address how the different research sectors can collaborate to reconceptualize translation and expand the potential of translation research.


The idea of the workshop is to bring together scholars interested specifically in the workshop theme: Reconceptualizing Translation in the Digital Age, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and expertise, and, ideally, to initiate future collaboration in this field. With this aim in mind, we do not plan any parallel sessions during the main workshop on September 4 (14:00-19:50); we want to give the participants the opportunity to listen to all presentations, since we believe that all will be in some way relevant to their research interests, and to allow plenty of time for discussions. A participatory workshop on September 3 (19:30-20:30) will be an opportunity for participants to learn about interdisciplinary research methodologies and develop their research skills. The participatory workshop is provided by Jonathan Evans. Keynote session on September 3 (16:00- 19:20) is open to public. We welcome wide variety of audience, including academics, practitioners and students, to join the session.

Registration (free of charge) is required. After registration, "Zoom" log-in information for each session you have chosen to attend will be sent via the online registration system (Peatix) messenger (linked to email) before the conference starts

Online registration link:

  • Keynote session on September 3 (16:00- 19:20)

  • Participatory workshop on September 3 (19:30-20:30)

  • Main workshop on September 4 (14:00-19:50)


- Keynote session: English-Japanese simultaneous interpreting available. Max. 300 participants allowed.

- Participatory workshop: The working language is English only. Max. 30 participants. If you cannot attend the workshop anymore, please contact the organiser to cancel the ticket so that we can transfer the ticket to people on the waiting list.

- Main workshop: The working language is English only. Max. 100 participants.

See also "Book of abstracts" and "Program" below for details.

Book of abstracts

Download from here.


Working language

The working language for this workshop is English.

PhD students and Early-Career Researchers

There will be sessions exclusively assigned for PhD students and early-career researchers to have opportunities to present their own research. We strongly encourage young researchers to participate the workshop.

Workshop Organisers

Dr. Masaru Yamada, Kansai University, Japan.

Dr. Akiko Sakamoto, University of Portsmouth, UK.


Kansai University (Senriyama Campus), Osaka, Japan http://www.kansai-u.ac.jp/English/about_ku/index.html.

Kansai University is easily accessible via the Hankyu Line; the journey from the centre of Osaka (Umeda) to the Senriyama Main campus normally takes around 20 minutes. The metro station Kandai-mae is on the Hankyu Line, directly in front of the University campus. The most convenient international airport is Kansai International Airport (KIX) Appx. one hour from central Osaka by direct train services. Osaka Airport (ITM) is also close to the venue (https://www.kansai-u.ac.jp/English/about_ku/location_takatsuki.html).

Important Dates

First call for participation/proposals: October 1, 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals: February 10, 2020 (Extended till March 31, 2020)

Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2020

Workshop at Kansai University: September 3-4, 2020

**If you have any questions, feel free to email to workshop organisers.

This workshop is funded by IATIS Regional Workshop Fund, Kansai University Fund and Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau

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