Conference 2017

Translation and Disruption: Global and local perspectives

Saturday 4 November 2017

Since Clayton Christensen’s seminal book Innovator's Dilemma showed how a small-scale but innovative digital technology can overthrow large established businesses overnight, the idea of digital disruption has been causing both excitement and concern in businesses worldwide, from financial and legal services to entertainment distribution and the taxi industry. The world of translation is not immune to such upheavals and the notion of digital disruption is useful for understanding changes in translation practice.

Keynote speakers: 

Prof. Dorothy Kenny, Dublin City University

Prof. Kayoko Takeda, Rikkyo University, Japan

Pre-conference seminar

Friday 3 November 2017: read more


This conference considered the disruptive power of translation across a wide range of digital technologies: machine translation, CAT tools, crowdsourcing, social media, mobile devices, speech recognition, remote interpreting, VLEs and MOOCs (for education).

Topics of interest included:

  • Digital disruption: the reality of the translation industry?
  • The sociality of digital tool use in translation in the history
  • Who should become machine translation post editors?
  • Ethical and/or efficient data collection methods for machine translation training
  • Translators as activists in the digital space
  • Translation as a vehicle of grass root communications
  • Influence of technologies on human agencies of translation
  • Influence of new digital tools to translator's/user's cognition
  • Promotion of minority cultures and humanitarian causes using translation technologies
  • Translation on social media
  • Translator as prosumer
  • Economy of digital disruption in translation
  • Influence of translation technologies to language learning
  • Innovative use of technologies in translation education

View slides: 

Download programme: 2017 Portsmouth Translation Conference programme

We will be publishing a number of papers on translation and disruption in the thematic section of Revista Tradumàtica in December 2018. You may want to submit your paper for review and consideration for inclusion in this issue.

Further information 

Please send enquiries to

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the European Commissions (EC), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)
Supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS, the lead sponsor), the European Commission (EC), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Portsmouth.