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ISSUE 10 : Multilingualism, Lingua Franca or What?

Call for Abstracts: 15 October, 2016

Call for papers: April 1st, 2017


In multilingual situations, how is the language issue resolved, how tenable is the solution and what are the consequences? This brings politics and power into the question, as well as the short and long term costs of the choices made.

Indeed, as we send out this call for papers, so we begin to take in the consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Almost immediately the following headline appeared, “English could be banned as an official language of the EU (Daily Telegraph, 28/06/2016). This Cultus issue, then, focusses on the realities concerning use of language(s) to communicate, wherever it be: in the institutions, the workplace, the university (with a strong focus outside of the UK on internationalization of its teaching) or the social services.


One solution, discussed in previous Cultus issues is the use of machine translation and interpretation to reduce costs. In the last issue (2015), Tony Liddicoat notes, in conversation with Sandra Hale, that the Australian Department of Health has started to use Google Translate to convey health information in a range of languages: “It is an un-nuanced and unsophisticated view of human communication that devalues not only the work of professional interpreters and translators, but also the texts being communicated and the audience receiving them”.


With regard to language service provision for immigrants, other cost-cutting measures are fraught with similarly worrying consequences, such as the UK’s disastrous outsourcing of interpreter resources in the UK and the Dutch government’s decision to review, if not end, funding of healthcare interpreting in the Netherlands. What language rights should or do non-native speakers have, and what are the consequences?  


We welcome papers that address issues related to the following themes with a focus on translation:


Multilingualism power and empowerment

Politics and power in language

Use of a lingua franca in professional encounters

Professional practice, discourse and the new media

The role of machine translation in professional practice


Issue 10 will also include an interview with SUSAN BASSNETT.


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