1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Translation, Interpreting and Crisis

Edited By Christophe Declercq, Koen Kerremans Copyright 2024
    452 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook offers a broad-ranging overview of the study of translating and interpreting in conflict and crisis settings and takes the field in new directions.

    Covering a wide selection of multimodal contexts that build on the fundamentals of translation, interpreting, and their in-between hybrid forms of mediation, the handbook is divided into four parts. The opening part covers perspectives on policy and practices, whether contemporary or historical, and cases truly span the globe, from Peru and Brazil, over Belgium and Sierra Leone, to Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. International developments require profound considerations about the professionalisation of access to language in times of crises, not least in contexts of humanitarian negotiation or conflict zone interpreting–these form the second part. The subsequent part deals with spheres of community in which language needs are positioned within frames of agency, positionality, and trust, and the challenges that these face. The contributions build on cases where interpreters act as catalysts for translation needs in settings of humanitarian aid and beyond. The final part considers language strategies and solutions in crises.

    This handbook is the essential guide to translation and interpreting in conflict and crisis settings for advanced students and researchers of translation and interpreting studies and will be of wide interest in peace studies, political science, and beyond.

    List of illustrations

    List of contributors

    Abbreviations and acronyms


    Koen Kerremans and Christophe Declercq

    PART I

    Policy and practices

    1 Translation, interpreting, language, and foreignness in crisis communication policy: 21 years of white papers in Japan

    Patrick Cadwell

    2 Redefining information accessibility in crisis translation: communicating COVID- 19 resources to culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia

    Lintao Qi and Rita Wilson

    3 Accessible government crisis communication: recommendations based on the case of COVID- 19 in Belgium

    Mieke Vandenbroucke, Nina Reviers, Gert Vercauteren, Anna Jankowska, Bonnie Geerinck, Heleen Van Opstal, Isabelle Aujoulat, Karin Hannes, Khetam Al Sharou, Lien Vermeire, Maria- Cornelia Wermuth, Sarah Talboom, and Wessel van de Veerdonk

    4 Communicating Covid- 19: language access and linguistic rights in contemporary Peru

    Raquel de Pedro Ricoy

    5 Translation and interpreting as a guarantee for language access and linguistic rights for migrants in Brazil in the context of crisis intensified by the pandemic

    Sabine Gorovitz and Teresa Dias Carneiro

    6 Multilingual crisis communication, language access, and linguistic rights in Sierra Leone

    Shaun Pickering, Chloe Franklin, Jonas Knauerhase, Pious Mannah, and Federico M. Federici

    7 The languages of Hong Kong’s international crisis relief response

    Marija Todorova

    8 How did translators and interpreters in crisis communications get ignored? Overview of international effort in protecting our colleagues working in crisis settings and the rights of speakers of non-dominant languages

    Henry Liu, Debra Russell, and Colin Allen



    9 Interpreting in humanitarian negotiation

    Lucía Ruiz Rosendo

    10 The ideal conflict zone interpreter: military perspectives and perceptions of interpreters’ skills and attitudes

    Eleonora Bernardi

    11 Reinventing themselves– conflict zone interpreters from Afghanistan as interpreters for asylum seekers in Spain: a case study on impartiality, empathy and role

    Maria Gómez Amich

    12 Widening the scope of interpreting in conflict settings: a description of the provision of interpreting during the 2021 Afghan evacuation to Spain

    Raquel Lázaro Gutiérrez and Gabriel Cabrera Méndez

    13 Interpreting ethics in crisis in the conflict zones: a focus on the Afghanistan War

    Ping Yang

    14 The crisis of the translator: an overview of the occupational situation of translation professionals during the Syrian civil war

    Madiha Kassawat



    15 Interpreter and translator training: from crisis response to sustainable livelihoods

    Barbara Moser- Mercer, Somia Qudah, Mona Malkawi, Jayne Mutiga, and Mohammed Al- Bataineh

    16 Interpreting as a form of humanitarian aid provision at an Italian NGO: challenges and outlooks

    Maura Radicioni

    17 Interpreters and language assistance in Galician NGDOs: situation, demand, and training needs

    Maribel Del- Pozo- Triviño, David Casado Neira, Silvia Pérez Freire, and Luzia Oca González

    18 Interpreters as catalysts for translation in refugee crises: creating a sense of community and belonging in migrant reception

    Elena Aguirre Fernández Bravo and Laura Paíno Peña

    19 Agents and collaboration in humanitarian interpreting/ translation

    Carmen Valero- Garcés

    20 Interpreting and positionality in conflict- affected societies of Rakhine State, Myanmar

    Anggi Wardani and Tengku Shahpur

    21 Vaccination narratives in a multilingual society: on intercultural communication and trust

    Tanya Escudero and Jekaterina Maadla


    Language strategies and solutions

    22 Exploring the accuracy and appropriateness of the translation of important government information for Samoan- speaking communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia during the COVID- 19 crisis

    Hoy Neng Wong Soon and Ineke Crezee

    23 Localised terminology for COVID- 19 communication: use of vaccinerelated terminology in Arabic- speaking countries

    Sonia Halimi, Razieh Azari, and Mariem Harbaoui

    24 Omission and addition during crisis interpreting: a study on the Rohingya displacement

    Mohammad Harun Or Rashid

    25 Women’s crises and gender- aware ethical practices in simultaneous conference interpreting

    Gabriela Yañez

    26 Challenging the shortcomings of traditional translation in migration contexts: a translinguistic proposal for professionals in the humanitarian sector

    Renato Tomei and Max Pardeilhan

    27 Risk communication: experimenting with automatic speech recognition as the first step of a combined speech- to- text and machine translation tool for risk reduction during pilot– controller communications

    Bettina Bajaj


    Christophe Declercq, PhD, is a Lecturer in Translation at Utrecht University, Netherlands, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London, UK. He has published several articles and chapters on translation and language technology, and for a decade has been an evaluator for the European Commission on multilingual ICT projects. He has published as author and co-editor in the domain of cross-cultural communication at times of conflict, either in a historic or contemporary setting.

    Koen Kerremans is an Associate Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. His research interests pertain to terminology, translation technologies, and multilingual communication. He is a member of the Brussels Centre for Language Studies (BCLS) at VUB.

    In the contributors’ chapters, the readers are handed the most precious gift for any researcher: many unanswered questions and urgent topics to investigate. In fact, this Handbook benefits from the contributions of both established and expert researchers as well as new and original thinkers, who collectively encourage readers to explore a wide range of cogent and relevant topics. These encompass everything from conceptualisations of crises in multicultural and multilingual contexts, to addressing the practical yet often formidable challenges related to legal frameworks in local and international crises. Additionally, the Handbook delves into important considerations concerning the daily constraints confronted by practitioners operating in the international humanitarian and crisis- response sector. The editors elegantly managed to collate chapters that give voice to many often- marginalised regions and communities. This is a feat as decolonising and differentiating the field is among the key challenges in this area of Translation and Interpreting Studies: readers will find that this Handbook is a significant step in that direction.

    -Federico M. Federici, University College London, United Kingdom