Museum Translation: Interaction and Engagement

1 – 10 March 2022

A short webinar series

This online event, made up of 4 related webinars held over 2 weeks, is co-hosted by the Training Committee, International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) and The Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), at Heriot-Watt University.

Museum translation, an encompassing term which can be understood as translation activities in their broadest sense taking place in or in relation to museums, has gradually received some attention from translation scholars in recent years. The multimodal and intercultural museum space and exhibitions have provided opportunities for researchers in translation studies to explore new dimensions, and in particular, to work with different stakeholders in this process and space of communication. This event consists of four webinars, with each presenter sharing their experience of engaging with one or more groups of stakeholders, including museum curators and visitors, interdisciplinary research collaborators, translation trainees, and the multilingual community. It is hoped that this event will further studies and interaction with other stakeholders in museum translation.

Tuesday, 1 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Initiating and Boosting Stakeholder Engagement around Translation: A Look at the Heritage and Museum Sector

More information: https://lifeinlincs.org/?p=2910

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KARLL0sSTRyWfKBolFYFSg

Thursday, 3 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Kyung Hye Kim (Shanghai International Studies University)

Engaging the Visitors: The Impact of Translation in Memorial Museums

More information: https://lifeinlincs.org/?p=2913

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hzTd6ToMQUaKwx03WHSxRw

Tuesday, 8 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Prof. Dr. Monika Krein-Kühle (TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne)

Training the Art Translator

More information: https://lifeinlincs.org/?p=2917

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zZv7Oh5ERJSyZZZhivFeNQ

Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Dorota Goluch (Cardiff University)

Dr. Agnieszka Podpora (independent researcher)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

More information: https://lifeinlincs.org/?p=2920

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sswImlIITJyZ7zqqnp1NmQ

The events will be held on Zoom and are free to attend, but to confirm your place at these events please register in advance. Log-in details and Zoom link will then be emailed to all those who have registered. You are welcome to join one, more or all of the events.

If you have any questions, please contact the event organizer: Dr. Min-Hsiu Liao (m.liao@hw.ac.uk)

INterpreter-mediated Mental Health Act Assessments (INForMHAA)

Project update

Celia Hulme & Jemina Napier

Click here for the blog post in BSL

Introduction

I am Jemina Napier, from Heriot-Watt University, and I am Celia Hulme, from the University of Manchester, and here we provide an overview of a project that we are both involved in as part of a research team.

The aim of the project is to explore mental health and interpreting but very specifically how AMHPs (Approved Mental Health Professionals) work alongside spoken language interpreters or sign language interpreters, particularly if an individual needs assessing under the Mental Health Act (in England). The person may be unable to access English written or spoken, for whatever reason, so the interpreter and the professional need to work together. Very little research has been done in this area, so it’s a very important and novel project.

The INForMHAA project has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), under the School of Social Care Research and it is funded for 18-months. It is an interdisciplinary project bringing together professionals from various backgrounds. 

We have a team of six people on the core research team, all from different backgrounds bringing different expertise and experiences. Firstly, we have Alys Young, Principal Investigator on the project. She is at the University of Manchester, a Professor of Social Work and brings a social work perspective, and also a Deaf Studies perspective. Then, we have, Jemina Napier, Co-investigator on the project, who is from Heriot-Watt University, a Professor and Chair of Intercultural Communication and the Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences, bringing perspective as a sign language interpreter and someone that trains interpreters and also uses BSL. Next, we have Dr Rebecca Tipton, another Co-investigator on the project. She is also from the University of Manchester and she lectures in Translation and Interpreting Studies, and speaks French. Next, we have Dr Sarah Vicary, who is also a Co-investigator on the project. She is from the Open University and is the Associate Head of School of Nations. She is also a registered qualified social worker and has been for 30 years, and she brings a social work perspective. We also have Dr Natalia Rodriguez Vicente from the University of Essex. She lectures in Modern Languages, Interpreting and Translation, and she is also a Spanish speaker and works as a postdoctoral research associate on the project. And Celia Hulme who is from the University of Manchester and is a final year PhD student in health research and I am involved in the INForMHAA project as a research assistant bringing a deaf perspective, but also a PPIE perspective. Jackie Wan Brown has recently joined the project as an intern as part of her NIHR funded pre-doctoral programme.

Project Advisory Group

With respect to the Project Advisory Group, it’s really important as a research team to have an advisory group as we have knowledge about the research process but we also need people to advise whether they are AMHPs, social workers and also interpreters; they are experts in their field. We set up an advisory group so that throughout the process of doing the research, we make sure that their personal and professional experiences are included. We also want to include key stakeholders, interpreters, both for spoken and sign languages, but also people that work as AMHPs and even teach AMHPs and go through that process.

The aim of the advisory group is to meet once every three months. So, we get together on a regular basis to talk about the research, we update them as to what we’ve been doing and how things are going. We ask them to contribute any ideas, resources that we could use such as academic literature, policies, and legislation. Also, anything that they would like to recommend that they know about, for example key contacts if we are trying to recruit people, so we also use their network alongside ours. When we produce our preliminary results, we will ask them for feedback in the results and methods. We will work alongside them to promote the research through their networks and contacts; hopefully recruit people and make sure that this research has a real strong impact. It is a really important group to have involved in the project. Hopefully at the end of the research when it’s all been completed, they will help with dissemination as well through their networks. It is an ongoing process, not only for a limited time. We are hoping that they will support in the long term as well.

Patient and Public involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group

The PPIE group is for people that are not on the Advisory Group. These are a different group; they may be service users themselves or have direct experience of being assessed under the Mental Health Act. Their inclusion in the project is of real importance so

that is why we have a PPIE group. Our aim is to recruit eight members, all from different backgrounds, because the project is focused on Interpreter-Mediated Mental Health Act Assessments, we need to get people who have direct experience of working with interpreters and being assessed by an AHMP. So, we need to reflect their background.

We are trying to make sure we have diverse representation, so, we may have different language speakers on the panel, but also people with different skills and experiences.

When we recruit individuals, we don’t get going straight away, we will train the panel members to enable them to be effective panel members.  We give them information as to

what PPIE means, the research process, and then we will get them involved in the research project. They are involved in different tasks such as project design, where we will ask their opinions. They can get involved in data collection also in dissemination of the research, be potential authors, attend conferences, present findings from the study to difference audiences and pass on information on our behalf. So, they are going to be very busy in the project.

Scoping review

The scoping review is an important part of the project. What we need to do is try to understand what research has been done in this area and how our research can fill a gap in knowledge. It’ really important for us to identify this gap. People talk about literature reviews, that is one way of doing it, but our project is different because its social care research. We will be doing something different and it is referred to as a scoping review. So, this helps us identify what’s been published, and what research has been done in the area, but not only academic research. It could be things that have been published such as policies, legislation, any information pertaining particularly to the Mental Health Act assessments.  We have a strict inclusion and exclusion criteria that we must follow. For example, we are interested in research to do with mental health and interpreting but would not be interested in health interpreting generally. We try to narrow it down and understand particular research about mental health. We try to identify the gaps to make sure our project aims are covering a gap and giving new knowledge. It is a long process, and we are currently in the process of filtering the research, checking, agreeing what we will and will not include. We are going through that process at the moment and that’s just one of our methods. 

Mixed-methods research

There are two phases to the project, and each phase is different. This is a mixed-methods study, so we are not only using one method but several. One method, is the scoping review, which is taking place in Phase 1. But we also want to find out the experience of the AHMPs and the interpreters, and we are getting that information through a survey questionnaire, also in Phase 1. There are two surveys because the questions are different for interpreters and AHMPs. In the survey, there is an option for them to agree to be involved in an interview so they can talk in more detail about their experiences.

Phase two involves what we call ‘simulated practice’ and what we envision will happen is

people will observe a Mental Health Act assessment taking place, so there will be

an AHMP with an interpreter, in BSL or a spoken language, doing an assessment with other

individuals (from the advisory and/or PPIE groups) observing this happening.  We will then discuss what has worked well and if there were any issues that we need to think about. This will help us develop training materials. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided that everything has to take place online.

We are lucky that Zoom has different options and a special function that we can turn on that allows you to provide different language interpretations, so different spoken languages can be used simultaneously. Our aim is to adopt a multilingual approach.  So that means AHMPs could speak English, and the individual being assessed could use BSL or a different spoken language and people can listen to different language options or watch BSL interpreters. And then after the simulation is finished we will gather their thoughts and opinions on the process and what that felt like. We want to ask them different questions using a poll. We have trialled several different options to see what works well so that people to contribute their views. We’re still in midst of that. We are currently piloting what works well. Then, we will work out the situation and what that is going to look like. We will start developing that soon, so it’s very exciting.

Data analysis

In terms of the analysis, we will use various different methods. For example, for the survey, we will be using descriptive analysis and may use statistical analysis. For the interviews, we will use something called the phenomenological approach which allows us to examine the individuals and their experiences. For the simulated practice, we will using different approaches. We will be analysing the interaction between the interpreter, the assessor, the service user, or the carer. We will be using software tools GoReact and ELAN. So, we will use both to analyse the information.

So, that’s the overall project.

Knowledge Exchange and Information Exchange (KEIE)

We also have a responsibility to share our findings. We have to make sure that research is accessible and has an impact and will benefit those people concerned. For example, service users, AMHPs and interpreters, so we do this through KEIE. We will publish papers but the main foundation and principle behind our project is accessibility, making sure information is accessible. So, we will disseminate information in English, in sign language like we’re doing today with this vlog. But also, we want to try to make it available in different spoken languages. We will have a website where these different language options are available and everything will be available in sign language. We will post regular updates as we go along that will be on the website, so that people can engage and see the information we are putting out there. We will also host workshops, deliver presentations at academic conferences and for professional organisations and communities, making sure that people are aware of what is going on with the project. For example, we delivered a workshop to NIHR SSCR, who funded the project and we talked about accessibility, what that means and how we designed our project with accessibility in mind using a multilingual approach and how we have embedded the principle of accessibility in the whole research design that will hopefully continue long after the lifespan of the project.

Website & Resources

A website is currently being developed for the project. There will be information and guidance available on the website at the end of the project. We hope to create some training materials, guidelines for interpreters working with AMHPs and guidelines for AMHPs working with interpreters plus, these resources will be free and available online, so anybody interested in the topic can download these materials, whether they teach AMHPs or are interpreters, they will have access to these materials as well.

JUSTISIGNS 2 project

Supporting deaf female victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

By Jemina Napier & Luce Clark

See the link to this blogpost in British Sign Language (BSL):

In this v/blogpost Jemina Napier and Luce (Lucy) Clark from the SIGNS@HWU team in the Centre of Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) at Heriot-Watt University provide an overview of the work to date on the Justisigns 2 project. The wider project focuses on how to support victims and survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence from deaf and migrant communities, with a view to understanding best practices for key professionals (i.e., police, health and social) and interpreters working together to ensure access to support. The Heriot-Watt University team are focusing on support for deaf women specifically.

The Justisigns 2 project runs from January 2020 to May 2022 but had a delayed start due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is a follow-on from the Justisigns project, which focused on best practices for police officers and sign language interpreters working together.

Below is a translation of the overview presented in BSL.

JEMINA:          This vlog is about the Justisigns 2 project. My name is Jemina Napier and I work at Heriot Watt University. 

LUCE:               My name is Lucy Clark, I work as a research assistant with Jemina. 

JEMINA:          The purpose of this vlogpost is to explain about the Justisigns 2 project and the goals of the project.

Firstly, we will explain the background of the project, then we will provide details of our work to date and our on-going plans. 

Essentially, we are aiming to understand deaf women’s experiences of gender-based violence (GBV), which can be defined in many ways to include domestic, sexual and emotional abuse, and their needs for accessing support.

Much of the information and support for GBV victims is not available in British Sign Language (BSL) or other sign languages, so this project, funded through the European Commission, brings together a European consortium coordinated by Interesource Group. Heriot-Watt University is the UK partner and we are working with partners in Ireland (Trinity College Dublin), Spain (University of Vigo) and Belgium (European Union for the Deaf). 

We are aiming to develop training materials and resources to support professionals and interpreters working with deaf female victims and survivors of GBV. In an ideal world, any deaf woman who has been abused should be able to receive support from specialist deaf services to get the support directly in BSL (known as language concordant care).

But we know that this is often not possible, so many deaf women will have to receive support through mainstream hearing services, meaning that police officers, counsellors and support workers will have to work with BSL interpreters.

So, the goal of this project is to develop resources as well training materials for both BSL interpreters and allied hearing professionals who work to support deaf female GBV victims and survivors. The project will enable us to better understand the best way to support deaf women and their needs – most importantly – in sign language. 

So far, since starting work on this project we have set up a UK advisory group, involving representatives of key organisations that work with deaf people, with female victims of GBV, or with sign language interpreters, namely BDA Scotland (British Deaf Association), Wise Women in Glasgow, Scottish Women’s Aid, SignHealth, and ASLI (Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK). The organisations will ensure that our project results are most useful, by making us aware of the needs of the key stakeholders.

Since we set up the advisory group, we have also recently administered a survey to interpreters and hearing support professionals to find out what training needs they have to support their skills development in working with deaf women in GBV contexts. We have also run a few online information sessions: (1) a general information event for the British Deaf community, a webinar for deaf women on International Women’s Day, and (3) a joint information session for police officers with the Police Scotland Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit in collaboration with the SIPR (Scottish Institute for Policing Research). 

Also, we held an online workshop with BSL interpreters and deaf IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advocates) to discuss best practices for working together, the challenges involved and any barriers in supporting deaf women. 

We have done a lot of work so far, and we are excited exciting that Luce has now joined the team as a new staff member, and just started at the end of June 2021.

LUCE:               Yes, time flies! 

JEMINA:          Why don’t you explain what you have been doing since then?  

LUCE:               So far, I have done a lot of research, primarily analysing the video of the discussion between the IDVAs and Interpreters; their knowledge and experience, it was amazing. Because I knew from my own experiences, I personally understood what they were talking about. I learned along the way, analysed what they were discussing (for key themes) and produced a translation. We will be sharing the results of that soon. 

Also, I have conducted other research examining the news in Scotland, England and Wales for local relevant updates concerning domestic and gender-based violence. For example, there is one news item that stood out for me: now in Scotland, if a couple are living together to in a rental property, and the perpetrator of abuse is arrested, the victim can stay safely in the rental property. This means that the perpetrator has to leave the property, and the landlord can approve for the victim stay at home to be safe. Information like this is important to share in BSL, which I will be doing regularly through vlogs.

Plus, I will be sharing information on how to recognise different signs to use for concepts related to abuse. It needs to be recognised as the abuses can be wide ranging. So we need to identify appropriate signs for different types of abuse, for example like ‘informed consent’ and pronouns and other terminology. Because we want to ensure that we create a safe space to talk about GBV, for people from LGBTQIA+ and other minority communities, including different ethnicities and disabilities. We can improve access to information by focusing on the key thing that is common to the various deaf communities, and that is providing information in sign language.

It is amazing this work, and I am still excited to work in this project. Looking forward to gathering more information, as the more we have, the more aware we are. So, we will share more information once we have agreed what information needs to go out. 

JEMINA:          We have been busy with this project! It will run for one more year, and hopefully we might get an extension (fingers crossed!). 

Forthcoming plans include a workshop for deaf and hearing interpreters to get together to discuss, like Lucy said earlier, how we sign different terminology and jargon. For example, we sometimes see the sign ‘victim’ signed in a way that is similar to a sign for ‘guilt’, which implies that it is the victim’s fault, which is never the case. A more appropriate sign might be to show the person has suffered, or has experienced abuse, but it is not their fault. There are several other examples for us to discuss the appropriate signs for different terms. Especially if an interpreter is accompanying a victim in a police context where they are being questioned about an incident, or to a  hospital for a medical check-up, or to a counsellor appointment, or to other support services, there can be legal or medical terms that come up that are important for the interpreter to understand. So, Luce is doing some initial research, and then we will have a workshop to discuss these terms with the aim of creating a BSL glossary to make freely available. 

We will also provide workshops for police officers and other hearing support service professionals, as well interpreters, so they can reflect on how best to work in these situations with deaf victims. If you continue to watch our vlogposts, we will regularly share information about the workshops/events coming up.

We also hope to conduct follow up interviews with deaf women about their lived experiences. If we can log their experiences, we can better understand their needs which will inform the development of training materials that reflect their needs. 

LUCE:               And just to add that we are fully aware that most deaf women may feel nervous when it comes to participating in interviews. We would like to be clear on this that all interviews will be 100% confidential. They will help us to generate the evidence to understand the journeys of deaf women having to access hearing services through interpreters. This is our focus as we would like to know how can we improve the situation, to support professionals and interpreters to employ best practices. To avoid additional stress caused by having to explain about deaf-specific issues, which can create tensions. Our goal is to make sure the support services are smooth was possible, to work together to focus on victim, so hearing professionals and interpreters can better work toegther.  As a survivor myself who has been through domestic violence, if you are comfortable, I welcome you to talk to me, and I guarantee that anything you say will remain confidential.  Our job is to make sure you are safe. We want to be clear on that.  

JEMINA:          That’s right. It is a good point. Especially because the interviews will be recorded in BSL. From the videos we will take note of the most important things, but then the videos will be deleted immediately as soon as we are finished. The videos won’t be shown to anyone else, or kept for any other reason. No names will be revealed. The aim of the interview is to learn about experiences, and to use example quotes in the training to reveal those experiences; but no one will ever know who said what. which can be used to develop better training. It is a good point and it is important to be clear on that. 

So, what’s next? Luce has vlogging plans! 

LUCE:               Yes, I will be vlogging about any events in the UK, or new information, e.g. about change of laws or the fight for law reform, or campaigns for the victims. That information I will be vlogging via Twitter and Facebook. The more information out there, the better. You can follow us, tag us, and share the information with friends and family. It will raise awareness about these situations, and we will signpost information on where people can get support by the right people/organisations. And the best thing is that it will all be in BSL; we will be translating information into in BSL. This we hope to launch soon, aiming for a vlogpost every month. So, keep an eye out for it. If you have any information that you would like to share with us, that we can do; I will share it through the vlog. 

JEMINA:          So, watch this space! 

LUCE:               Keep safe, all of you.  

InterTrainE Newsletter: February 2021

Welcome to the final newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE)! The 2-year project is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

InterTrainE course launch

Our free online course on Intercultural Training for Educators was officially launched at national events and at an international final dissemination conference earlier this month. The InterTrainE course is available in 4 languages (English, Greek, Italian and Finnish) and the national events presented the local language version of the course.

National Multiplier Events

ITALY

The Italian course launch took place on 28th January online. The project lead for Studio Risorse, Monica Miglionico, and the project lead for Il Sicomoro, Valeria Zampagni, presented the Italian course and engaged in a long discussion with educators, migrant learners and other stakeholders in Matera and beyond.

GREECE

The Greek course launch took place on 27th January online. The project lead for KEKAPER at the Region of Crete, Charalambos-Nikolaos Piteris, and the project lead for the European Education and Learning Institute -EELI, Kalli Rodopoulou, presented the Greek course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders.

FINLAND

The Finnish course launch took place on February 11th online. The project lead for Learning for Integration ry, Marja-Liisa Helenius, presented the Finnish course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners and other stakeholders.

UK – FINAL LAUNCH EVENT

The UK dissemination and final launch event for the project took place on February 1st online. The project lead for Creative Learning Programmes, Chrysi Koundouraki, and the project coordinator from Heriot-Watt University, Dr Katerina Strani, presented the InterTrainE course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners, academics and other stakeholders in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The InterTrainE course

The InterTrainE course is divided into 4 Modules and each Module consists of 4 units.

Module 1: Theoretical Background, Basic Principles and Concepts
Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration
Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts
Module 4: Impact and global citizenship

A certificate of completion awarding 5 EQF credits is issued to learners who complete the course and achieve a minimum of 70% in each Module. Learners can choose to complete part of the course according to their training needs, however they will not receive a certificate of completion if they do not complete all 4 Modules.

There is a discussion forum where you are invited to ask questions and discuss key concepts or case studies in the course under the principles of peer learning.

The course is accompanied by a Course Syllabus and a Trainees’ Handbook.

You can find all our completed outputs, including research reports, curricula, the course syllabus and the trainees’ handbook on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

Be part of our conversation! Register on our platform http://intertraine.eu/moodle/ and follow the online course. Send us your feedback at info@intertraine.eu

Thank you for all your support!

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Research Gate  

For any questions or comments, please contact: info@intertraine.eu

Or the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
Henry Prais Building
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
UK
Tel: +44 131 451 4216
A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

IndyLan Project Update! June 2020

Welcome to the second newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan). The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

IndyLan includes 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain) and aims to develop a mobile application which will help to learn the languages and cultures associated with the following indigenous languages: Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami. The project will develop an educational tool designed specifically for users to learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The partners are:

The IndyLan application will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami, all endangered at different degrees


The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution in the form of a mobile application. Smartphones have become a popular educational tool and the number of the smartphone and tablet users of all ages is constantly growing in the EU. The application is building on a previous project, Moving Languages, with the key difference that IndyLan will produce one application for all languages, and not multiple language-specific applications as Moving Languages did. IndyLan will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Culture; Test. 

The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

News and updates

Website launch

Our project website was launched in February! The website is available in 10 languages (and soon we will also have Swedish). It has a dedicated section on the languages and people of the IndyLan app, with videos and resources. On our website you can also find news and updates, as well as a list of our downloadable outputs.

Intellectual Output 1 completed

Our Intellectual Output 1: Report on endangered indigenous languages in partner countries and mobile learning solutions is ready and can be downloaded from our website 

The report provides an overview of endangered languages in the partner countries (UK, Finland, Norway, Spain) and a review of mobile and other virtual learning tools for learning and promoting these languages. The report starts with an overview of the endangered languages in Europe, and the current EU policies concerning indigenous and minority languages. Next, it provides some figures and statistics regarding the above six indigenous and endangered languages, which are part of the IndyLan app (Basque, Cornish, Gaelic, Galician, Scots and Sámi), in the partner countries (UK, Spain, Finland, Norway). Finally, it reviews mobile learning solutions and online resources available for these endangered languages in partner countries (for Android, iOS, and Windows platforms).

Each partner researched, downloaded and tested where possible, and evaluated the available language learning applications. The search was carried out on Google, Apple and other markets, using the mobile devices and PCs. The result of this work is not only a rich collection of language learning applications described in detail, but also an important collection of suggestions and useful information for developing the IndyLan app.

Promotional Cornish video

Watch Mark Trevethan from Cornwall Council promoting the IndyLan app in Cornish!

Covid-19 impact on our project

These last few months have certainly been different and difficult for many of us. Many aspects of our work and our lives have changed as we are being affected in ways we could not imagine.

In light of the rapidly changing situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to cancel our face-to-face meeting in Karasjok, Sápmi, Norway which was due to take place on 10-11 June. We met twice online instead, once in April and once in June. If circumstances allow it, we will meet in Karasjok in March 2021 at our scheduled third project meeting, otherwise we will meet in Bilbao as originally planned.

Our 2nd project meeting took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions

Katerina (coordinator, HWU) dialling in from her home in Edinburgh
Steve (Scots researcher, HWU), joining from his home outside Edinburgh
Veronica (Learnmera) in lockdown in Portugal, looking very happy indeed!
Mark (Cornwall Council) joined from his home in Cornwall
Garazi (Moviéndote) joined from her office in Bilbao, where the lockdown had just been lifted
Áile (Saami Council) from her office in Karasjok, where the lockdown had just been lifted
Beaska Niilas (Saami Council, Sámi researcher) also dialled in from Karasjok.

With the help of technology, we were able to hold an online partners’ meeting on the 10th of June instead of our planned one in Karasjok. We had already held a catch-up meeting in April online, where we discussed the current and next stages of the project and made sure that everyone is all right and coping with the situation at the moment. In these two meetings we discussed the project’s progress, dissemination, internal and external reviewing procedures, and Covid-19 contingency planning. The full agenda of the meeting can be found here

Progress

  • We received a very positive review of our Intellectual Output 1 and of the progress of our project so far by the external evaluator, Dr Philip McDermott, Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences, University of Ulster.
  • We submitted a progress report to our funder, Erasmus + UK, and we are awaiting results and any recommendations.
  • Intellectual Output 2 is the application itself, which will be ready in beta version by April 2021. Partners have completed the translation of about 4,000 vocabulary items for each language, which was no easy task, as there were many untranslatable terms (there are no words for yes or no in Cornish), terms with complicated translations (‘to own something’ in Gaelic) and other terms with more than one translations (see snow terminology  in Sámi).
  • Partners are now in the process of translating phrases and dialogues, developing the grammar tabs and the culture tabs. After this, we will be producing audio files for all these terms and phrases!
  • The developers will have the app backend ready soon, so the app will start taking shape.
  • Intellectual Output 3 will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021.
  • The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021.

Next project meetings

–> September 2020 (online)

–> December 2020 (online)

–> March 2021: Bilbao or Karasjok – to be confirmed!

Will the March 2021 meeting take place in Karasjok?
Or in Bilbao?

If you are an educator, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe has just opened a call for #AdultLearning community to share their stories. 

Why not share yours at https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/community-stories-initiative?

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Stay safe everyone!

For any questions or comments, please contact us at info@indylan.eu

Sign language interpreting in international conferences & high-level meetings: Pioneering work at Heriot-Watt University

By Jemina Napier

Click here to see blogpost in International Sign

In December 2019, the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland and the Heriot-Watt University BSL team (SIGNS@HWU) had the privilege of hosting a curriculum development meeting to discuss a potential pioneering new Masters programme in Sign Language Interpreting in Conferences and High-Level Meetings, as well as the delivery of a ‘taster’ course in 2020 in order to boost the number of International Sign interpreters currently working in these contexts.

Participants included representatives from key stakeholder Deaf community and sign language interpreting organisations, including the World Federation of the Deaf, World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, European Union of the Deaf, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, Overseas Interpreting, the AIIC Sign Language Network and the National Technical Institute of the Deaf-Rochester Institute of Technology; as well as independent experts with experience as deaf and hearing International Sign interpreters and interpreter educators.

Participants at the development meeting, December 2019

The curriculum development project has been part-funded by the Directorate General for Interpretation (SCIC) at the European Commission, with support for staff time from the Heriot-Watt University School of Social Sciences and Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS). 

The project has been established in recognition of the increasing demand for sign language interpreters to work at international conferences and high-level meetings, and also to increase the numbers of International Sign interpreters accredited through the WASLI-WFD International Sign interpreter accreditation system.

SCIC recognised Heriot-Watt University as being the ideal university to develop a new Masters programme, as LINCS been offering courses in Conference Interpreting since 1970 and is one of only four UK university departments that have been granted membership of CIUTI, an international body which brings together universities which specialise in translating and interpreter training. LINCS is also a partner with the Magdeburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany and HUMAK University of Applied Sciences in Finland in the delivery of the European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI). Thus, we will draw together our expertise in training both spoken and signed language interpreters to deliver this pioneering course. It is hoped that the new Masters programme will commence from September 2021

2020 intensive course

The first step in the curriculum development project is to offer an intensive ‘booster’ course in June 2020.

The intensive 5-day course on sign language interpreting in international conferences and high-level meetings (SLIC) for professionally qualified national sign language interpreters focuses on strengthening International Sign skills, enhancing awareness of relevant European and international institutions, as well as practical translingual interpreting skills, working between primarily English and International Sign but also other spoken and signed languages.

This intensive course has three goals:

(1) To prepare interpreters to apply for WASLI-WFD International Sign interpreter accreditation.

(2) To boost the number of International Sign interpreters working internationally, but particularly in Europe to meet needs at the European Commission, the European Parliament, at United Nations Geneva, and also for academic conferences and political meetings.

(3) To trial curriculum content for a potential new Masters programme in Sign Language Interpreting at Conferences to be offered through Heriot-Watt University LINCS.

  • The overall aim of the intensive course is to work towards readiness for applying for accreditation either with WFD-WASLI, or for EU or UN accreditation.
  • Completion of the intensive training course is no guarantee of accreditation or offers of work as an International Sign interpreter

Course content

The final course content and delivery will be finalised once the language combinations of the participants have been confirmed. Overall, using a case study approach, the 5-day course will include discussions and practical sessions on:

  • The International Sign/ multilingual interpreting landscape
  • EU and international organisations
  • Enhancing translingual skills
  • International Sign ‘therapy’
  • Applied interpreting skills
  • Unilateral interpreting
  • Bilateral interpreting
  • Relay interpreting
  • Critical reflective practice
  • One-to-one structured feedback on interpreting
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Professionalism and ethics

Our state-of-the-art digital interpreting and sign language labs will be available exclusively for use by students on this course, as well as access to bespoke visual software for recording and annotating sign language interpreting work.

The course will be delivered primarily by leading sign language, deaf studies and sign language interpreting researchers, educators and practitioners at Heriot-Watt, including:

  • Professor Jemina Napier: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Associate member, Registered Qualified BSL/English interpreter, Accredited Auslan/English interpreter, expertise in research and teaching on sign language interpreting
  • Professor Graham H. Turner: Sign language policy and Interpreting Studies academic, co-founder of the EUMASLI and Heriot-Watt BSL UG programmes, expertise in research and teaching on sign language interpreting and BSL policy
  • Dr Annelies Kusters: Deaf Studies academic, expertise in research and teaching on deaf ethnographies, professional mobilities, translanguaging and International Sign
  • Dr Robert Adam: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, Registered Qualified BSL-ISL interpreter, Registered Qualified BSL-English translator, expertise in research and teaching on sign language contact and sign language interpreting. (joining Heriot-Watt staff in April 2020)
  • Dr Stacey Webb: Certified ASL/English interpreter, expertise in teaching sign language interpreting and research on sign language interpreting pedagogy
  • Andy Carmichael: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Associate member, Registered Qualified BSL/English interpreter, Accredited Auslan/English interpreter, Chair of the board of Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK (ASLI UK), in-house interpreter at Heriot-Watt, expertise in training and mentoring sign language interpreters
  • Christopher Tester: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Full member, Certified ASL/English interpreter, PhD student at Heriot-Watt, expertise in training sign language interpreters

In addition, further input will come from LINCS academics who are experts in teaching multilingual, spoken language conference interpreting, and external collaborators with expertise in International Sign and International Sign interpreting.

Who is this course for?

  • This intensive course is targeted at sign language interpreters from any country who have not yet achieved WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter accreditation, or are already accredited but do not feel that they have previously received sufficient training and would like more professional skills development. Priority will be given to applicants who are not yet accredited.
  • Applications are particularly encouraged from interpreters who are deaf, female or from ethnic minorities.
  • A quota of places will be offered to European-based interpreters due to the part funding of the course by the European Commission.

Course dates

Date: 8th-12th June 2020

Venue: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Campus, Scotland

Applicants for the intensive course must meet the following essential criteria:

  • Hold a national sign language interpreting qualification (or equivalent)
  • Have a minimum of 5 years post-qualification (or equivalent) experience in national sign language interpreting
  • Have extensive experience of national sign language interpreting in conference or high-level meetings (minimum of 50 hours)
  • Evidence of IS conference interpreting experience (minimum of 20 hours)

Applications from deaf or hearing interpreters from countries that do not have established undergraduate sign language interpreting programmes, or professional infrastructure will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the equivalent knowledge and experience.

How to Apply click here to get more information and how to apply

Exchange programme – two weeks in Vietnam!

By Katerina Koukouviki

MSc student, Cultural Heritage Management with Tourism

In the beginning of October, one of our professors at the MSc in Cultural Heritage Management with Tourism, Ullrich Kockel, informed us during his class that there was an opening for an Erasmus+ exchange programme, called Marco Polo”. One student would be able to attend classes for two weeks at the University of Hanoi in Vietnam (HANU).

I considered it to be a unique opportunity and I immediately started emailing around, to find out more about all the requirements and the procedure in general. I was trying not to get my hopes up at first, as I thought that it was just one opening and I guessed that many other students would have been interested.

Nevertheless, after a few meetings with HWU Marco Polo Coordinator John Cleary and Cultural Studies coordinator Katerina Strani and several emails later, it was confirmed from Vietnam that I was accepted! The University took care of my trip there and I arranged the matter of my VISA (got reimbursed later). I also received a grant for my expenses during my stay there.

By the end of October, I was in Vietnam, where I spent the next two weeks. I explored the vibrant city of Hanoi and I was able to travel around the country as well. Apart from its natural beauty, Vietnam is soaked in history. A millennium under the rule of China, the French colonisation and the Vietnamese war have left their marks that are evident in its cultural heritage.

Watching the beauty of Tam Coc from above.

At the HANU University of Hanoi, I was welcomed by Mrs. Nhai Nguyen, Mr. Ha Pham Viet and the manager of the programme, Prof. Nhat Tuan Nguyen. My classmates were very friendly, and we exchanged our points of view regarding cultural differences, as well as several cultural and heritage-related topics. Their insights helped me understand Vietnamese culture much better.

With Prof. Duong (on the left) and Prof. Tuan Nguyen (on the right) at HANU University.
One of the buildings at HANU University.
Initiated to Pho Bo (soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat) by my classmates.

Here are some interesting facts around student life in Hanoi:

  • Classes start at 7.00 in the morning and facilities like the library close after 18.45. Yeap… You might have to say goodbye to 9.15 for a while!
  • Students who live in the dorms pay almost £17/month (Monthly average income per capita in an urban area for 2018: £185) [1] and share the room with another 6, 8 or 10 persons. This would be very difficult for me and I would guess for other Westerners, as I appreciate my privacy.
The University Halls of Residence

As a final point, I would like to encourage all students to make the most of their student life and participate in exchange programmes in order to meet new people and places and expand their horizons. My experience was unforgettable!

Sources:

[1] General Statistics Office of Vietnam:

 11. Health, Culture and Living Standard – Monthly average income per capita at current prices by residence and by region- Urban,2018). Retrieved from: https://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=783

IndyLan Newsletter – January 2020

Welcome to the first newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan). The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

IndyLan includes 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain) and aims to develop a mobile application which will help to learn the languages and cultures associated with the following indigenous languages: Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami. The project will develop an educational tool designed specifically for users to learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The partners are:

The IndyLan application will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic (designated as ‘definitely endangered’), Scots (‘severely endangered’), Cornish (‘critically endangered’), Basque (‘severely endangered’), Galician (a minority language) and Saami (‘severely endangered’). 


The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution in the form of a mobile application. Smartphones have become a popular educational tool and the number of the smartphone and tablet users of all ages is constantly growing in the EU. The application is building on a previous project, Moving Languages, with the key difference that IndyLan will produce one application for all languages, and not multiple language-specific applications as Moving Languages did. IndyLan will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Culture; Test. 

The app will be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

News and updates

Our kick-off meeting took place in Edinburgh on 07-08 October 2019. 

Partners met at Heriot-Watt University‘s Riccarton campus and discussed the project’s timeline, milestones and deadlines. They agreed on the project logo and on the design of the website. Each partner gave an overview of their contribution. The project evaluation procedures were also finalised, and the procedure of appointing an external evaluator was agreed upon. The external evaluator for the project will be Dr Philip McDermott, Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences, University of Ulster. The full agenda of the meeting can be found here.

(L-R) – Áile Jávo (Saami Council), Mark Trevethan (Cornwall Council), Katerina Strani (HWU), Veronica Gelfgren (Learnmera Oy), Naroa Bengoetxea (Asociación Moviéndote)

The first Intellectual Output is a short needs analysis, which will be published in early February. The 2nd Intellectual Output will be the application itself, which will be ready in beta version by April 2021. The 3rd Intellectual Output will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021. The app will be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android.

Discussing the budget
A long but productive day!
Discussing the vocabulary and going through more than 4,000 terms!
Finished! Now time for the partner dinner.
(L-R): Katerina Strani (HWU), Veronica Gelfren (Learnmera Oy), Mark Trevethan (Cornwall Council), Naroa Bengoetxea (Asociación Moviéndote), Áile Jávo (Saami Council)
The IndyLan project partners with our Intercultural Research Centre Directors Ullrich Kockel and Máiréad Nic Craith

Our project website will soon be available, so stay tuned!

Next project meeting:

10-11 June 2020

Karasjok, (Sápmi) Norway

Hosted by the Saami Council Headquarters

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For any questions or comments, please contact the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani

Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Henry Prais Building

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh EH14 4AS

UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216

A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

InterTrainE project – October 2019 newsletter

One year on, and our team grew by two members! Kate Sailer from CLP gave a birth to a boy in May 2019 and Kalli Rodopoulou from EELI also gave birth to a boy in July 2019. 

Congratulations to both!

For the rest of us, it’s business as usual. The 3rd InterTrainE partners’ meeting took place in Helsinki on 12-13 September 2019.

As always, all partners participated and we were joined by our External Evaluator, Dr Jim Crowther. We are very grateful to our external evaluator for his feedback and guidance so far. His expertise and engagement with the project are invaluable.

It’s been a very busy time, as we finished our 3rd intellectual output – Curriculum on Intercultural Education which has also been translated in all partner languages (Finnish, Italian and Greek).

We discussed the 4th intellectual output (IO4 – Training material for online use). Work is already under way. Georgia Zervaki from EELI, the IO4 leader, presented the timeline for material development and Monica Miglionico from Studio Risorse showed us some concrete examples of material developed so far.

Marja-Liisa Helenius (LFI) presented the updates on the InterTrainE platform (Moodle), which is starting to take shape, at least it in its technical form.

Katerina Strani (HWU), as coordinator, was tasked with updating the partnership on internal evaluation, peer reviewing and external evaluation, both by Dr Jim Crowther and by the EU.

We are very pleased to announce that our Progress Report satisfied the funder and there are no issues to address! As we are approaching the completion of the first half of the 26-month project, we are busy preparing the documents for the Interim Report to the funder.

The project is on track, and the timeline is as follows:

IO5 (Training guide for Adult Educators) – December 2019

IO6 (Course Syllabus) – January 2020

IO4 (Training material for online use) – April 2020

The Joint-Staff Training Event (JSTE), which will test the course material with non-project participants from the partner countries (both educators and learners) will take place in Rethymno, Crete, 04-08 May 2020. Our next project meeting will take place on 07 and 08 May in Rethymno, which will give us the opportunity to look at the JSTE and the feedback and plan the necessary changes to the course.  

More updates on the JSTE will be sent later on in the year. Watch this space!

The partnership had dinner at a traditional Karelian restaurant in Helsinki. Thank you Marja-Liisa Helenius for the hospitality J

See you in Rethymno in the Spring, where we will be testing the InterTrainE course material!

For more information about the project, please visit our website, which includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:

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For any questions or comments, please contact the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani

Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Henry Prais Building

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh EH14 4AS

UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216

A.Strani@hw.ac.uk