Metaphor Translation Workshop

Are you a language student or professional interested in exploring new theory and practice in the field of metaphor translation?  

The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University invites you to participate in a 1-day training workshop on Saturday 9 April, 9:30 am – 4pm on our Edinburgh campus. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  

The workshop is free of charge as it is part of a research project funded by a Heriot-Watt University ‘enhancement themes’ grant to investigate a collaborative learning approach to teaching translation. At the end of the workshop, participants will be asked to complete a detailed feedback form about their learning experience to inform the research. Ethical approval for this project was granted on 13/9/2020 under ref no. 2021-1480-4597. 

This workshop is a fully accredited CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training and all participants who complete it will receive a CPD Certificate. 

The event covers the following language combinations: Arabic<>English, Chinese<>English, French<>English. Proficiency in one of these combinations is required in order to fully benefit from the teaching.  

There are 20 spaces available on a first come first serve basis. 

Click here to register for the event:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. Pre-workshop material and further information will be provided 2 weeks before the event.


Conceptual metaphors exist in all languages and across all genres and text types. For example, the English conceptual metaphor COVID IS AN ENEMY gives rise to expressions such as ‘fighting Covid, shielding against Covid, working on the front line’. However, these conceptual mappings are not universal and might vary across languages.  Consistency in translating these metaphors is especially important when those metaphors are used as behaviour triggers (e.g. stay home to protect lives in the context of the war on Covid). 

The workshop will combine theoretical presentations with discussion and practical group work activities. It will cover:

  • Text analysis 
  • Conceptual metaphor theory 
  • Metaphor identification 
  • Conceptual metaphor translation 
  • Text accuracy and consistency 

Who can attend this workshop: Postgraduate or final year undergraduate students in languages and/or translation; Early-career or experienced translators (Arabic, Chinese, French).

Both students and professionals can benefit from this in-depth exploration to improve their analytical skills and the quality of their translations.

Who will deliver this workshop: The workshop will be delivered by three experienced researchers and translation trainers.

Dr. Sui He is a Lecturer in Chinese-English Translation and Interpretation at Swansea University. She completed her PhD in translation studies in 2022, with a focus on metaphor translation in popular scientific discourse. She is an experienced freelance translator/interpreter between English and Mandarin Chinese/Cantonese.

Dr. Khadidja Merakchi is Assistant Professor of French at Heriot-Watt University. She is a fluent speaker of Arabic, French and English. She completed her PhD in popular science metaphor translation from English to Arabic at the University of Surrey in 2017. She is an experienced professional translator and interpreter, as well as a teacher in both of these fields.

Ms. Juliette Rutherford is Assistant Professor in Chinese at Heriot-Watt University. She is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish and English. She worked as a professional in-house translator for 8 years before joining Heriot-Watt in 2019. She studied conceptual metaphor theory as part of her MSc programme, and is interested in researching this topic further both from a pedagogical and translation studies perspective.