Sign Neologisms workshop in Athens

In February 2023, Gary Quinn, from the BSL section of LINCS, attended the Sign Neologisms workshop in Athens, Greece, to present an e-poster about the BSL Glossary Project on workflow and ethics.

This workshop focussed on how signs develop for new terms in European countries. It brought together many different specialists working on lexical gaps and new words in sign languages from various perspectives.

It was hosted by EASIER, an EU Horizon 2020 project that aims to design, develop, and validate a complete multilingual machine translation system that will act as a framework for barrier-free communication among deaf and hearing individuals, as well as provide a platform to support sign language content creation.The aim of the workshop was to gather lessons from this collective experience to support the development of machine translation for sign language.

Forty-eight specialists from multiple professions (architecture, animation, avatars, computer science, linguistics, lexicography, deaf education, interpreting, mathematics, poetry, software development, translation, etc.) attended, from eleven countries: Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United States.

More info here:

Roundtable on starting work in the audiovisual translation industry

Hybrid event: 30 March 2023 at 02.30 BST

Are you interested in a language career, but don’t have a foreign language up your sleeve?

Are you a talented bilingual or multilingual, but not sure what to do with those amazing talents?

Are you a cinephile who dreams of rubbing shoulders with films directors and script writers?

Are you a Youtube or Tiktok aficionado who would like to raise your profile by subtitling your clips?

If this sounds like you, then come and join us and our guest speakers either in person at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Business School, LUMSDEN Suite North, EH14 4AS or online.

To join us online or in person, please register here:

Come and discover the different careers paths: timecoder, transcriber, audio description, Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of hearing, and many more.

During this session, our guest speakers who are all practitioners will be sharing their experience and providing tips to anyone aspiring to get a foot in this thriving industry.


Gabriella Büki, a freelance translator in the medical, scientific and pharmaceutical sectors as well as a subtitler and subtitle template creator for global streaming platforms.

Monika Svecak, vendor manager at Plint, and has also extensive experience as a subtitler.

Johanna Theng, senior vendor manager at Plint. Johanna is a trained translator and subtitler who’s been working on the project management and vendor relation side for the past 16 years.

Karli Webster, a free-lance subtitler since completing the Spanish and Applied Language Studies course at Heriot-Watt University in 2016. Karli’s key interest is in Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Michel Virasolvy, a free-lance subtitler with more than 11 years of experience in various projects aimed both at the general public and corporate departments.

Elena Zini, Screen Language director, is a subtitling, translation and accessibility consultant with over 10 years’ experience in the field.

We will try to take as many questions as possible on the day, but if you want to make sure your questions are not missed, go ahead and post it on our Event questions forum:

Silent Harm Project Launch – Domestic Abuse Questionnaire

By Jemina Napier & Lucy Clark

This blogpost is a translation from a vlogpost generated in British Sign Language (BSL):

In this v/blogpost Jemina Napier and Lucy Clark from the SIGNS@HWU team in the Centre of Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) at Heriot-Watt University discuss an exciting new project. You may have seen previously that Jemina and Lucy worked on a project called Justisigns 2, which focused on developing support for deaf women who have experienced sexual, domestic, or gender-based violence and best practices for interpreters and support service providers to work together in this context, with a focus on police officers (see for v/blogposts about the project)

The Justisigns 2 project created a number of different training materials and resources through research interviews with deaf women, interviews with police officers and also a survey of interpreters and support service providers. Take a look at the Justisigns 2 website for more information about those resources.

This new project however, has been funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), along with the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) through a Scotland-Ireland Bilateral Network Grant. This extension to the project aims to expand upon and continue the work that was done in the Justisigns 2 project, using the materials that were developed in relation to training police officers and interpreters to work together to support deaf women who report domestic abuse.

This RSE-RIA project is focused on supporting deaf women who live in rural areas in Scotland and Ireland. We know that through the COVID-19 pandemic, the reporting of domestic abuse increased significantly amongst the general population, and furthermore we know that deaf women are two or even three times more likely to experience this kind of abuse than their hearing counterparts.

This joint project will deliver training to police officers and sign language interpreters who live and work in three different rural settings in Scotland and two rural areas in Ireland. We hope to encourage a better understanding of the situation for deaf women in reporting domestic abuse, as well as best practices for working together to increase support to deaf women who are in rural areas. These women may have more negative experiences due to their isolation and may not know how to report the abuse that they experience.

The 6-month project commenced in January 2023, and we’ve already completed our first task in relation to the Police Scotland ‘Domestic Abuse Questionnaire’ (DAQ). Many deaf women reported to us that they are confused by what the DAQ is and what its purpose is. It is simply a mechanism to support police to get a fuller idea of what’s been going on in a domestic abuse situation. There are 27 questions that are asked, and some of them often may not feel very relevant to the particular situation under investigation. It’s important that a holistic view is taken of the situation in terms of what’s been happening and what has happened in the past so that police and other frontline workers can collect a full picture of the evidence and then they can charge any perpetrators appropriately. So, the DAQ really needed explaining in an effort to enable deaf women to understand what’s in the DAQ and why it is used.

To explore the understanding of the DAQ we held a workshop bringing together three representatives from Police Scotland – one police officer who has a specific role in promoting BSL and working with the deaf community and the other two police officers work in the domestic abuse coordination unit, so they have the background and expertise in the area of domestic abuse. We also brought in a representative from interpreting agency JustSign, which operates in Scotland and specialises in providing interpreting for legal settings such as court and police interviews, along with a representative from Deaf Links, a Scottish deaf community organisation that currently has a project focused on supported deaf women who report domestic abuse. All those stakeholders came together with Jemina and Lucy to discuss the DAQ, and the complexities of some of the questions that made them difficult or challenging to interpret into BSL.

We decided not to try and translate all 27 questions, but rather to clearly go through the DAQ process step by step plus create an explanation about what the DAQ is in BSL for deaf women, so they understand why the police have to follow the very strict order of questions in this fixed process.

We wanted to ensure that because the process of asking all the DAQ questions can take some time, that deaf women understood the DAQ process and the fact that they have to clearly detail information so that police officers can get a full picture. We want to assist to improve this process, make it smoother and clearer. So, the representatives have taken note of which DAQ questions are complex and difficult to translate and are taking steps to try and simplify some of the questions or the ordering of questions. This work we have done on the DAQ we hope will make a real impact on the experiences of deaf women reporting domestic abuse, that may also benefit all women.

We will soon begin rolling out the training sessions. The three sessions in Scotland will take place at the end of March (in Galashiels down by the Scottish Borders), in mid-April (further north in Inverness) and the end of May on the West coast of Scotland in West Dunbartonshire. In Ireland, there will be two training sessions held in April and May in different locations.

At the end of the project we will also be delivering ‘Train the Trainer’ workshops in Scotland and Ireland for people who train police officers and interpreters so that they can think about how to incorporate information about deaf women’s experience of domestic abuse in the training. This will enable us to provide a longer lasting and continuing impact from this project.

Watch this space for more v/blopost updates!

Another LINCS graduate joins the European Institutions

LINCS is delighted to celebrate the success of former student Erika Kadlçikova, who recently joined the Council of European Union as a full-time Czech translator.  

Erika joined the Languages and Intercultural Studies department in 2015. A native-speaker of Czech, she was keen to consolidate her already excellent English and was able to make the most of the freedom of movement still available at the time to all EU citizens to come and do the MA in Applied Languages with French and Spanish. She picked up Spanish from scratch, making the most of the Intensive Beginners pathway available to all students who arrive with only one of the core EU languages offered on LINCS programmes. Erika already dreamt of an EU career and was aware that English and two of the core EU languages would stand her in good stead to achieve her goal. Thanks to her hard work and to the support of the Spanish section, she was able to quickly bring her Spanish skills up to speed, and she graduated from the MA with a first-class Honours degree in 2019.  

On the back of her MA, Erika was able to build up a portfolio of valuable experiences, first teaching English in Spain, then branching into English content creation for websites, while developing her translation and proof-reading freelance business.  

To further her chances to achieve her dream of working for the European Institutions and to add to her skills-set as an expert linguist, Erika then decided to move back to Scotland and do the LINCS MSc in Translation. The MSc enabled her to hone her existing translation and interpreting skills, and to add translation-related additional skills, such as subtitling. She subsequently secured work as a subtitler, and was involved in a number of projects like sitcoms, series and films for Netflix and Disney.

Throughout her training, Erika also had access to information about EU careers and opportunities which helped her plan her next move. She successfully applied for a number of prestigious and very selective traineeships with European Institutions following her second study spell at Heriot-Watt: she became a trainee with the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU, then with the Renew Europe Czech Delegation, before being selected for a traineeship at Euractiv, with a focus on French translation. 

This wide range of experiences, accumulated over a period of only a few years, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, led to Erika securing a full-time post as translator in the Czech unit with the Council of the European Union in February 2023.  

Even though Czech is not one of the languages offered on LINCS programmes, the training is very focused on skills and techniques. Erika was able to apply these transferable skills, developed throughout her MA and MSc, to other language combinations with her native language. She valued the multilingual community she found on our campus, as it enabled to her to further consolidate her English and reach a very high level of proficiency in French and Spanish. In her own words, “the translation and interpreting courses at HWU are mostly practice-oriented, which makes them stand out amongst competitors and also makes you, the future graduate, more confident and employable”.  

Heriot-Watt summer school dates announced

The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University is delighted to announce our 2023 Summer School in Translation and Interpreting, both online and in person at our Edinburgh campus.

All the details are given below, including links to the detailed description of each CPD course on Eventbrite. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at

In person:

Week 1. Introduction to Interpreting course, 3 days (18-20 Aug 2023) and 5 days (18-22 Aug 2023): Information and tickets are available here:

Week 2. Translation Summer School, 4 days, 21-24 Aug, 2023. Information and tickets are available at

Week 3 English Retour Interpreting (Advanced), 3 days (25-27 Aug 2023)

and 5 days (25-29 Aug 2023). Information and reservations are available at

Week 3. British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreting Summer School (Advanced), 5 days (25-29 Aug 2023).

Online weekend courses:

Week 1. Introduction to Interpreting course (7-9 July, 2023)

Week 2. English Retour Interpreting (Advanced) (14-16 Jul 2023). Information and tickets are available at

1-day CPD courses as follows:

Remote Interpreting for British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters

Online 13 May 2023 Information and tickets are available at

On campus 26 June 2023 Information and tickets are available at

Intercultural awareness in the workplace. 1-day cpd.

Online 17 June 2023

In person 24 June 2023

We are applying an early bird and HW alumni discount of 10% on all courses until 28 February 2023. All course registration closes on 30 April 2023. Courses are limited to 20 participants per course on a first-come first-served basis.

For additional information and updates, please see our website: or contact us at

If you are considering to enrol in more than one course, we can offer you an extra 15% discount on any additional course. Please get in touch with to get a link to pay for two or more courses together.