CEL/ELC online conference “Languages and rights”

11-10-2021 at 9:11 AM

University of Antwerp, 2-3 December 2021

Call for Papers

As a result of migration and internal mobility European countries and cities have become increasingly multicultural and multilingual and host native speakers of hundreds of languages. These people may lack proficiency in the languages of the countries hosting them and therefore must rely on language assistance (i.e., translation and, above all, interpreting) to be able to communicate with authorities and service providers, and have access to social services. Language assistance is not always available, though, and even when it is, its quality is often inadequate. This results in a limited or impossible access to services and, in violation of the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, a de facto discrimination on the ground of language, with consequences that may be very serious, in particular in sensitive areas such as healthcare or justice where people’s health or freedom may be at stake.

Translators and interpreters as well as interlinguistic and intercultural mediators have a fundamental role to play in guaranteeing the implementation and enjoyment of rights and the construction of a truly inclusive society, but the role of institutions is equally important as appropriate legislation and policies are a precondition for the provision of high-quality translation and interpreting by qualified translators and interpreters, and the provision of mediation services by qualified mediators.

Language assistance, though, is not only needed across languages. For a variety of reasons, citizens and users may be unable to understand texts produced by authorities or public service providers – they would greatly benefit from more accessible communication, but text simplification is by no means a common practice, and this is, again, a matter of language rights.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Linguistic needs and rights
  • The linguistic dimension of migration
  • European and/or national legislation and legal instruments
  • European and/or national language policies
  • Awareness-raising activities focusing on language issues
  • Translation, interpreting, mediation and inclusion policies
  • Language rights and the provision of translation & interpreting services in emergency contexts (man-made and natural disasters, pandemics )
  • Training, qualifications and professionalization of public service translation & interpreting and linguistic & cultural mediation
  • Quality in public service translation & interpreting and linguistic & cultural mediation
  • Professional ethics in public service translation & interpreting and linguistic & cultural mediation
  • Public service translation & interpreting, linguistic & cultural mediation and vulnerability
  • Technology and public service translation & interpreting
  • Good/bad practices in public service translation & interpreting and linguistic & cultural mediation
  • Translanguaging, lingua francas and other forms of non-mediated communication
  • Public communication and text simplification

Conference program and registration link