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Panel 3. Intralingual translation – breaking boundaries

Despite the growing research interest and publications on intralingual translation in the past decade or so, there are only very few theoretical studies on the subject and very little discussion of intralingual translation’s place within Translation Studies.

Roman Jakobson’s (1959) tripartite typology of translation (interlingual, intralingual, and intersemiotic) is accepted by many translation scholars as a broad definition of translation and is frequently included at the beginning of textbooks introducing the field of Translation Studies. However, following Jakobson, interlingual translation is commonly understood, accepted, and institutionalized as “translation proper”, and it seems to occupy a relatively marginal position in fields such as linguistics and literature, as well as in the discipline of Translation Studies.

Translation is not only an interlingual and intercultural phenomenon. Translation also occurs within the “same” linguistic and cultural domain. Contrary to this view on the concept of translation, a few scholars explicitly argue against the inclusion of intralingual and intersemiotic translation in a definition of translation whereas some provide arguments stating that these concepts are central to Translation Studies.

De facto empirical studies and discussions on the subject of intralingual translation are limited compared to the large amount of research carried out on interlingual translation, or “translation proper”. One example of this interest is research on the numerous varieties of expert-to layperson communication where the expert language of a text needs to be simplified for the layperson. Translation as the updating of archaic or older texts, modernization or cross-cultural adaptation of children’s literature, replacing cultural words between different varieties of the same language, and rewritings within a postcolonial context are also types of intralingual translation that have been addressed by translation scholars. However, this is only a partial list of the possible instances of intralingual  translation.

Following a thought-provoking workshop on the subject in Istanbul in 2014, this panel proposes to continue and expand the discussion in the hope of moving, or perhaps even breaking, the boundaries of the field of Translation Studies.

We invite the submission of papers on any type of intralingual translation or any theoretical, historical and methodological research into the theme, including:

  • terms and concepts of intralingual translation in different cultural settings
  • historicity of intralingual translation
  • interactions or interdependence between intralingual translation and other practices designed to make texts more accessible, such as a critical or grammatical apparatus, gloss, exegesis, etc.
  • connections between formats of text presentation (bilingual or unilingual editions, subtitles/surtitles vs.
  • dubbing or voice-over) and types of intralingual translation
  • intralingual translation between dialects, sociolects, and patois
  • diamesic translation, i.e. oral to written language (subtitles) or vice versa (audio description)
  • intralingual translation between different registers (e.g. expert-to-lay translation & interpreting)
  • intralingual translation as adaptation of classics for children
  • intralingual translation as transliteration
  • intralingual translation as intertemporal translation, referred to as modernization or updating the language
  • intralingual retranslations


  • Name(s) of convener(s): Özlem Berk Albachten, Karen Korning Zethsen & Hilla Karas
  • Affiliation: Boğaziçi University, Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, Istanbul, Turkey, Aarhus University, Department of Business Communication, Aarhus, Denmark, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Email address: ozlem.berk@boun.edu.tr, kkz@bcom.au.dk,tirgum_itonut@yahoo.fr