Project DaRT - Discussions and Reflections on Translation

Promoting engagement in translation theory and practice through community building

The Challenge

In today’s interconnected world, societal and economic development is hinged upon individuals’ ability to navigate an increasingly complex and global landscape. Home to major multilingual employers and a growing multilingual and multicultural population, Ireland is faced with the task of fostering in its future citizens and workforce the skills required to operate successfully in such an environment, as recognised by the Languages Connect strategy published in 2017. However, a long-term effective response to language skills needs must not be limited to reactive efforts that address immediate shortages, and should be grounded on an understanding of how these skills are deployed in actual contexts of cross-cultural communication.

This is precisely at the heart of Translation Studies as a discipline concerned with the processes and products of mediation between languages and cultures. From this perspective, Project DaRT aims to create connections between teaching, research and practice with a view to shedding light on the performance of translation as a way of making sense of the world. By acting as a bridge between relevant stakeholders, our goal is to explore the role, identity and impact of those who move between languages in translation through the notion of translatorship, thus providing a necessary link between theoretical possibilities –what can be−, situational constraints −what should be−, and actual practice −what is− (Delabastita 2008).

Project DaRT

Since its original inception in 2016 as a doctoral reading group, Project DaRT has established itself as an active postgraduate-led initiative working along the cluster in Translation and Creative Practice with a view to building an open and dynamic community of scholars, students, and practitioners for the generation of meaningful collaborative research opportunities. With funding from the Centre for Advanced Studies in languages and Cultures (CASiLaC) and the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS), these efforts have resulted in valuable outputs and activities:

  • Project DaRT’s dedicated website: a regularly updated repository of articles, interviews, and podcasts from reading group discussions.
  • Seminar series featuring international guest scholars and professional translators.
  • UCC’s Translation Week: open workshops and talks on topical disciplinary issues.
  • Public outreach events: participation in the European Researchers Night and organisation of the successful secondary school engagement project Me, Myself and I, translated.
  • Academic paper at DARIAH Ireland 2018 and accepted submissions for international events such as the first annual APTIS conference and the European Learning & Teaching Forum.

Winning submissions by secondary students who participated in Project DaRT’s Translation Month engagement event

The Impact

As demonstrated by our activities and the positive reception of our proposed academic contributions, Project DaRT has proven to be a very successful postgraduate collaborative learning model for the development of research, management and outreach skills. Aided by flexible structures at school and departmental level, this bottom-up approach to doctoral training offers an example of good practice in learning through facilitation rather than instruction.

Project DaRT Discussions and Reflections on Translation

Project DaRT members publish regular podcasts on translation theory and its implications for the practice

As a student-centered community of practice, Project DaRT has created the BA World Languages and MA in Translation Studies representative positions to allow for the replication of its unique autonomous and peer-supported learning model among undergraduate and graduate cohorts. Furthermore, our practice-oriented seminars and workshops aim to provide students with a deeper understanding of translation as a rich object of scholarly study, a relevant professional endeavour, and an influential activity in multilingual societies, while encouraging the cultivation of transferable skills.

Through the organisation of these workshops, Project DaRT is also building strong links with industry leaders such as the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) for the development of joint research efforts surrounding skills profiles and training needs for future linguists in a technology-driven marketplace.

Our contributions have been further acknowledged by additional funding awards from both internal and external sources, namely the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (CACSSS) at UCC and the AHRC flagship project Language Acts and Worldmaking in the UK, which will be sponsoring our upcoming two-day international conference “Performing Translation: Translatorship in the 21st Century” in June 2019.

In line with UCC’s mission of creating and sharing knowledge for a common benefit, as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2017-2022, our future activities seek to continue involving academia, industry, and the wider community. Our conference will close a year already punctuated by several outreach events. From over 2,000 visits to our website, it is precisely these activities which have attracted most attention inside and outside of Ireland, which highlights the potential for worthwhile interactions with varied partners.

With this in mind, Project DaRT is now organising a fundraising event as part of Translation Week in 2019, and is also leading a new school engagement initiative with Transition Year students. While increasing the visibility of translation among the public, these initiatives are sure to generate rich participant data to help paint a clearer picture surrounding the perceived role of translation in the current landscape as a linguistic and cultural mediation practice.

Project DaRT Discussions and Reflections on Translation

UCC PG students attend a hands-on videogame translation workshop as part of Project DaRT’s Translation Week 2018

For More Information

Read more:

Twitter: @project_dart

Facebook: @projectdarttranslation


Translation allows us to understand each other. It not only helps us to appreciate different languages and cultures, but also [it] is crucial in order to unite

– Winner, My, Myself and I, translated

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC