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Liisa Tiittula

Liisa Maria Tiittula
Born October 28, 1950, Tampere

PhD 1990 (Linguistics) Academy of Sciences, Berlin
Master of Arts 1984, Licentiate 1985 (General Linguistics), University of Helsinki
Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) 1975, Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration

Professor of German Language 2010–, University of Helsinki
Professor of German Language (teaching area: the theory and practice of translation) 1995–2010, University of Tampere
German language assistant, lecturer and acting associate professor; assistant professor in Applied Linguistics and business communications, 1975–95, Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration
Research fellow 1990–91, senior research fellow 1998–99 and 2005–06, Academy of Finland
Research fellow 2003–04, University of Tampere Centre for Advanced Studies
Visiting professor (Translation Studies) 2011–12, Karl Franzens University, Graz

Docent in Applied Linguistics 1992–, Helsinki School of Economics
Docent in German language and culture (area of expertise: intercultural communication) 1994–, University of Tampere

Research themes:
Literary translation, speech-to-text interpreting, subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, institutional interaction, multimodality, Finnish-German business communication

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters 2009–

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Liisa Tiittula
Translated by Matthew Billington

Finnish Translation Enriching Finnish Language and Culture

Liisa Tiittula, Jukka-Pekka Pajunen, Ville Keynäs, Kersti Juva, Tarja Härkönen and Sampsa Peltonen participating in the “Why translate into Finnish?” discussion panel on May 15, 2014. Photo by Maija Hirvonen.

World literature would not exist without translators, and without translators Finnish literature and language would not be what they are today. Translating literature requires special creativity. Many masterful Finnish translators have been featured on the 375 Humanists website. They are influential figures within the field of the humanities, and I hope the spotlight cast on them will inspire people to read translated literature. When we read literature in our native tongue, the experience is much more profound than when reading in a foreign language, no matter how well we understand it.

This year, the publishing company Tammi awarded the first Jarl Hellemann Prize, which was established to honour the 60th anniversary of the renowned Keltainen kirjasto (‘Yellow Library’) series of translated literature. It was wonderful to be part of the jury, because many excellent Finnish translations from different languages and cultures were nominated. The Prize highlights the important work done by Finnish translators. I only wish that the significance of the work could be reflected in their financial compensation.

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