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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

Translation and Interpretation Cross Borders and Intermediate Between Them

I am the head of translation studies at the Department of Modern Languages. I am glad that we have a great community where enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers represent expertise in own fields and build a varied educational and research environment. The students are motivated and interested in translation. The central aim of teaching has been to meet the changing demands of working life. Accordingly, in the degree programme on translation studies and multilingual communication emphasis is also placed on translation technology. A directive requiring all member states of the European Union to organise training for court interpreters and to ensure that such interpreters are available in turn sets the direction for interpretation teaching.

Collaboration with people actually employed in the field is needed in teaching as well as in developing said teaching further. An example of this was a course organised by translation companies that covered topics such as global translation markets, employment opportunities in the field, translation technology tools, and project management. Another example was a course on audio-visual translation where students created subtitles for the hard of hearing and audio descriptions for theatrical productions. The course shows how the field of translation and interpreting are changing: it is all about making communication possible over various boundaries, and the important thing is the accessibility of the message.

Finnish literary translation is another area where collaboration with professional translators is not only fruitful but necessary. Masterful Finnish translators have given translation courses and shared their expertise at lectures. An example of this is a lecture series in the autumn of 2015 titled Landscapes of Translation and Cultures.

Visiting lecture at the University of Graz in 2013.


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