Professor Kirsten Malmkjær

Professor Kirsten MalmkaerBA, PhD (Birmingham) FRSA

Contact Details


Research Summary

Professor Malmkjær’s research interests include translation theory, translation studies, translation and language, translation and philosophy, and Hans Christian Andersen’s language and literary production in Danish and in translations into English. She is the author of Linguistics and the Language of Translation (Edinburgh 2005), Translation in Undergraduate Degree Programmes (Amsterdam and Philadelphia 2004) and Translation in Language Teaching (Manchester 1998). She is editor of The Linguistics Encyclopedia (London 1991;second edition 2002;third edition 2010) and, with Kevin Windle, of The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies (Oxford 2011). Forthcoming books are on translation and on Hans Christian Andersen’s language.

Research Student Supervision

Due to retirement Professor Malmkjaer is unable to undertake the supervision of any new students.

Dana Ibrahim Ahmed: Hedging and signposting in Kurdish and English academic writing

Afaneen Al-Dirawi: Investigating the connotation of a cognitive approach to translating literary text and its subtitled miniseries into Arabic: A quality assessment study.

Abdulhameed Alenezi:Translator training in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Saleh Al-Ghabkari: The translation of metaphor in the modern realistic Arabic novel with special reference to the works of Al-Tayeb Salih.

Maria-Jose Escudero Bregante: Mental health interpreting.

Meinianneli Demasi: The use of cohesive devises in Finnish to English L2 translations.

Sio Wai Lo: The relationship between Chinese students' L2 writing errors and their use of translation as a writing strategy.

Margrethe Stuttaford: "The Powerful Voice of the Silent Details in the British, Danish, and German Translations of Pippi Longstocking: A Translational Stylistics Analysis."

Karen Wilson De-Roze: Translation and music. 

Recent Publications


‘Translation: The intertranslatability of languages; translation and language teaching’ in Keith Allen (ed)
The Oxford Handbook of the History of  Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

With Anthony Pym, Maria del Mar Gutiérrez-Colón Plana, Alberto Lombardero and Fiona Soliman Translation and language learning: The role of translation in the teaching of languages in the European Union. Studies on translation and multilingualism series. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. ISBN 978-92-79-30926-7. Doi: 10.2782/13783. 2013.


'Language Philosophy and Translation' in Yves Gambier and Luc Van Doorslaer (eds.) Handbook of Translation Studies. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

'What's the point of universals,then?' in Beverley Adab, Peter A Schmitt and Gregory Shreve (eds) Discourses of Translation: Festschrift in Honour of Christina Schaffner. Leipzig:Peter Lang,pp.65-71'.

'Translation Studies:Where are we now? From Holmes' Map till now' in Carmen Millan-Varela and Franscesca Bartrina (eds) Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies. London and New York. Routledge.


Ed. with Kevin Windle: The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies. Oxford University Press, 2011.


‘The translator’s choice’. In Susan Hunston and David Oakley (eds) Introducing Applied Linguistics: Key Concepts and Skills. Routledge, 2010.

‘The nature, place and role of a philosophy of translation in translation studies’. In Rebecca Hyde Parker, Karla L. Guadarrama Garcia and Antoinette Fawcett (eds) Translation: Theory and Practice in Dialogue. Continuum, 2010.


‘What is translation competence?’ Revue française de linguistique appliquée XIV(1), 2009.

‘Norms and Nature in Translation Studies’. In Gunilla Anderman and Margaret Rogers (eds) 2008 Incorporating Corpora - Corpora and the Translator. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 49-59.

Also in Italian: ‘Normatività e natura nei Translation Studies’ translated by Francesca Ervas. Paradigmi: Rivista di critica filosofica 2009 (2): 89-100.

‘Wreaking havoc: On forgetting the poetry in the prose’.  In B. J. Ebstein (ed) Northern Lights: Translation in the Nordic Countries. Peter Lang, 2009.


‘Translation competence and the aesthetic attitude’. In Anthony Pym, Miriam Shlesinger and Daniel Simeoni (eds) 2008 Beyond Descriptive Translation Studies. In Homage to Gideon Toury. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 293-309.

Forthcoming (2015)

‘How translation can change the world -- and why’.

‘Schleiermacher’s metaphor’.

‘The comparative Linguistics of Absence’.

Full listing of publications

Papers Presented 2009–

2009 ‘On problems in translating and translation problems’. Plenary paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on English, Discourse and Intercultural Communication, Macao Polytechnic Institute, 18-20 June.
‘Translation Theory and its Concepts’. Plenary paper presented at the International Conference on the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of CETRA and Target (1989-2009), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 28-29 August
‘Language, translation and meaning’. Round Table presentation to the X Brazilian Translation Forum; IV International Translation Forum “Along the paths of translation: Where are we heading”? Ouro Preto, MG, Brasil, 7-11 September
‘The roles of philosophy in translation studies and in translation theory’. Paper presented to students and staff in the department of translation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil,11 September.
‘What is the point of universals, then’? Lecture at the PhD course in Second Language Acquisition and Translation Studies, University of Bergen, 11-14 November 2009. 11 November.
‘Norms and creativity: Freedom and constraint in translational language’ ? Lecture at the PhD course in Second   Language Acquisition and Translation Studies, University of Bergen, 11-14 November 2009. 12 November.
2010    ‘In search of conceptual coherence OR With all these data, who needs speculation and philosophy?’ Kolloquium zu aktuellen Fragen der Sprach- und Übersetzungswissenschaft, University of the Saarland,  21 May.
‘Some notes from the philosophy of science’. Position statement as part of the panel, Empirical research on translation combining process- and product-based approaches Moderator: Silvia Hansen-Schirra, at the 6th EST Congress, Catholic     University of Leuven, Belgium 22-25 September.
2011 ‘What is translator competence’ Centre for Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies, Salford University, 23 March.
‘How to decide on a translation’ University of East Anglia, 24 March.
‘How to choose a translation’, Goldsmith College, University of London, 31 March.
‘What is translator competence’, Hong Kong Baptist University, 7 April.
‘Translation psychology and translation sociology: A few loose thoughts on the possibility of a meeting of minds’, Goldsmith College, University of London, 1 November.
2012 ‘Translation psychology and translation sociology: can there be a meeting of minds?’, The University of Macau, 17 January.
‘How to choose a translation’, Tongjie University, China, 15 May.
‘How translation can change the world (and why)’, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China, 17 May.
‘How to choose a translation’, Vilnius University, Kaunas Campus, Lithuania, 13 September.
‘How translation can change the world (and why)’, Vilnius University, Kaunas Campus, Lithuania, 14 September.
‘How translation can change the world (and why)’, The University of Macau, 22 November.
2013 ‘How to choose a translation: Method and beyond’. Key note speech to the 17th International Symposium on Translation and Interpreting Teaching in Taiwan, Wanzao Ursuline College of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. 22 March.
‘Key Cultural texts in Translation’. Guest lecture to the Department of Translation, University of Oslo, Norway, 3 April.
‘How and If Translation can Change the World and of so Why and So What?’. Key note speech to the Graduate Conference: New Research in Translation and Interpreting, Universitat Rovira I Vergili, Tarragona, Spain, 1. July.
‘Key Cultural texts in Translation’ Opening speech to the panel of the same name, which I organised, at the 7th EST congress, Germersheim, Germany, 29 August-1 September.
With Anthony Pym ‘Translation and language learning: The role of translation in the teaching of languages in the European Union. A Study’. Key note speech to the conference, Translating Europe, held by that Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission, DGT.02 – Communication and relations with stakeholders. 24-25 October.
2014 ‘Angst Angst and repetition in Danish literature and its translation: From Andersen and Kierkegaard to Kristensen and Høeg’. Paper presented at the seminar “Was das Wort nicht sagen kann”, Übersetzergespräche 3, Advanced Translation Research Centre, University of the Saarland and the Literaturarchiv Saar-Lor-Lux-Elsass. 7 February.
‘Translation in Language Teaching”. Portsmouth University. 13 February.


Funded Projects

May 2012-
April 2014

PI: “Key Cultural Texts in Translation” an AHRC funded network project on the theme of Translating Cultures. £39.285.
October 2012-
July 2013
Subcontractor (PI Anthony Pym, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain).  Translation and Language Learning: An analysis of translation as a method of language learning in primary, secondary and higher education DGT/2012/TLL. €20.000.
January 2012-
May 2015
Co-director/Joint lead Academic. SME Support to Growth project, funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund. £408,227.



2000-2009 Co-editor of the journal Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, John Benjamins.
2009-2013 General Editor Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, John Benjamins.
2003- Member of the Advisory Board Interpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting, John Benjamins.
2004- Member of the Board of Editors, SKASE Journal of Translation and Interpretation, published by the Slovak Association for the Study of English (SKASE) and Prešov University, Slovakia.


Work with Professional Organisations

2002-2007 Chief Moderator, CIoL Diploma in Public Service Interpreting.


Membership of Professional Organisations

Founder member: European Society for Translation Studies (EST)

September 2001-September 2004: Board member: European Society for Translation Studies (EST)

Academic Honours

Appointed 20th CETRA Chair Professor 18-29 August 2008, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

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Modern Languages at Leicester is now ranked 3rd nationally – just behind Cambridge and Oxford, in the latest Guardian University League Table (2016).  

This is a fantastic achievement for the School and a reflection of the hard work done over the past few years by all teaching staff and professional services colleagues to ensure students get excellent tuition and an outstanding experience in the School.

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