Professor Kirsten Malmkjær

Professor Kirsten Malmkaer

Emeritus Professor of Translation Studies

Department: Modern Languages


Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road,Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am Professor of Translation Studies. I read English and Philosophy at University of Birmingham, specialising in Modern English Language and Theory of Meaning. My PhD was entitled ‘Translation in Context’ and approached its topic from the point of view of Donald Davidson’s theory of Radical Interpretation. After working at Birmingham, Cambridge, and Middlesex, I came to Leicester to design its translation programmes in 2010. I am a Founder member of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST) and in 2008 I was the 20th CETRA Chair Professor.


  • PhD 'Translation in Context', Department of English Language and Literature, University of Birmingham
  • BA Hons (First Class), English and Philosophy, University of Birmingham



  • Translation and Creativity. London: Routledge.


  • The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Linguistics (ed). London: Routledge.
  • ‘Theories of linguistics and of translation and interpreting’ in (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Linguistics. London: Routledge, pp. 15-30
  • ‘Semantics and translation’ in (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Linguistics. London: Routledge, pp. 30-63
  • Ed. with Adriana Serban and Fransiska Louwagie, Key Cultural Texts in Translation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins
  • ‘Language awareness and translation’ in Peter Garrett and Josep Maria Cots (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness, pp. 450-466
  • ‘Angst and Repetition in Danish Literature and its Translation: From Kierkegaard to Kristensen and Høeg’ in Jean Boase-Beier (ed.) Palgrave Handbook of Literary Translation
  • ‘On the (im)possibility of untranslatability’ in Duncan Large, Motoko Akashi, Wanda Jozwikowska and Nozomi Abe (eds.) Untranslatability: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. London: Routledge.


  • ‘Reading for translation’ (with Moritz Schaeffer, Kevin Paterson, Sarah White and Victoria McGowan) in Arnt Lykke Jakobsen and Bartolomé Mesa-Lao (eds) Translation in Transition: Between Cognition, Computing and Technology. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


  • ‘Schleiermacher’s metaphor’ in Larissa Cercel and Adriana Serban (eds.) Friedrich Schleiermacher and the Question of Translation. Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 185-197.


  • ‘The comparative linguistics of absence: A fraction of the story of a discourse particle’ in Lerstin Kunz, Elke Teich, Silvia Hansen-Schirra, Stella Neuman and Peggy Daut (eds.) Caught in the Middle – Language Use and Translation: A Festschrift for Erich Steiner on the Occasion of his 60th Birthday. Saarbrücken: Saarland University Press, pp. 241-254
  • ‘What happened to God and the angels: An exercise in translational stylistics’. Special Issue of the Journal of the Association of North-East Asian Cultures 40, 2014(9), pp. 63-86


  • ‘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


  • '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.

Full listing of publications

Editorial boards

  • General Editor, Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, John Benjamins (2009-2013); co-editor (2000-2009)
  • 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 (2004-2018)
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Interpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting, John Benjamins (2003-present)


My research interests include translation theory, especially the relationship between translation and philosophy, translation and linguistics and translation and creativity, literary translation generally, and Hans Christian Andersen’s language and literary production in Danish and in translations into English particularly.


  • PI: “Key Cultural Texts in Translation” an AHRC funded network project on the theme of Translating Cultures. £39.285 (May 2012 to April 2014)
  • 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 (October 2012 to July 2013)
  • Co-director/Joint lead Academic. SME Support to Growth project, funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund. £408,227 (January 2012 to May 2015)


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

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