Juliane House received her first degree in English and Spanish translation and international law from Heidelberg University, and a B.Ed., MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Toronto, Canada and honorary doctorates from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and the University Jaume I, Castellon, Spain. She is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at Hamburg University and a founding member of the German Science Foundation’s Research Centre on Multilingualism.
Juliane has given numerous guest lectures and keynote talks at conferences and universities in countries throughout the world. She is also the President of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies aiming to increase the outreach of Translation and Interpreting Studies.
At present, she is Director of Programs in Arts and Sciences at Hellenic American University at its Athens campus and Director of the PhD program in Applied Linguistics. Her research interests include contrastive pragmatics, discourse analysis, politeness theory, English as a lingua franca, intercultural communication, and translation. She has published widely in all these areas.
Philadelphus: When and how did you start becoming interested in translation studies research?
Juliane House: As a certified translator I wanted to know more about translation theory, so I wrote my MA thesis on ‘Theoretical Aspects of Translation’ at the University of Toronto in 1971. Here I looked at linguistic and philosophical issues of translation, and I examined arguments for and against possibilities and impossibilities of translation – these questions fascinated me at the time, and they kept me interested in the theory of translation to this day.
P: How do you see the T&I field evolving 10 years from now?
JH: I am afraid T&I studies will be moving along the road it has taken for some years now, namely extending the scope of translation studies ever further such that the texts involved in translation and the pragmatic- linguistic operations necessary in any act of translation are eclipsed by concerns with the macro-context of translation.
P: What do you think is the social contribution of Translation and Interpreting Studies?
JH: Giving access to texts that would otherwise be inaccessible to many people, thus widening their mental and emotional horizons.
P: You‘ve been engaged in translation research for decades now. Which contribution do you see as most significant in the field?
JH: Eugene Nida’s groundbreaking work.
P: Do you think that translation and interpreting practitioners should be getting more exposure to translation theory?
JH: Yes definitely!
P: Since 2010, you‘ve been the President of the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) that, amongst others, seeks to promote interdisciplinary research in the field. How important do you see interdisciplinary cooperation for furthering the knowledge in T&I?
JH: Very important, as long as the core of the activities of T&I: replacing texts in one language by texts in another language are not forgotten!