Skip to main content

A summer institute in Romani translation is bringing Romani students from around the world to Concordia

Debbie Folaron’s interdisciplinary institute will bring together language and translation experts
June 14, 2023

Professor Folaron poses in a blue fall jacket against an outdoor background Debbie Folaron

A unique summer institute hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Science will broach a new area of translation studies by pairing scholars of the Romani language and translation studies with Roma and translation students. Together, they will examine the many contexts of translating and interpreting a living, non-standardized, minority language over multiple national borders.

“Romani language, linguistics and culture have barely been addressed in translation studies and a translation studies approach has never been the central focus around which to consider communication in the Romani context,” explains Debbie Folaron, the associate professor in the Département d ’études françaises and Jean Monnet Chair, who is organizing the event.

The institute is part of the broader Jean Monnet Chair research project entitled "Multiple Roles of Translation in Minority Multilingual Romani Contexts (ROMTRA)," which was awarded to Folaron in 2020. It will unite expert linguists and translators with both international and Concordia students between June 20 and July 1.

Fueling dynamic research

“We have gathered outstanding people,” says Folaron. “This will fuel a dynamic exchange of knowledge, experience, pedagogy and research.”

The initiative is partly funded by the Jean Monnet Chair, which is designed to promote excellence in teaching and research in the field of European Studies throughout the world. It is supported as well by Connection Grant funding from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

“Folaron’s research on translation is impressive and her commitment to its practice outside of the dominant languages is remarkable,” says Louis Patrick Leroux, associate dean of research for the faculty.

“This summer seminar draws on translation theory and its concrete practice by exemplary multilingual translators from all over the world. It represents the best of what we can do in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and it is a wonderful opportunity to bring Romani researchers as well as international and Concordia students together in Montreal.”

Bringing participants together

The majority of the institute’s sessions will take place in the department’s seminar room on the 6th floor of the LB building, with several sessions open to the public and streamed from 4TH SPACE.

Folaron says she’s excited to welcome the institute’s experts and international guests, in the hopes of fostering wider interest and research in this area.

“It’s been busy but also exhilarating. We have a wonderful group!”

Watch the video below to learn more about Folaron and her work.

Debbie Folaron in conversation with Louis Patrick Leroux at 4TH SPACE. This was part of the Faculty of Arts and Science's "Research in Conversation" series.

Back to top

© Concordia University