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Studia Translatorica 2024 : Studia Translatorica vol.15 - Song Translation Studies


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Abstract Registration Due Feb 28, 2023
Submission Deadline Aug 30, 2023
Final Version Due Nov 30, 2023
Categories    translation studies   song translation studies   rendering   translation

Call For Papers

Studia Translatorica, an academic peer-reviewed journal devoted to translation and interpreting studies, is calling for contributions for its 15th volume, which is a special issue dedicated to the subject of song translation.

Song translation can be many things. Song translation studies should study all those things. It is easier said than done, because song is not as easily definable as one may think. In continuously changing performance since before recorded history, what is now known as folk song, or oral epic, has spread between peoples and across language barriers too. In the 20th century, popular music has exploded in a multitude of genres and styles, and made translations subject to commercial, legal, technological, artistic and circumstantial conditions in ever-variable ways. There is also opera translation, which is song translation at least in the sense of translating for singing, to technically challenging music. These three areas are worlds of study unto themselves, but there are many others: songs sung for religious purposes, in educational situations, at campfires or parties, as propaganda or protest, in films and musicals. All may need translation in a multitude of different ways: often in the hope to make people sing or listen, sometimes intended just as an aid for understanding, for documentation or analysis, as an accessibility service, fansubbed/fandubbed, or adapted for use in theatrical productions or media presentations. There are many practices, products and principles of song translation still left to be explored.

Papers are welcome to contribute to the exploration of this wide and open field of study. The special volume will hopefully combine case studies with theoretical advancement towards generally useful terminology and methodology. Contributors are strongly encouraged to consider, in their handling of a special case or genre, how the topic at hand may compare or cohere with other kinds of song translation. It is no longer possible to say, as has been said in many a paper on song translation, that the subject has been neglected in translation studies. The latest and most comprehensive research overview to date, Greenall et al (2021), observes that there in fact is quite a lot of disparate case studies but few attempts at a bigger, coherent picture of the diverse and multifaceted field. Song has met translation in many ways beyond the simple dichotomy of singable or not (vocal or non-vocal translation), free or faithful. And as if the technical problem of crafting song lyric translations that are both singable and faithful was not difficult enough, songs and music are a most welcoming subject for exploring what has recently been referred to as Translation Beyond Translation Studies (Marais 2022). Which concepts can be used to make comparisons and distinctions among all the variations and variables within the wide field of song translation? Intersemiosis and musement (Gorlée 2005), bricolage and dialogics (Kaindl 2005), foreignization and domestication (Apter & Herman 2016), rhythm, rhyme, sense, naturalness and singability (Low 2017), interlingual cover versions (Susam-Saraeva 2018), mediation (Desblache 2019), or approximation and appropriation (Franzon 2022)? These are part of the proliferation of recent publications that have provided insights into the interrelationship between translation and music.

Paper proposals are to be submitted until February 28th, 2023, to the journal’s email address A paper proposal must contain a title and an abstract of 150–200 words describing the outlines of the proposed contribution. It must include the main research question, the material to be studied and the theoretical viewpoint. These need not be overly exact but should indicate the song genre, translation mode and the researcher’s approach as precisely as possible. To this shall be added: a list of 2–5 references (books, articles – not included in the word count of the abstract) and the name, academic title and affiliation of the author/authors. After a proposal has been approved, the manuscript is to be submitted until September 30th, 2023 via the Open Journal System (OJS) under the following link: After submitting a paper, a double-blind referee procedure will follow.

Publication languages for this special volume are English and German. The publication is planned for the year 2024 and is to be edited by Johan Franzon, Anna Rędzioch-Korkuz and Michał Gąska. Editorial guidelines can be found at For Authors at our website.

Contributors are also encouraged to acquaint themselves with the Ethical Standards of the journal before submitting.

Please spread this information to anyone who might be interested.


Apter, Ronnie/Herman, Mark (2016). Translating for Singing: The Theory and Craft of Translating Lyrics. London: Bloomsbury.
Desblache, Lucile (2019). Music and Translation: New Mediations in the Digital Age. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Franzon, Johan (2022). “Approximations and appropriations: making space for song translation in translation studies”. In: Hartama-Heinonen, R./Ivaska, L./Kivilehto, M./ Koponen, M. (eds.) MikaEL. Electronic Journal of the KäTu Symposium on Translation and Interpreting Studies. Vol. 15. Pp. 25–41. (, accessed: 14.12.2022).
Gorlée, Dinda L. (2005). “Singing on the breath of God: preface to life and growth of translated hymnody”. In: Gorlée, D.L. (ed.) Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. Pp. 17–101.
Greenall, Annjo K./Franzon, Johan/Kvam, Sigmund/Parianou, Anastasia (2021). “Making a case for a descriptive-explanatory approach to song translation research”. In: Franzon, J./Greenall, A./Kvam, S./Parianou, A. (eds.) Song Translation: Lyrics in Contexts. Berlin: Frank & Timme. Pp. 13–48.
Kaindl, Klaus (2005). “The plurisemiotics of pop song translation: words, music, voice and image”. In: Gorlée D.L. (ed.) Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. Pp. 235–264.
Low, Peter (2016). Translating Song: Lyrics and Texts. London/New York: Routledge.
Marais, Kobus (ed.) (2022). Translation Beyond Translation Studies. London: Bloomsbury.
Susam-Saraeva, Şebnem (2018). “Interlingual cover versions: how popular songs travel round the world”. In: The Translator, 25(1). Pp. 42–59. (, accessed: 14.12.2022).

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