First Circular and Call for Papers



University of Helsinki 21–22 May 2021


The theme of the 2021 KäTu Symposium is: Translation and Interpreting: Focusing on Quality. This year’s theme may be approached from a number of perspectives, including the following:

· Definitions and standards for quality in different contexts, and factors determining translation and interpreting quality

· Best practices for assessment of interpreting and translation quality

· Quality problems and best practices

· Quality and its relation to associated concepts, such as usability, accuracy and equivalence

· Quality and its relation to phenomena such as the role and agency of the translator and interpreter

· The translation and interpreting market, and competitive bidding as a factor in quality

· Translator and interpreter training programmes as a guarantee of quality

· Theory – Practice quality correlation

· Mutability vs permanence and the notion of quality (for instance, from a historical perspective)

· Human, machine, and artificial intelligence (AI)

In keeping with established KäTu tradition, presentations and posters on other topics related to translation and interpreting are also welcome.


The annual KäTu symposia offer researchers, teachers and practitioners of translation and interpreting a forum where they can discuss the diverse phenomena of the field, their ongoing research projects, and the state and development of Translation Studies in general. Doctoral students, in particular, are an important KäTu target group. They are offered the opportunity to present their work in its different stages of development, and receive valuable feedback.

For seventeen years, the KäTu symposia have brought together a wide array of participants interested in the field and its research: audience members and speakers, translators and interpreters of spoken as well as sign languages, researchers and teachers of translation and interpreting. The KäTu symposia are organised as a collaborative effort between the Teachers’

and Researchers’ Section of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL), and the different Finnish universities which train future translators and interpreters. Hosting the symposium is rotated between these Finnish universities. The 2021 symposium will be held at the University of Helsinki, which is proud to be organising and hosting the event for the fourth time.


Pamela Faber Benítez, University of Granada

Pamela Faber Benítez is Professor of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Granada, and she also leads the LexiCon Research Group. She is especially known for creating and developing Frame-Based Terminology, which is the topic of her plenary presentation, along with its applications.

Jörg Tiedemann, University of Helsinki

Jörg Tiedemann is Professor of Language Technology at the Department of Digital Humanities. His research focuses on cross-lingual NLP and machine translation. The title of his plenary presentation is Open and Free: Tools for Translators and the Multilingual World.


In addition to the plenary lectures, the programme will consist of presentations in parallel sessions (20 minutes and 5 minutes for discussion), workshops and poster presentations. Parallel sessions may also take the form of thematic sessions (colloquia) consisting of 4–6 presentations delivered on the same topic. Workshops are approximately two-hour sessions for general discussion of a specific topic in general (in either a panel discussion or small working groups) or for collaborative investigation of a problem-based subject. There will be a dedicated session for poster presentations on Friday, in conjunction with the afternoon coffee break, and there will be a prize for the best poster.

Proposals for workshops and thematic sessions should be submitted no later than Monday 30th November 2020. Suggestions for thematic sessions must include the titles of the presentations to be included as part of those sessions. Proposals for session presentations and posters must be submitted no later than Sunday 31st January 2021. Please note that separate proposals for thematic session presentations must also be submitted, clearly indicating to which thematic session the presentation belongs. Proposals of up to 2,500 characters, including spaces, but excluding references, should be submitted in rtf, doc, or docx format in email attachments to The proposals must be submitted using our template, which can be found here. The subject line of the email message, and of the proposal, must specify the format of the proposal (workshop, thematic session, session presentation or poster). Please provide the additional information found with the template in your e-mail as well.

If your workshop or presentation proposal was accepted for the KäTu2020 Symposium that was cancelled, it will automatically be accepted for the new Symposium, provided that it is re-submitted to us by the aforementioned deadline.

More information on the workshops will be provided in the next circular; notification of acceptance will be announced by 21st February 2021. For information concerning the process and criteria for evaluating abstracts please visit here.


A training event aimed primarily at doctoral students – but open to everyone – will be organised before the symposium, on Thursday, 20th May 2020. Further details concerning this session will be provided in the next circular.


The primary working languages of the symposium and its sessions are Finnish, Swedish and English. If you would like to use a language other than those three, and would need interpreting services, please contact the symposium organisers.


The Tiedon helmi award, granted annually by the Teachers’ and Researchers’ Section of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters, will be awarded at the symposium for the sixth time. The criteria for granting the award alternates every year between research and teaching merit, and is awarded to either a person or a community, for an extraordinary undertaking, a long-term activity, or their life’s work. In 2021, the award will be granted on the basis of research merit.

The decision on the award is made by the Board of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters on the basis of the proposal of the Committee of the Teachers’ and Researchers’ Section.

The proposal is based on nominations received from members of that section. Members must carefully observe the nomination principles, which are available in Finnish here. Access to the section site is limited to members of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters, once they have logged in.

Proposals detailing the reasons for the nomination should be sent to the Section Secretary, Sari Hokkanen,, no later than Friday 19th February 2021.


Articles based on the presentations delivered at the symposium will be compiled in the 15th volume of peer-reviewed electronic MikaEL publication. All KäTu2021 speakers, poster presenters, and panel and workshop organisers are invited to submit their previously unpublished articles. The 15th volume of MikaEL will be published in March-April 2022, before the next KäTu Symposium. Publications from previous symposia can be accessed here. The editors for the 15th volume of MikaEL will be announced at the symposium, and contributor guidelines will be sent to all participants via email after the symposium; they will also be available on the MikaEL website.


Circulars pertaining to the KäTu2021 Symposium will be published on the symposium’s website. A second circular, containing information on registration, fees, accommodation and related practical matters will be published in December 2020. For all correspondence concerning the symposium, we kindly request you to use the symposium email address:

Aino Suoranta, of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters, will serve as Conference Secretary.


The organising committee is closely monitoring the current situation with the pandemic and will determine whether the symposium will be organised as an in-person event (as planned) or a virtual event by February 2021.


University of Helsinki

Simo Määttä (Chair of the Local Organising Committee)

Elina Billhardt

Ritva Hartama-Heinonen

Laura Leden

Mari Pakkala-Weckström

Päivi Pasanen

The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters

Teachers’ and Researchers’ Section

Esa Penttilä, University of Eastern Finland (Section Chair)

Juha Eskelinen, University of Helsinki

Sari Hokkanen, Tampere University

Minna Ruokonen, University of Eastern Finland

Annukka Saarenmaa, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences

Kristiina Taivalkoski-Shilov, University of Turku

We look forward to welcoming you to Helsinki!