The aim of the International Conference “Translating Fictional Dialogue for Children” is the study of problems arising from linguistic mediation in translation for children and young people. In contrast to the many other events that have been organised during the last years around the general topic of children’s literature, the Conference will focus on one single aspect: the translation of fictional dialogue.

Fictional dialogue, as the link between the literary and the multimodal text, is the appropriate place for evoking orality, lending authenticity and credibility to the narrated plot and giving a voice to fictitious characters.

In order to achieve this mimesis of the spoken language, also called “feigned orality”, the author of a fictional text selects specific features, considered typical of the language of communicative immediateness, which may also include stereotyped elements, depending on the language and the culture in question as well as on the current literary conventions in each period.

The Conference will focus mainly (but not only) on modern literature (prose, theatre, comics), as after the 1920s the language used in children’s literature was renewed, in line with the realistic representation of everyday life and language in adult fiction. As a result, oral traits have increasingly found their way into fictional dialogue in the genre.

Fictional dialogue is the link between the literary and the multimodal text. Consequently, an-other aim of the Conference is to investigate the evocation of orality in the various types of audiovisual translation, primarily dubbing and subtitling.

There is also an increasing interest in investigating the evocation and recreation of the language of communicative immediateness in the field of accessibility to audiovisual media services, re-presented by the subtitling type of captions for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Finally, the Conference aims to promote studies concerning metalinguistic reflections on authors and translators of fictional texts as important manifestations of linguistic awareness.

The Conference is part of the activities undertaken in the research project La traducción del diálogo ficcional. Textos literarios y textos multimodales (“The translation of fictional dialogue. Literary and multimodal texts”), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Lines of work and specific goals

  • A revision of the existing theoretical models on which the study of orality in fictional texts has been based;
  • The establishment of a relationship between research of actual speech and the study of fictional orality;
  • The application of a linguistic approach to translation studies and to the advancement of translation studies in the field of texts for children and young people;
  • The application of a multidisciplinary approach uniting linguistics (linguistic variation and oral language), translation studies, narratology (the study of narrative text) and the semiotics of audio-visual media;
  • Description and analysis of translation problems and of the techniques for overcoming or minimizing these problems;
  • A proposal of the translation strategies that can be applied to translation teaching and, in particular, the translation of fictional dialogue.

The Conference is international in scope and attendance. The official conference languages and the languages of the papers presented will be English and Spanish. The papers will deal with works in English, German or any of the Romance languages (Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian and Rumanian).


Scientific Committee
Eduard Bartoll Teixidor (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Jenny Brumme (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Martin Fischer (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Heike Elisabeth Jüngst (Fachhochschule Würzburg Schweinfurt)
Riitta Oittinen (University of Tampere)
Zohar Shavit (Tel Aviv University)
Katharina Wieland (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Maria Wirf Naro (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Conference Organizing Committee
Chair: Jenny Brumme (UPF), Martin Fischer (UPF), Maria Wirf (UPF)
Conference Secretariat: Sybille Schellheimer (UPF), Sandra Falbe (UPF)
Contact address:


April 29, 2011: Deadline for the proposal of conference papers, with the submission of a 250-word abstract (in English or in Spanish and English) including the following information:

  1. First and last name of the author of the paper
  2. Postal address
  3. E-mail address
  4. Academic institution
  5. Paper title
  6. Abstract

June 3, 2011: The notification of admission will be sent to participants.

January 31, 2012: Deadline for the submission of the final version of the paper to be published in the Conference Proceedings

CFP – Translating Fictional Dialogue for Children