School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Martyn Gray

Assistant Professor in Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts



The development of my life and academic career is closely linked to Nottingham and the University: since starting here as an undergraduate back in 2010, the only time I have left the city for an extended period of time was my year abroad! I studied French and German Joint Honours (now part of the R900 Modern Languages programme), before completing a Masters in Translation Studies with Interpreting. I then progressed to doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Kathryn Batchelor and Dr. Pierre-Alexis Mével, analysing what reviewers and general readers actually want from translation: is the only thing that we want fluency? Or perhaps is there nowadays a greater understanding of the translation process and the approaches that we can take in our work as translators? I was appointed as Assistant Professor in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham for the start of the 2019/20 academic year and have since taken on roles as the Course Director for Modern Languages with Translation (74Q9) and one of the Admissions Tutors for the whole department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Alongside my Masters and Ph.D. studies, I worked for German translation company, KERN AG, as a freelance translator, so I have extensive knowledge of the translation industry which I particularly enjoy imparting on students as part of the Modern Languages with Translation course.

Expertise Summary

Translation theory - particularly Venuti's notions of foreignisation & domestication

Practical translation

Modern-day translation industry

Translation of science fiction

Translation of dialect

Teaching Summary

Undergraduate modules

MLAC1089 Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Studies (French tutor & specialist on Careers)

MLAC2137 Translation Portfolio (Module convenor, main lecturer & French tutor)

MLAC2158 Contemporary Translation Studies (French tutor)

MLAC3151 Introduction to Interpreting (German tutor)

MLAC3152 Translation Project (Module convenor, main lecturer & French supervisor)

Postgraduate modules

MLAC4026 Translating Texts (Module convenor, main lecturer & French tutor)

MLAC4035 Targeted Translation Project (French/German supervisor)

Research Summary

My current research has two key strands. The first strand is a focus on accessibility and inclusivity. We are working with a Nottingham-based dance company to ensure that their marketing materials… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My current research has two key strands. The first strand is a focus on accessibility and inclusivity. We are working with a Nottingham-based dance company to ensure that their marketing materials and activities are accessible to the widest range of audiences possible, including those with disabilities, such as D/deafness and visual impairments. The ultimate aim of this project is to make participatory art more available to all members of the public and to showcase our research at an installation at Nottingham's Night Light next year. The second strand of my research focuses on translation as a tool for language learning. Translation is currently used as a tool to test grammar, meaning it is hardly surprising that young people are turned away from this as a potential future pathway for them. The idea for this current research project is to more creatively integrate translation into the language learning process, not only making the tasks undertaken by pupils more creative, but also allowing them to see how it has an impact in the real world. The hope is that this approach will boost the numbers of pupils choosing A-levels in local schools.

Past Research

In his 1995 seminal work, The Translator's Invisibility, Lawrence Venuti examines the impact of the reviewing of translations on the (in)visibility of the translator. The American scholar contends that a fluent translation approach, which ultimately makes the work of the translator 'invisible' to the target reader, is the main criterion by which translations are read and assessed by reviewers; any deviations from such fluent discourse are dismissed as inadequate. My most recent monograph takes its inspiration from Venuti's comments and subsequent studies of reviewing practices and thus examines the criteria by which translations are assessed in the year 2015. One of the main aims of the monograph is therefore to either corroborate or contradict - or perhaps rather, update - Venuti's assertions made more than twenty years ago. Yet the monograph is also original in its approach: firstly, it provides a cross-cultural insight into reviewing practices, assessing whether and how translations are reviewed differently in three Western European countries, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Previous studies have been rather restrictive in their focus in this regard, investigating reviewing practices in just one country (principally the United Kingdom). Secondly, the monograph also affords us a cross-platform insight, examining how translations are reviewed depending on the popularity/specialisation of the platform on which the review is published. To achieve this, the monograph has three 'points of attack' for each country: popular corpora open for comments from the public, mainstream newspapers/cultural supplements, and specialised literary magazines. Although different platforms have different characteristics and readerships, previous studies of reviewing translated works have tended to focus exclusively on broadsheets (despite the fact that mainstream broadsheets only form a small part of the network of reviewing).

Future Research

My future research will focus on the differences between the two 'main' varieties of French: the French of France and the French of Québec. Much has been written about linguistic purism in Québec (for example, how the French of Québec is much more loath to draw upon any lexicon from English than the French of France). I therefore see my next research project engaging with the connection between linguistic purism and translation - how are translators of English materials (particularly advertising materials) influenced, if at all, by notions of linguistic purism when translating into both the French of France and the French of Québec?

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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