Breaking barriers through Virtual Exchange

Translation of literary texts and online collaboration

The latest research article from the Journal of Virtual Exchange


Literary translation usually brings linguistic, textual, cultural, and pragmatic problems into perspective. As a knowledge-transfer process, it also demands a set of skills as the translator intends to convey, to some extent, the literary subtleties of the original.

Graduate students attending a MA seminar of Translation of Literary Texts often need to undertake the process of translating a selection of excerpts of a variety of literary texts, to acknowledge difficulties and set up strategies for achieving their work. One of the most rewarding tools available to literary translators is working with the author. This is something that is not always feasible in real-life activity and even more unlikely in Literary Translation classes.

This report presents the practice of virtual exchange by describing the experience of matching Creative Writing students with students attending a Translation of Literary Texts seminar. Online collaboration gave Literary Translation students a sense of real-life experience by having the opportunity to communicate and work with the author, translating unpublished and untranslated texts.

It was not only an opportunity of participating in a collaborative international project by means of virtual exchange, but also an opportunity of translating with the author.

Author Biography

Maria da Conceição Emiliano Castel-Branco, NOVA University of Lisbon; CETAPS (Centre for English, Translation, and Anglo-Portuguese Studies)

Maria da Conceição Emiliano Castel-Branco, PhD in Anglo-Portuguese Studies, is an Assistant Professor at NOVA University, Lisbon. With extensive teaching experience in English Literature, Literature and Cinema and Literary Translation, she’s also a researcher at CETAPS, focusing on Anglo-Portuguese Studies, Anglophone Cultures and History, and Literary Translation. She contributes to several ongoing projects and serves on editorial boards of prestigious journals.