Professor Sergio Portelli is Head of the Department of Translation, Terminology & Interpreting Studies at the University of Malta. He teaches Terminology, Computer-Aided Translation and Intercultural Communication. His research interests and publications are mainly related to literary translation, comparative literature and Italian Studies.
He will give an in-person talk at Dublin City University in room GLA.C114 (Glasnevin campus) at 4 p.m. on 30th November 2022. The title of Professor Portelli’s talk is Elbowing for Space: The Role of Translation and Terminology in the Survival of Maltese in a Globalized World.
Malta is a tiny island state with a long history of colonization. Its language evolved through time by absorbing elements of the languages of the colonizers, becoming the only European Semitic language and the only Semitic language written in Roman characters. However, around half of its vocabulary derives from Italian and Sicilian, while English became the most recent source of neologisms. It is spoken by more than 95% of the population and has about 520,000 native speakers worldwide. Despite having such a limited number of users, most of whom use English in written communication, the language not only became an official language of the EU and survived globalization and the mass influx of foreign residents in recent years, but is slowly gaining a foothold in areas where it struggled for many years. The talk will focus on the role translation and terminology are playing in the expansion of Maltese in written communication, especially in technical domains where English has been hegemonic ever since the end of World War II.