"Languages, Translation and Society"- Al-Kīmiyā -Call for Papers for Issue Number 20,

deadline for submissions: 
April 10, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Saint-Joseph University of Beirut
contact email: 

Al-Kīmiyā - Journal of the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FdLT)

Call for Papers for Issue Number 20


The Thematic Section

The theme chosen for issue 20 of Al-Kīmiyā, the Journal of the Faculty of Languages ​​and Translation (FdLT – Faculté de langues et de traduction) of Saint Joseph University of Beirut (USJ – Université Saint-Joseph) is "Languages, Translation and Society".

The relationship between these three concepts is undeniable, not to say obvious. It refers to a certain interdisciplinarity displayed by the emergence, for quite a long time, of new disciplines and fields of research. Sociolinguistics dates back to the fifties of the last century, and the calls for the institution of a sociology of translation or a sociology of translation studies trace their roots back to some twenty years. Indeed, Jean-Marc Gouanvic's work Sociologie de la traduction, la science-fiction américaine dans l’espace culturel français des années 1950 was published in 1999.

It is therefore a question of revisiting these more or less established fields in an attempt to reflect the current state of research or research perspectives in today's social contexts.

Sociology has very early on considered language as a social fact (Durkheim cited by Wald, 2012). For his part, the linguist E. Benveniste has adopted a reverse vision assuring that society is only possible through language (1962, p.376), or even that only language enables society. Language is what holds humans together, the basis of all the relationships which form the foundation of society (1974, cited by Boulet and Heller, 2007, p.309). Much research has been then conducted considering language as an evolving social practice, subject to interactions between the actors in time and space. This approach, sometimes ethnographic, is concerned with various social phenomena such as bilingualism and plurilingualism, but also with variations within the same language. Far from being outdated, these research themes deserve to be revisited ad infinitum in view of a world where societies are constantly changing. In the light of digital technology and remote communications, wouldn't it be interesting to see or revisit more closely all sorts of mixed languages ​​or even the transgression of all linguistic norms, especially among young people? What would be the influence of the intensified emigration in recent years? What are the complications within families? Doesn't language teaching/learning become an even bigger challenge? These questions and many more could be addressed in this issue. It is also worth mentioning the contribution of Pierre Bourdieu's thought, which has aroused the interest of researchers since the publication of his illustrious work on language Ce que parler veut dire (published in French in 1982) translated into English along with other essays by Bourdieu in Language and Symbolic Power in 1991. Studies keep taking up the basic concepts he forged such as habitus, field, symbolic capital among others.

In the area of Translation Studies, the social perspective is also present. Translation is certainly a social activity in which the translator sees herself/himself as an agent of cultural mediation and/or transfer in a determined social context. It was perhaps Maurice Pergnier who was one of the first to openly express this relationship in his Fondements sociolinguistiques de la traduction (1978). Whereas ‘antilinguistic’ theories have hardly seen the light of day, as Nicolas Froeliger (2018) remarks, Pergnier emphasizes the communicative component of language and considers that the meaning, the messages produced by individuals in a given context (ibid.), are in fact the object of the act of translating. But since then, and especially during the last decades, the examination of extralinguistic and social issues in translation has grown considerably. Bourdieu's influence is also more than visible. After Gouanvic (1999), conferences, publications and empirical studies are multiplying. Questions of strategy, transfer, power, market and reception as well as the role of the translator are central concerns but often seen from the angle of sociological and ethnographic theories. Yves Gambier (2007) advocates socio-translation and socio-translation studies, others prefer to speak of sociology of translation (Wolf & Fukari, 2007). We must not forget either that this dimension allows a new look at the history of translation which in a way reflects the history of societies. Interaction with social phenomena is becoming even more specific with the recent increase of field studies that favor ethnographic approaches. Peter Flynn (2018) for example, considers that ‘ethnography can offer a sound basis for studying various forms of translation in their social contexts’. Finally, let us not forget, on a practical level, the impact of migration on the profession and upstream on training and university programs which must now turn to " Public Service Interpreting and Translation" (PSIT).

Researchers wishing to submit their contribution are requested to send it to the following address: may.haddad@usj.edu.lb, before April 10, 2021.

Proposals for Varia section and book reviews will also be received.

Indicative References

Benveniste É. (1962). Coup d'œil sur le développement de la linguistique. Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. 106ᵉ année, (2), 369-380. doi: https://doi.org/10.3406/crai.1962.11477

Boutet, J. & Heller, M. (2007). Enjeux sociaux de la sociolinguistique : pour une sociolinguistique critique. Langage et société, 121-122(3-4), 305-318. https://doi.org/10.3917/ls.121.0305

Flynn, P. (2018). Ethnography. Dans L. D’hulst et Y. Gambier (dir.), A history of Modern Translation Knowledge, (p. 325-330). John Benjamins Publishing.


Froeliger. N. (2018). Pergnier, Maurice(2017) : Fondements sociolinguistiques de la traduction. Paris :Les Belles lettres (Collection Traductologiques)- Compte rendu. Sociolinguistica, 32 (1), 285-288.


Gambier, Y. (2007). Pour une socio-traduction. Dans J, F. Duarte. A. Assis Rosa et T. Seruya (dir.), Translation Studies at the Interface of Disciplines, (p.29-42).  John Benjamins Publishing.


Gambier, Y. (2007). Y a-t-il place pour une socio-traductologie? Dans M. Wolf et A. Fukari (dir.), Constructing a Sociology of Translation, (p.205-217). John Benjamins Publishing.


Gouanvic, J-M. (1999). Sociologie de la traduction : La science-fiction américaine dans l’espace culturel français des années 1950. Artois Presses Université. doi: 10.4000/books.apu.6046

Grenfell, M. (2009). Bourdieu, Language, and Literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 44 (4), 38-448. https://ezproxy.usj.edu.lb:2134/10.1598/RRQ.44.4.8

Hanks, W. (2005). Pierre Bourdieu and the Practices of Language. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, 67-83. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064876

Le Manchec, C. (2002). Le langage et la langue chez Pierre Bourdieu. Le français aujourd'hui, 139(4), 123-126. https://doi.org/10.3917/lfa.139.0123

Pergnier, M. (2017). Fondements sociolinguistiques de la traduction. Les Belles Lettres.

Wald, P. (2012). « La langue est un fait social ». Rapports entre la linguistique et la sociologie avant Saussure: Conférence à l'Université de Tunis (décembre 1999). Langage et société, 142(4), 103-118. https://doi.org/10.3917/ls.142.0103

Wolf, M. et Fukari, A. (dir.). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation. John Benjamins Publishing.


Editorial Policy


Calls for contributions for the thematic section are launched twice a year. However, contributions dealing with various and original issues may be received at any time of the year for possible publication in the Varia section.

Al-Kīmiyā only accepts original, unpublished articles in French, Arabic, English, Spanish, Italian and German, not submitted to another journal. Plagiarism results in an automatic rejection of the article.


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  1. The authors send their text by email including:
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  • Two abstracts of the article: one in the language of the article and the other in English, 600 to 800 characters each
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    • The book review: 7000 to 10000 characters (with spaces) 
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  2. The experts complete and sign a form giving their opinions and recommendations.
  3. Authors are notified of the results of the evaluation within 6 weeks and can make the requested changes within 20 to 30 days.
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