Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Open seminars in Translation Studies, January 2012

All seminars should be available live (with good sound and bad image) at 

Wednesday January 11, 11.15 - 13.00 CET

François Grin (Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation, Université de Genève)

Language economics as a field of inquiry: from local to global issues

The seminar will be in English.

Since the publication of the very first papers in language economics in the 1960s, this field of investigation has significantly expanded and has been addressing a growing range of issues. In the last fifteen years, the most noticeable evolution has been a twin emphasis on language policy issues and on multilingualism, as distinct from a focus on the fortunes of a particular language. At the same time, language economics has remained at the margins of the economics discipline, and has not gained the institutional recognition enjoyed by education economics or environmental economics, for example. The advantage of this fringe status may be a more pronounced willingness to engage with other disciplines when confronting a variety of issues, including new topics relevant to the understanding of the links between language and economics, with its implications at various levels, including translation. This lecture presents a general overview of language economics, emphasising how the specialty has dealt with theoretical challenges coming from other areas of research (often with contradictory orientations), before turning to the response of language economics to two major contemporary issues: making sense of globalisation; and reconsidering linguistic hegemony in the context of macro-level language dynamics.

After a PhD in economics in Geneva, François Grin has worked at the University of Montréal and the University of Washington (Seattle), then served as Deputy Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg, Germany, and subsequently as Deputy Director of the Education Research Unit of the Geneva Education Department. He is currently full Professor of Economics at the University of Geneva, where he teaches at the Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation (FTI) and at the Department of economics. He is also visiting professor at the University of Lugano, where he teaches the management of linguistic and cultural diversity. François Grin has specialised in language economics, education economics, and policy evaluation in these areas. He is the author of numerous publications, and has carried out numerous projects for scientific research agencies and international organisations, and advises various national and regional governments on language policy issues. He is the Deputy coordinator of the "DYLAN" project under the European Commission's sixth framework programme, and president of the "Délégation à la langue française" for Switzerland. His latest book, The Economics of the Multilingual Workplace (with C. Sfreddo and F. Vaillancourt) was published by Routledge in 2010.

All seminars are open to the general public. They will be in the Sala de Graus, Ave. Catalunya 35, Tarragona.

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