This page provides information on current research projects at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT).

enlarge the image: Schwarze Tafel mit Kreidewörtern zur Forschung
Foto: Colourbox

Since early 2019, Brazilian and German researchers at the universities of Leipzig and São Paulo have been working on aspects of diction.


The goal of the project is to discuss the subject area of “diction” within an interdisciplinary and international group. This subject area, which has not been extensively researched so far, is greatly significant for linguistics, German as a foreign language, literary and translation studies. Brazilian and German researchers are seeking to exchange views in a comparative and equitable way, involving the next generation of researchers from both countries, too. The project is an important contribution to the academic cooperation between the University of São Paulo and the University of Leipzig in the humanities, especially German studies in Brazil and Brazilian studies in Germany.



The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (Germany) and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Brazil) and will run from 2019 to 2020.

Further information on the research project can be found on the website of the 2019 project meeting (Portuguese link). The press release on the meeting is also available for you to download (German pdf).


This project examines the changes in the framing of forms of extremism (for example, right-wing extremism, Islamism) in online media discourse.


The primary focus of this investigation is placed on two factors:

  • The influence of prominent events related to extremism on the framing of the respective form of extremism, e. g. the terror attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
  • The extent to which this change in framing converges with a possible change in how institutions act.

The project is currently limited to German, but is to include other languages soon.


Within the project, members of the translation studies team will compile existing individual tools into a corpus analysis platform and then test the latter’s applicability to various research interests.



The project is funded from the University of Leipzig’s budget.

Hermeneutics is a field of knowledge with a large potential for innovation. The Research Centre for Hermeneutics and Creativity researches the comprehension and interpretation of texts through an interdisciplinary lens.

The Research Centre for Hermeneutics and Creativity

The Research Centre for Hermeneutics and Creativity came into being in 2012, affiliated with the Chair of Romance Translation Studies at Saarland University. In 2019, it became affiliated with the Professorship in Translation Studies (Professor Tinka Reichmann (German link)) at the University of Leipzig.


There were two motives for the centre to be founded. On the one hand, it was meant to keep contact with staff who had been actively contributing to the Chair’s activities for many years and thus create an academic community independent of contractual obligations or academic examinations. On the other hand, it was to explore a subject having great innovation potential in a systematic and interdisciplinary way.


It stands to reason that a translator needs to properly understand a text to be able to translate it. Less attention has been paid to the phenomenon that translation itself produces hermeneutic impulses for a specific interpretation to be realized. This reciprocal relationship of comprehension and action/action and comprehension manifests itself as a productive interdisciplinary research parameter in art, music, literature, and especially in interpreting research.

About the research centre

Professor Tinka Reichmann is a founding member of the research centre. From the beginning, she has supported its activities from the perspective of legal translation. The centre’s activities include publishing (with its own series “Hermeneutics and Creativity”), holding workshops, providing a newsletter on the latest publications and activities in the field of translation hermeneutics as well as fundamental research. After the Department of Romance Translation Studies in Saarbrücken was closed, the research centre was glad to not only find a new affiliation with an innovative and dynamic professorship in Leipzig, but to get valuable new inspiration for translation studies, too.

The research centre is headed by Professor Tinka Reichmann (German link). Further information can be found on the research centre’s website (German link).

“Russisch aktuell” is a joint project between the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT), the Institute of Slavonic Studies, and the University Computer Centre at the University of Leipzig. The purpose of the project is the continual, mainly synchronous description of Russian in its entirety. The research project comprises a universal Russian‑German dictionary, a phraseological dictionary, a pronunciation dictionary, a language course, a conversation practice book, a grammar guide, a phonology and phonetics module as well as a comprehensive body of Russian literary texts with automatic annotations.


“Russisch aktuell” is the common name under which various publications have come out. These document the contrastive project’s results, which always reflect the state of language development at the time of publication, and make those results available to a wide range of users. Thanks to the modular structure of the work and an extensive, hierarchized help system, both beginner learners and linguists or translators seeking specific information will be able to find the desired help and answers quickly.

“Russisch aktuell” comprises five modules, which are distributed by Harrassowitz Verlag (German link) as an executable programme and in a print version with certain medium-related limitations in scope and functionality.

The Russian-German universal dictionary (RUW)

The online version offers a limited range of functions only. The difference between the full version, which needs to be installed, and the online version is explained here (German link).

The Russian-German universal dictionary (RUW) (German link) currently has more than 710,000 entries, most of them non-technical. About 130,000 of the entries are sound-supported. Due to the sheer number of entries, it is not possible to make the dictionary available in print in its entirety. There are, however, two printed extracts covering specific aspects.

Every entry into the RUW is thoroughly documented at various levels of description:

  • Information on frequency, distribution, and linguistic currentness
  • Display of and comment on the complete paradigm
  • Stylistic characterization
  • Unveiling of derivation paths, including (but not limited to) diminutive, augmentative and affectionate forms as well as first name derivations
  • Information on synonyms and antonyms
  • Information on paronyms, especially “false friends”
  • Phonematic transcription of lemmas
  • Information on specific orthographic and articulatory features, including misspelling warnings
  • Information on the geographical and cultural background/encyclopedic information, for example on toponyms, on the rendering of work titles or on famous personalities
  • Information on use in phraseologisms and collocations
  • Information on regimen and valency

Due to its scope, the RUW covers almost 100 percent of words occurring in non-technical texts that conform to language norms. One reason of this is the continuous incorporation of neologisms (including those specific to migrant language). A systematic exploration of various sociolinguistic varieties, such as youth or church language, is in an initial stage. The subject of sub‑standardisms has been covered more extensively (sub‑standardisms are deactivated in the delivery state). Work on the RUW is ongoing, with the focus now being on closing the gaps in certain fringe subjects of contemporary Russian.

Further functions:

  • MS Word plug-in for quickly looking up words
  • Stress function for putting stress marks in texts produced by users in an accentologically informed way
  • Tool for automatic transcription / transliteration of Russian words for eight romanization and two phonetic transcription systems
  • Interlinear translation function for Russian texts written by users or imported from other sources
  • Tool for declining cardinal and ordinal constructions

The language course

The language course (German link) does not require any prior knowledge. Through its sophisticated, computer-based practice system, it enables learners to independently acquire a high proficiency (C1) in written Russian.

The conversation practice book

The language course (German link) does not require any prior knowledge. Through its sophisticated, computer-based practice system, it enables learners to independently acquire a high proficiency (C1) in written Russian.

The grammar guide

The current version of the grammar guide (German link) offers an up-to-date description of the language, based on more than fifty years of work in the fields of Russian lexicology, morphology, and syntax. It provides various exercises (mainly taken from the language course).

Phonology / Phonetics

The phonology / phonetics module (German link) was in large part developed at the Institute of Slavonic Studies. It meets the requirements of higher-education instruction, but also contains an excerpt “Phonetics / Quickstart” with a phonetic correction course in a contrastive format Russian-German.

Cooperation partners


You can write an e-mail (German link) to the authors of the publication.

Based on empirical German and Brazilian Portuguese data, the project aims to create the contrastive linguistic, translational, and technical conditions for conducting comparative linguistic analyses based on frames – interconnected concepts – and constructions, i. e. form-meaning pairs of different degrees of abstraction.


In the past few years, linguistic repositories for the systematic description of lexical and grammatical structures of a language were created for several languages (English, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, German). Serving as a prototype is the Berkeley FrameNet, a databank of frames for English. Recently, structured databanks of empirically collected grammatical constructions (so-called constructica) have been developed along the same lines. These databanks document linguistic characteristics of individual constructions as well as relations to adjacent constructions. Although there are a few studies on deviations of non-English FrameNets and constructica due to linguistic and cultural differences, many methodological foundations in the context of multilingualism and FrameNets/constructica need further research.


In this project, the methodical questions will be approached from three complementing perspectives. The contrastive perspective will examine similarities and differences between frames and constructions. The results of these analyses will inform the translatological perspective, which will explore the interaction of frames and constructions in language contact. Based on both of these perspectives, it will be possible to determine technical requirements and develop standards for handling multilingual data in the context of frames and constructions.

Cooperation partners

The three participating locations – Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Juiz de Fora (Brazil) – each represent one of these perspectives. The project coordinators are sufficiently versed in the other topics, which enables the highest degree of connectivity. The project is part of a larger informal network that already exists within the Berkeley Multilingual FrameNet project. It strives to compare the frame and construction inventories of various languages.


The project is funded by DAAD (Germany) and CAPES (Brazil). The first phase took place from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2019. The second phase started on January 1, 2020 and will end on December 31, 2021.


The project is part of the Global FrameNet Initiative.

The project involves testing virtual classroom systems and solutions available for online teaching – video conferencing, editing or collaborative software – in curricular courses being part of translation programmes at three universities: Leipzig, Pyatigorsk/Russia, and Concepción/Chile.


Existing courses in translation, localization engineering, and translation project management will be redesigned for a virtual environment. Various systems and co-working scenarios used in translation project management (work groups, centralization of competencies, assignment packets to be completed individually or cooperatively) will be put to the test using authentic assignments. The texts will focus on digitalization in translation, whereby digitalization will be elevated to the meta level. Parallel to this, the tools’ practicability for teaching and professional translation will be evaluated. The goal is to introduce a variety of tools and to deal with technical texts for translation in a digital setting.


Funding and duration

The project is co-funded through tax revenue based on the budget decided by the Saxon State Parliament and will run until 2021.

Project leader

Prof. Dr. Carsten Sinner (German link)

Sprachen unterscheiden sich darin, wie Bewegung kodiert wird. In einigen Sprachen (sog. satellite-framed languages wie z.B. das Englische und Deutsche) neigen Sprecher dazu, Pfad und Art der Bewegung in einer Phrase auszudrücken (z.B. run out, rausrennen), während sie in anderen Sprachen (sog. verb-framed languages, z.B. das Spanische) diese wiederum in zwei getrennte Phrasen packen (z.B. salir corriendo 'rennend verlassen').


In diesem Projekt wird untersucht, inwiefern Sprecher bezüglich der Kodierung von Bewegungsinformation auch innerhalb von Einzelsprachen oder Sprachfamilien variieren. Auf der Basis von Korpus- und Sprechdaten soll eine nuanciertere Typologie von Bewegungsereignissen entstehen, in dem nicht binär zwischen S- und V-Sprachen unterschieden wird. Untersicht wird die Relevanz einer solchen nuancierten Typologie für (i) nonverbale Kognition, insbesondere sprechbegleitende Gestik, und (ii) für den Zweitspracherwerb.


Dr. Wojciech Lewandowski


Das Projekt wird gefördert von der Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.


The QuILL project (2020-1-PT01-KA226-HE-094809) is funded by the European Commission through the Portuguese National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme, with the aim of providing higher education language lecturers with skills to identify, assess, use, create digital and ICT based language teaching sources.


Language skills are a key element in the process of creation of a European Education Area. However, language proficiency levels among students are still unsatisfactory across the European Union with discrepancies between the different EU countries.


The QuILL project objectives are:

  • Provide language lecturers with the skills to identify, assess, use, create digital and ICT based language teaching sources
  • Provide decision makers and policy makers with the information and skills to enhance the implementation of digital and ICT based language teaching sources and method in the higher education systems.

Target Groups

The direct project target groups are:

  • Language lecturers focusing on LSP (language for specific purposes) in Higher Education Institutions
  • Decision makers in HEIs and policymakers in the field of education

Expected Results

The main project results include:

  • Database of Learning Sources addressed to Higher education students
  • An online training package
  • Guidelines addressed to managerial staff of Higher Education Institutions, policy makers as well as language lecturers


7 contractual partners based in 6 different European countries:

The Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT) has joined the project as an associated partner.

Contact: Dr. Miriam Leibbrand

Visit the Project Website.

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