This collection advocates languages-based, translational research to be part of the partnerships and collaborations required to make sense of, and respond to, COVID-19 as one of the major global challenges of our time.


Bringing together scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, this volume is bound by a common thread stressing the importance of linguistic sensitivity, (inter)cultural knowledge and translational mediation in the frontline response to COVID-19. Featuring contributors from around the world and reflecting on the language used to frame COVID-19 in diverse cultural contexts of the Global North and Global South, the book proposes that paying attention to the transmission of ideas, ideologies, narratives and history through processes of translation results in a broadening of social, cultural and medical understandings of COVID-19. Spanning nearly 20 signed and spoken languages, the volume argues that only in going beyond an Anglophone perspective can we better understand the cultural, social and political facets of the pandemic and, in turn, produce a comprehensive, efficient global response to disease management.


This book will be of interest to scholars in translation and interpreting studies, modern languages, applied linguistics, cultural studies, Deaf Studies, intercultural communication and medical humanities.

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part I|80 pages

COVID-19 and the Global Construction of Language

chapter 2|18 pages

Worldmaking in the Time of COVID-19

The Challenge of the Local and the Global
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chapter 4|15 pages

War Metaphors during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Persuasion and Manipulation
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chapter 5|16 pages

Prophylactic Nationalism

COVID-19 in Thai Public Health Discourse
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chapter 6|14 pages

COVID-19 as a Foreign Language

How France Learned the Language of the Pandemic
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part II|104 pages

Translating and Communicating COVID-19

chapter 7|15 pages

Localising Science News Flows in a Global Pandemic

Translational Sourcing Practices in Flemish Reporting on COVID-19 Vaccine Studies
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chapter 10|16 pages

A Lockdown by Any Other Name

Populist Rhetoric as a Communication Strategy for COVID-19 in Duterte's Philippines
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chapter 11|18 pages

Prophylactic Language Use

The Case of Deaf Signers in England and Their (Lack of) Access to Government Information during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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chapter 12|18 pages

A Pandemic Accompanied by an Infodemic

How Do Deaf Signers in Flanders Make Informed Decisions? A Preliminary Small-scale Study
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part III|70 pages

Translational Cultural Responses to COVID-19

chapter 13|18 pages

The Visual Language of COVID-19

Narrative, Data and Emotion in Online Health Communications
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chapter 14|16 pages

Reading COVID-19 through Dante

A Literature-Based, Bilingual and Translational Approach to Making Sense of the Pandemic
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chapter 15|16 pages

COVID-19 Bandes Dessinées

Reframing Medical Heroism in French-Language Graphic Novels
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chapter 16|18 pages

Translational Futures

Notes on Ecology and Translation from the COVID-19 Crisis
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