colloque litMT large

Come and meet the experts on the use of MT in creative domains

over the last few years, the rising interest in the topic of computer-assisted literary translation (CALT) has resulted in a growing number of studies aiming to question and challenge the traditional opposition between literature and translation technologies. At the same time, some professionals in the field have voiced their desire for tools better suited to their work and needs. Machine translation (MT) in particular seems to have stimulated and broadened the discussions about CALT, based on the premises that the advances and the widespread use of MT could not be ignored, while also acknowledging that the existing technology was probably not very well adapted to the task.

This pioneering yet controversial field of research, still largely unknown to the general public, has therefore led researchers to develop tools specifically adapted to creative texts, as well as MT systems that could be tailored individually to literary translators.

These new developments also raise, or rather bring back to the table some of the ethical concerns which are specific to the practice and status of translators in the literary field. Accordingly, the objective of this event will be, on the one hand, to bring together some of the experts in this emerging field and, on the other hand, to open debate, through a series of presentations and round tables, on a topic that is becoming prominent in translation studies but that has yet received little attention in Belgium.

Literary Automatons?

To those that are concerned by the implementation of new technologies in support of artistic creation, we would like to remind the premonitory analysis of Italo Calvino, presented long before there was any real achievement in that regard:

"What would be the style of a literary automaton? I believe that its true vocation would be for classicism: the test of a poetic-electronic machine would be its ability to produce traditional works, poems with closed metrical forms, novels that follow all the rules. […]

The true literature machine will be one that itself feels the need to produce disorder, as a reaction against its preceding production of order: a machine that will produce avant-garde work to free its circuits when they are choked by too long a production of classicism. In fact, given that developments in cybernetics lean toward machines capable of learning, of changing their own programs, of developing their own sensibilities and their own needs, nothing prevents us from foreseeing a literature machine that at a certain point feels unsatisfied with it own traditionalism and starts to propose new ways of writing, turning its own codes completely upside down. […]

That indeed will be the literature that corresponds perfectly to a theoretical hypothesis: it will, at last, be the literature."

Italo Calvino (1984), cited by Paul Braffort, Guy Chaty and Josiane Joncquel-Patris

You can find the extended conference description and research axes here, and the conference poster here.



Click to expand

09:00 Registration
10:00 Opening of the conference
Panel 1: Technical Aspects of Literary MT
(Moderator: Isa Hendrikx)
10:30 Giving translator full control: customizable MT for literary translation
• Evgeny Matusov (AppTek)
11:00 Evaluation of Neural Machine Translation Models Tailored to Novels for Literary Translation from English to Slovene
• Taja Kuzman (Jožef Stefan Institute)
11:30 Roundtable
12:00 Lunch
Panel 2: Creative Aspects of Literary MT
(Moderator: Perrine Schumacher)
13:00 CREAMT, creativity in translation: translators and readers to the test
• Ana Guerberof Arenas (University of Groningen)
13:30 Genre fiction machine translation: Exploring creativity as a biotranslator's USP
• Susan Pickford (University of Geneva)
14:00 From raw MT to user-centricity: what we’ve learned so far about quality, textual features, and user expectations in literary MT
• Joke Daems & Paola Ruffo (Ghent University)
14:30 Roundtable
15:00 Coffee Break
Panel 3: Use Cases and Ethical Aspects of Literary MT
(Moderator: Emmanuelle Esperança-Rodier)
15:30 Literary post-editing as downstream translator-oriented personalization
• Dorothy Kenny (Dublin University) & Marion Winters (Heriot-Watt University)
16:00 Machine Translation and Fantasy: Reflections on Individualized MT
• Damien Hansen (University of Liège - Grenoble Alpes University)
16:30 Translating with technology: implications for authorship when translating creative texts
• Maarit Koponen (University of Eastern Finland)
17:00 Final roundtable and closing of the conference

You can download the programme using this link.


You can now register for this event using the following form:

Registration form


Registration fee:

  • Standard rate: 25€.
  • Reduced rate: 10€ (for PhD candidates, ULiège alumni and CBTI/BKVT members).
  • Attendance is free for members of the University of Liège and students.

Payment details:
BE08 3401 5580 8613 (BBRUBEBB)
ING, Rue du Fort 3, 4671 BARCHON


We look very much forward to seeing you! In the meantime, we have added some information that might be useful for your stay in Liège.

Staying in Liège

Wondering how to join us, where to stay and what to see in Liège? Have a look at the suggested map, nearby accommodation and places to discover.


If you have any question, you can contact Damien Hansen.

Scientific Committee

  • Valérie Bada (ULiège)
  • Hervé Blanchon (UGA)
  • Loïc de Faria Pires (UMons)
  • Emmanuelle Esperança-Rodier (UGA)
  • Damien Hansen (ULiège - UGA)
  • Isa Hendrikx (ULiège)
  • Pierre-Yves Houlmont (ULiège)
  • Céline Letawe (ULiège)
  • Pascaline Merten (ULB)
  • Perrine Schumacher (ULiège - UniGE)
  • Myriam-Naomi Walburg (ULiège)
  • Patricia Willson (ULiège)

Organizing Committee

  • Valérie Bada (ULiège)
  • Loïc de Faria Pires (UMons)
  • Damien Hansen (ULiège - UGA)
  • Isa Hendrikx (ULiège)
  • Pierre-Yves Houlmont (ULiège)
  • Pascaline Merten (ULB)
  • Perrine Schumacher (ULiège - UniGE)

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