PhD thesis topic: would you help me?
Thread poster: Ester Demjanová

Ester Demjanová
Local time: 00:51
English to Slovak
+ ...
Mar 7, 2015

Hello everybody,

I got my Bachelor’s with honors, best in class and I should get my Master’s this June. During my studies I have discovered a great passion for academia, research and also teaching (I also did my supplementary pedagogical study to become a better teacher). While studying, I also work as a freelance translator, copywriter and interpreter and absolutely love it and the business is going quite well. I would like to apply for a PhD position and if I want to stand a chance at the entrance exams I need to think of my own original topic.

The trouble is that I cannot seem to think of anything. I usually am full of ideas but my research for diploma thesis and freelance work are exhausting my creative side and I am just tiredicon_smile.gif But the opportunity to apply will come in a few weeks and I don’t have a lot of time left so I thought I would ask here – perhaps someone has already come across something that would be worth researching.

My wishes/possibilities for the research:
- The research cannot be purely translation studies (just don’t ask why I don’t really understand this either:), it needs to be literary
- I would like it to be ‘real’ – not just something purely theoretical, I love hard research work, have no trouble writing for a long time, I am OK with numbers, statistics, lots of tables, creating original SmartArts and charts, using any software… actually just about anything is fine with me and I would love to and am prepared to work hard
- I would like to work with English, Slovak and Czech (both are my mother tongues) and German (the primary language of the thesis will be English)
- I would like the outcome of my work to actually be a contribution – I am aware of the fact that I cannot discover something really important to humanity here but I would love for the thesis to help at least someone in some area

My areas of interest:
(I have others too but as it needs to be a literary-translation work, I narrowed it down for this particular category)
- Children’s literature and/or literature for young adults (I love Harry Potter to the bits but am afraid such a research would not actually be a contribution to anyone)
- Classics and their modern reinterpretations (like doctor House – Sherlock, Bridget Jones – Elizabeth Bennet)
- Translator’s visibility (but the topic still would need to ‘fit under literature)
- Translated vs. non-translated texts
- Translation of poetry
- Translation of prose
- Revoicing (am doing research in dubbing at the moment)
But I love literature, language and also do have a passion for linguistics so virtually any topic would be fine.

I know that this is probably a lot to even read so thank you very much for just reading this far and any advice you may have for me.

[Edited at 2015-03-07 10:07 GMT]


Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:51
Member (2012)
French to English
Hello Mar 7, 2015

I can only suggest having a look at what other people have done for their PhD theses - perhaps that would trigger some ideas. Your university librarian should be able to help you to find this kind of thing.

This article might be of interest - it's written by a PhD student, who talks a bit about her research in children's literature:


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Factors to Consider Mar 7, 2015

Whatever subject you may decide on, be sure that there is sufficient material available to you on the research you will have to do, and that the research effort will not be an excessive burden on your time and finances. Otherwise you may have to change your plans later on, and it is best to avoid that.


Danik 2014
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Just an idea Mar 8, 2015

One of the possibilities in your field is the comparison of translations of literary works in one of your language pairs.
There are several possibilities:
-Choose a relevant literary text of your native country (poetry or prose, which you are more used to work with) preferably one that has few translations into English).
-Choose to compare preferably translations that have not been studied at all or very little.
-If you don´t have much time choose a text (or texts) that is short but representative. The problem with Harry Potter at the outset is the extension of the work.
Plan you agenda carefully so that you can stick to it as Henry suggested.
I hope that helps a little.:)


Ester Demjanová
Local time: 00:51
English to Slovak
+ ...
Thank you all! Aug 21, 2015

Dear all,

thank you for your kind responses and personal e-mails. This is such a great community!

I was admitted to the PhD program and should start in September. BTW I got straight A's on my state exams in June!

My topic, although it my change a bit during the course of my studies, is about adaptation across cultures - it is not a translation topic per se, but it was the closest one I could get my hands onicon_smile.gif don't want to say more about it, not sure whther it is OK to speak about your unpublished work which is still in its infancy (perhaps I am overthinking this:D) but would be glad to write PMs with anyone who is interested/does research in the similar area.

Thank you again!

[Edited at 2015-08-21 08:26 GMT]


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PhD thesis topic: would you help me?

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