Xiaohui Yuan

Colleges, School and Institutes


I am a lecturer in Chinese-English Interpreting and Translation Studies. I completed my PhD under Ian Mason’s supervision, which formed the basis for my self-authored monograph. Prior to my time at Birmingham, I lectured and directed T&I programmes at the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.

Research interests

My specific research areas include:


  • Audio-visual translation: the representation of interpersonal features which are embodied in the sociolinguistic concept of face in Chinese-English subtitling; viewers’ reception and response to the representation when relying on the subtitles, i.e., the impact on their interpretation of interlocutor’s personality, attitude and intentions in interaction
  • Interpreting: 1) an interpreter’s role in the mediated communication, for example, how interpreters take stance with parties which are manifested through their handling of the face features in interaction in community and political contexts; 2) an interpreter’s mediating role vis-à-vis a mediator’s facilitating role in commercial, community and political dispute resolutions: in these contexts, perceptions and expectations of the role of an interpreter and that of a mediator often collide and contradict. Through effectively researching on how interpreters carry out their roles and use their linguistic power to mediate interactions, I offer both professions findings on how to effectively work with interpreters and mediators in dispute resolution to resolve conflicts.
  • Literary translation: the representation of the portrayal of individual characters and of interpersonal dynamics in literary translation, approaching literary translation as an activity bridging and mediating cultural differences between the author or original texts and the target reader, achieving pragmatic effectiveness of communicating the author’s intended portrayal of interactional and interpersonal features.

Language use in social contexts (area in development)

  • Dispute resolution and negotiation: facilitative linguistic features vis-à-vis evaluative linguistic features in dispute resolution, use of humour in dispute resolution and negotiation

Intercultural communication

  • Cultural challenges in dispute resolution, e.g., cultural factors impact on people’s orientation towards disagreements, Chinese value construct in conflict management, politeness in cross/intercultural interactions, the concept of face in the East and the West
  • Cultural challenges in commercial collaborations (area in development in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution): to develop an understanding of the types of collaborations that take place between British and Chinese Companies, what cultural factors are important in influencing how these collaborations proceed, the difficulties encountered in these collaborations and the methods of resolutions that are used.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I have supervised postgraduate research on interpreting education in China and impact of web-translation.