What is the phenomenon we call EUMASLI?

If you are reading this, you must be curious about EUMASLI. Excellent!

What is this phenomenon we call EUMASLI? How has it become so widely talked about around the world in the last decade?

smiling students sit in a classroom
Happy students in Helsinki in September 2018.

EUMASLI is an extraordinary taught programme for interpreters working at advanced levels with signed languages. Is that you? These words are for you, then!

EUMASLI began as a way of improving the skills and knowledge of hearing interpreters in Europe – that’s why we called it the European MA in Sign Language Interpreting.

Then deaf students began to join too. And people from other parts of the world. Fantastic! We welcome everyone, because EUMASLI centres upon international open-mindedness and the exchange of ideas about promoting top quality work in the field.

group of students throwing their hats in front of a lecture hall
Joy of reaching the goal of the EUMASLI cruise in September 2019.

By now, we have seen over 50 graduates receive their master’s degrees. They have taken their wisdom into the profession in 50 different ways:

  • Pursued research interests, completed PhDs, addressed global conferences and published original texts that have informed policy-makers and strengthened the field.
  • Extended their professional services into working at vital, high-level multinational events; using International Sign, sometimes alongside multiple national signed and spoken languages; and leading progress in shaping on-screen translation practices and the services provided by interpreting teams.
  • Re-designed interpreting and translation services, setting new standards in leadership, ethical practice, professionalism, management, quality assurance and community service.

When the world has needed clear communication in 2020 like never before, some of those stepping up to serve communities everywhere have been EUMASLI graduates.

Along the way, EUMASLI alumni have won prizes; generated original works of art; saved lives; built successful international businesses; used their privilege to fight for human rights. They also found time to make babies and rhubarb gin.

Every one of them has produced more thoughtful interpretations and changed the lives of the people they work with, day in and day out.

teachers and students discussing vividly, sitting opposite to each other
Learning is creating, debating, imagining.

How did they get there? They brought their brilliant ideas, dedication and willingness to learn from others into the EUMASLI classroom. Together, we debated, created, imagined, extended. And lifted our sights.

Oh, and we had fun along the way. Such fun, always. Studying together in Edinburgh, Helsinki, Magdeburg, Amsterdam, Salerno, Antwerp, Copenhagen – and these were just the gateways to EUMASLI adventures around the world.

It’s time, in 2020, to select the participants in EUMASLI #4. We’re hoping it will be YOU.


Professor Graham H. Turner
Heriot-Watt University