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Personal profile

Chinese Name



Dr. LIU Min-hua is currently Professor at the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). She is also Director of the Centre for Translation, a research centre under the Faculty of Arts of HKBU.  Trained as a conference interpreter at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), she has practiced conference interpreting for more than twenty-five years, with prominent assignments such as the international press conference of the former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui and Taiwan’s bid to join GATT (the predecessor of WTO). As a long-term member (now Associate Member) of the prestigious International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) since 1994, Dr. Liu once served as a member and later Convener of the AIIC Research Committee and was involved in the AIIC Lifespan Study, with two co-authored articles published in Communicate! and Translation, Cognition & Behavior. Dr. Liu received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was trained in the field of foreign language education. Her dissertation on working memory and the expertise of simultaneous interpreting won the Young Scholar Prize (for best PhD dissertation) from the European Society for Translation Studies in 2004. Before joining HKBU, she taught interpreting at MIIS and in Taiwan and was once director of the Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation Studies of Taiwan’s Fu Jen Catholic University. Her main research interest lies in the cognitive mechanisms and processes in the task of interpreting, particularly it being a unique bilingual act. One of her current projects, for which she and her team won a GRF grant from the Hong Kong government, is a longitudinal study on how training in interpreting and translation may affect a bilingual’s cognitive functions. Her second major research interest is the testing and assessment of translation and interpreting. She was the principle investigator of research projects to develop a certification examination system for translators and interpreters for the Taiwanese Ministry of Education. The six-­year project, for which she and her team were twice nominated for Outstanding Research Award of the Executive Yuan (the executive branch of the Taiwanese central government), eventually led to the establishment of Taiwan’s first certification exams for translators and interpreters in 2007. Dr. Liu is co-editor (with Franz Pöchhacker) of the journal Interpreting and sits on the advisory board of five peer-reviewed journals and publishers. She is member of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST) and the Translation Research, Empiricism and Cognition network (TREC). Dr. Liu and her colleagues established the HKBU International Conference on Interpreting and is convenor and conference chair in 2017, 2021 and 2022. She has delivered plenary lectures and invited talks in numerous universities across Asia, the US and Europe, including conducting research workshops as a visiting scholar at Gallaudet University in Washington DC and Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

Research Interests

The two lines of research in which I am currently involved are bilingual cognitive processing and testing and assessment of interpreting performance.

My research explores how bilinguals process information and how bilingualism affects cognitive functions and processes. As a former conference interpreter, I mainly study interpreters as a unique group of bilinguals. The fact that interpreters have to process languages under extreme time pressure can potentially reveal some mechanisms underpinning bilingual language processing. A related new exploration is the interpreter’s cognitive aging and how a lifetime of professional practice in interpreting may differentiate interpreters from non-interpreter bilinguals in cognitive declines and cognitive reserve. I am also interested in how unimodal bilinguals (who speak two languages) and bimodal bilinguals (who use one spoken language and one signed language) differ in their cognitive functions and cognitive aging as a result of the differing channels through which language is processed.

My research interest in testing and assessment started when I was the principal investigator of a six-year project to develop a certification exam for interpreters for the Taiwanese Ministry of Education. I believe in developing more objective and thus, fairer assessment mechanisms for evaluating language performance. The need for consistency and reliability in high-stakes exams and the tedious and time-consuming nature of the process prompted me to examine the possibility of automatizing the exam process. My team and I are involved in projects on automated assessment and automated speech difficulty evaluation. We aim to develop models that can reliably predict human ratings so that the initial screening process in large-scale interpreting exams can be automated. We are also building models to develop a speech-based automated difficulty assessor for English and Chinese.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Interpreting, PhD, Foreign Language Education, The University of Texas at Austin


Award Date: 1 May 2001

Master, Translation and Interpretation, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


Award Date: 31 May 1989


  • BF Psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • cognitive testing
  • cognitive aging
  • working memory
  • PE English
  • bilingualism
  • language testing
  • language acquisition
  • translation
  • interpreting


Dive into the research topics where Min-hua LIU is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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