Background and activities

I am professor of Signed language and interpreting at the Department of Language and Literature, and the coordinator for Division of Language and Communication; Signed language and Interpreting Studies. I have a PhD in Signed Language Linguistics from the Department of Linguistics at Stockholm University, and am a trained Swedish Sign Language/Swedish/English interpreter.

In our BA-program in Sign Language and Interpreting, I mainly teach in courses on language, communication, and interpreting theory.

Research interests:

- Sign Language Linguistics, with a special interest in sign language discourse produced by simultaneous interpreters.

- Corpus-based approaches to signed language research.

- Discourse structure and cohesion in signed language.

- Signed language interpreting.

- M2L2-learning of signed languages

• Since 2014 I have been working in Trondheim, and my main research here has been on how sign language interpreters move their whole body in space – described as the embodiment of conceptual metaphors – and on the M2L2-acquisition of Norwegian Sign Language by our interpreting students.

Selected research projects

 • During 2012–2014 I ran the research project Use of Signing Space in Simultaneous Sign Langauge Interpreting., which was financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).

• During 2010-2012 I was one of the researchers involved in the EU-financed project MEDISIGNS - Medical Sign Language & Interpreter Training:

Partners included experts from Ireland, Cyprus, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

Membership of editorial boards

Member of the editorial board of Deaf Worlds, 2003–2005.

Member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Interpreter Education from 2009–.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Nilsson, Anna-Lena. (2016) Interpreting from signed language into spoken language: The skills and knowledge needed to succeed. To say or not to say – challenges of interpreting from sign language to spoken language. Proceedings of the 23rd EFSLI Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 11th–13th September 2015..


  • Nilsson, Anna-Lena. (2016) Expressing time through space: Embodying conceptual metaphors in an L2. ISGS7 International Society for Gesture Studies Conference . International Society for Gesture Studies; Paris. 2016-07-18 - 2016-07-22.
  • Nilsson, Anna-Lena. (2015) Att tolka mellan två språk i två olika modaliteter. STTF:s årsmötes och fortbildningshelg. . Sveriges teckenspråkstolkars förening.; Härnösand. 2015-03-14 - 2015-03-15.