Doctor of Philosophy, University Helsinki, Finland, 1995.
Following Roman Jakobson, he expanded the scope of the semiotic study of translation to include intratextual, intertextual, and extratextual translation and stressing the productivity of the notion of translation in general semiotics. He is a co-editor of the journal Sign Systems Studies, the oldest international semiotic periodical, the chairman of the Estonian Semiotics Association and professor of semiotics of culture at Tartu University. He is widely known in translation studies above all for his book Total translation, published in Russian in 1995, and in Italian in 2000 (1st edition) and 2010 (2nd edition), edited by Bruno Osimo.
Fellow: International Association Semiotic Studies (executive committee member). Member: Estonian Writers' Association, International Dostoevsky Society, International Comparative Literature Association, Estonian Semiotics Association (president).
Married Tiina Kampus. Children: Liisi Anette, Kaarel.