Since its inception, translation studies has focused overwhelmingly on professional instances of linguistic and cultural mediation undertaken by individuals who designate themselves as ‘translators’ or ‘interpreters’ and are recognised (and paid) as such by their commissioners. Indeed, the division between the commissioning and translating agents had been one of the most decisive features shaping the dynamics of the translation industry until very recently. Against this background, issues pertaining to the formal training of translators and interpreters; translation quality assessment and criticism; and observance of professional ethics and norms have featured prominently in the research agenda of translation scholars. Even within the more descriptively oriented approaches, the prevalent research questions of “who translates what, why, how, under what circumstances, and for which audience?” have targeted almost exclusively the work of professional translators and interpreters.
Translating and interpreting, however, are obviously not limited to the professional sphere. Individuals increasingly undertake these forms of mediation, either in isolation or as part of organised/ad hoc networks, within a variety of contexts and for a multitude of purposes. The rapidly expanding category of non-professional translators/interpreters includes, for instance, consumers of creative industries and news media; engaged individuals and/or activists involved in different forms of ideological and cultural resistance against prevailing socio-economic structures or values; and individuals translating or interpreting on an ad hoc basis, either as an ‘add-on’ to their core professional services or to palliate the need for translators/interpreters in settings where stakeholders are unable to enlist the services of professionals.
Non-professional translation has been so far of peripheral interest to translation scholars, who often express concern over the quality of ‘amateur output’ and the intrusion of ‘unregulated outsiders’ into the precarious translation industry. Understandably, non-professional translation is seen to erode the professional status which the discipline has sought to promote since its inception. But, as it diversifies and moves towards the core of economic and cultural activities, non-professional translation is increasingly bound to challenge our understanding of professional identities and the current organisation of labour in the translation and interpreting industries.
This collection proposes to explore the field of non-professional translation and interpreting with a view to learning from the individuals who take on translation/interpreting activities; the networks and organisations for which they translate and interpret; the media which facilitate the distribution of amateur translations; and, last but not least, the societies where these activities emerge and impact on the political, economic and cultural spheres.
Contributors to this special issue might offer theoretical and empirical studies centred on one or more of the following themes:
• Amateur news translation and distribution
• Non-professional translation/interpreting within the context of religion
• Scanlation and fansubbing
• Fanfiction and translation
• Translation and the blogosphere
• Interpreting within local NGO settings
• Non-professionals translating/interpreting within conflict situations
• Activist translation/interpreting
• Amateur translation as a form of cyberactivism
• Child-language brokering vis-à-vis professional interpreting
The contributions should be between 6000 and 10000 words on average. Examples from languages other than English should be glossed where necessary. Copyright permission must be obtained by the contributor where necessary prior to publication. Please note that papers will be refereed.
30 July 2010 - Deadline for submission of abstracts (500 words)
15 October 2010 - Selected contributors notified of acceptance of abstracts
15 April 2011 - Deadline for submission of contributions
16 September 2011 - Confirmation of acceptance of contributions
30 November 2011- Deadline for submission of final versions
June 2012 - Publication date
Submission deadline: 2010-07-30
The contributions should be between 6000 and 10000 words on average. Examples from languages other than English should be glossed where necessary. Copyright permission must be obtained by the contributor where necessary prior to publication. Please note that papers will be refereed. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30/07/2010. See schedule of publication under previous heading.