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Tuesday, 26 April 2011 22:30

Translation, Technology, Status

Call for Papers

This panel addresses the role and status of the translator in the current panorama of the ‘technological turn’ of Translation Studies. Especially in the domains of technical translation and localisation, translators can find themselves in low-paying, low-status employment, where their expertise is under-appreciated. Developments in translation technology over the past 15 years (including the optimisation of web-based CAT tools and Machine Translation Systems) point to a possible shift in the professional practice of translation towards a ‘post-editing’ environment where translators act as proofreaders of output from automated systems, no longer involved in ‘translation proper’. The focus may shift from computer-aided human translation to human-aided computer translation. Coupled with this, the translation community also faces the questions raised by emerging phenomena on the Web like ‘crowdsourcing’ that might also pose a silent threat for the recognition and the visibility of the role of the translator as the ‘expert’ and ‘mediator’ in intercultural communication. On the other hand, the promotion of user interaction in Web 2.0 and the recent developments towards ubiquitous access to multilingual digital content in Web 3.0 and 4.0 require (human) translators to be engaged in the design of the multilingual web, which potentially raises their status as multilingual mediators.

The objective of this panel is to bring together those who are interested in, and concerned about, the impact of technology on the status and role of the translator, the reaction of the community to questions of status, the threat or opportunity posed by technology, and new trends such as crowd-sourcing and volunteering, in order to discuss, debate and deliberate on the role of the translator now and in the future. Papers on (but not limited to) the following topics are most welcome:

  • The positive or negative impact of technology on the status of the translator and the value placed on translation
  • The impact of crowdsourcing and user-generated translation (including wiki-translation, fansubbings, scanlations or Rom-hacking)
  • The role of the translator in localization and internationalization, and multimedia translation e-inclusion and accessibility
  • Other issues concerning the relation between human translation and new technologies
  • Translator pedagogy and technology: what does the future hold for translators trained at third-level?; How/Should translation curricula change given recent trends? What ethical questions present themselves?
  • Submissions from commercial players are also welcomed.

Chairs

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a lecturer at the University of Oviedo (Spain) where he lectures in languages, translation and applied linguistics. Currently, he is a visiting researcher at Imperial College London where he is conducting research on collaborative translation. His main research lines focus on localisation and internationalisation of multimedia products (websites, videogames, etc.), social and fan translation (with a special emphasis on crowdsourcing and fansubbing), and translation technology. He is also a member of the European Thematic Network “Multilingual Web” and works as a freelance translator and interpreter. In addition, he is a member of the scientific committee of the Hermeneus Project, listed in the main international indexes and databanks. He has authored several peer-reviewed articles on translation and presented papers in international conferences.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a lecturer in translation and language technology in SALIS, Dublin City University. Her teaching centres around practical translation (French/German to English), Research Methods, Translation Theory and Localisation. Her research interests include the measurement of cognitive effort in translation and post-editing of machine translation output via eye tracking and keyboard logging, translator interaction with technology, process-related research and research methods, controlled authoring of content etc. She is affiliated with the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies and the Centre for Next Generation Localisation.