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:
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