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Friday, 12 April 2024 14:34

Special issue of the Journal of Specialised Translation: Sport(s) translation / translating sport(s)

Guest-edited by Christophe Declercq and Gys-Walt van Egdom

The world of sports is vast, extending from grassroots events and local clubs over national venues to periodical continental or global happenings. Throughout, the gathering of people to take part in sports combines individual physical effort, the material needed to perform and – if relevant and/or needed – group acumen. Diverse practices are reflected in regulations, stipulations, practice routines, habits, training methods, coaching dynamics, competitive elements, event organisation, reporting mechanisms etc. Sports are closely linked to culture, reflecting societal values and identity. Performance in sports, at any level, becomes a platform reinforcing diverse cultural norms and forms of representation. The rules and rituals in sports embody shared beliefs, forming cultural constructs. The intersection of sports, culture, and shared beliefs, whether within disciplines, clubs, or broader events like the Commonwealth Games, African Games but also the Olympic Games, plays a crucial role in shaping collective identities and mirroring societal dynamics.

In the diverse landscape of sports, language takes on various forms, from universal and national over regional or group-based to individual and non-verbal expressions. Sports often embrace a shared lingua franca, which can be the silent language of the performance itself, the training and competition without commentary, the translanguaging sphere of code mixing and code switching, or using a shared language, which is not always English by default. The linguistic commonality is evident in the various degrees of language coexistence. Cross-language and intercultural exchanges in sports happen through translation, interpretation, mediation, journalism, and the growing use of language and translation technology.

With no real reference work for the domain of sports and translation, this special issue aims to establish exactly that. This special issue seeks to map out the cross-language processes in sport disciplines, including the interdependencies of the various roles involved, for the purpose of translating information, content and communication into a language that is not native to the respective individual athlete, the team or the discipline. The issue particularly seeks contributions that focus on translation but also acknowledges that practices from other forms of transfer – such as interpreting and mediation / liaison services – are possibly equally relevant.

This special issue therefore welcomes contributions from academic researchers, professional translators and other language professionals that cover key areas and topics regarding sports and translation including:

  1. Sports terminology: the challenges and strategies involved in translating and managing sports-specific terminology and/or jargon (regulations, contracts, anti-doping…).
  2. Translation in sports media: the role of translation in sports media, such as the translation of sports commentaries, interviews, press conferences, and sports news articles.
  3. Translation in sports events and competitions: the translation, interpreting and mediation / liaison services provided during international sports events, but equally so less mediatised or more regional and local competition.
  4. Sports-related audiovisual translation (AVT): the translation of sports broadcasts, documentaries, interviews, and other audiovisual content related to sports.
  5. Translating sport-related humour and metaphor.
  6. Analyses and practices of differences in gender bias, gender neutral language across languages.
  7. The use of translation technologies in sports broadcasting and streaming platforms.
  8. Accessibility – physical and/or linguistic – to translated sports-related information, including implications for accessibility and fan engagement across linguistic boundaries.
  9. Sports literature translation: the translation of sports-related literary works, including biographies, autobiographies and novels.
  10. Interdependencies and transediting: journalators reproducing and adapting content already available in other languages.
  11. Transcultural aspects of sports translation: the linguistic and cultural hybridity of performance by a specific party in a setting that is linguistically and culturally different than their own.
  12. Ethics and sports translation: the ethical considerations and challenges faced by translators, interpreters, mediators and liaisons in the sports domain. This can relate to accuracy, impartiality, privacy, confidentiality, and maintaining the integrity of sports events and/or athlete performances and/or specific discourse.
  13. Sports localisation and marketing translation: the translation and adaptation of sports-related marketing materials, advertisements, websites, and social media content.
  14. Gender and diversity in sports translation: the role of translation, interpreting and mediation/liaison in promoting gender equality and diversity in sports, i.e. the challenges and opportunities for translators in accurately representing and translating sports-related content that involves gender, LGBTQ+ issues, and cultural diversity.
  15. Interdisciplinary approaches in sports translation: submissions that adopt interdisciplinary perspectives, incorporating fields such as sociology, cultural studies, linguistics, psychology, or media studies, to explore the multifaceted nature of sports translation.
  16. Professionalism and non-professionalism: the role of professional or untrained translators, interpreters, mediators and/or liaisons, language professionals like editors even, who provide on-the-spot translation but also ad hoc interpreting services during press conferences, interviews, or during informal interactions involving athletes, coaches, and media representatives.
  17. Blurring boundaries: the differences and overlaps between translation, interpreting and intercultural mediation in sports settings while bridging not only language barriers but also cultural gaps and facilitating understanding between athletes, media, and other stakeholders.
  18. Optimal athletic performance: the role of translators and interpreters in facilitating effective communication across evidence-based approaches in sports science research.
  19. Sports and social media: crossing linguistic boundaries in social media blog posts, online video contents (often fitness- or nutrition-related).
  20. Translation challenges in anti-doping regulations: the translation challenges involved in rendering anti-doping regulations, policies, and guidelines into multiple languages. This also involves communication with athletes involved in anti-doping procedures and the respective anti-doping authorities.
  21. Language and translation technology in sports communication: the use of translation memories, terminology databases, machine translation, artificial intelligence models and other language technologies, such speech-to-text tools, in sports communication. This also involves the benefits and limitations of these technologies in facilitating communication as well as their impact on accuracy and quality.
  22. Multilingual sports websites and social media: the role of translation in creating and maintaining multilingual sports websites, social media platforms, and mobile applications.
  23. Sports analytics and translation: the role of translation in sports analytics, data collection, and data-driven decision-making (such as match statistics, player profiles, and scouting reports).
  24. Translation in sports historiography: the role of translation, interpreting and mediation/liaising in documenting and preserving the history of sports (archival materials, memoirs, interviews, and historical documents related to sports events, athletes, and iconic moments).
  25. Translating sports as a facilitator: for promoting tourism, be it event-related or location-based, translation as the incentive for sport tourism destination.
  26. Power distance: relating to how power relationships between athletes on the one hand and organisations and institutions on the other hand are realised in translated and interpreted communication. Other relationships of power are also possible.
  27. Sports and agency: the active/activist role of translation and/or interpreting and/or mediation in advancing the agency of the athlete, the group or nation they represent, the discipline….
  28. Sports and ergonomics: sports as an integral part of the ergonomics of a physical translator.

Deadline for abstracts: 8 June 2024

For more information, click here.

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