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Monday, 06 August 2012 09:41

Call for papers - Special Issue: Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

Volume 31(3), 2013

The sociology of translation in a developmental context



Guest editors: Sergey Tyulenev and Marlie van Rooyen

One of the ways in which one can conceptualise the evolution of Translation Studies as a scholarly discipline over the past five decades is as a series of shifts from micro to macro approaches, from text to context, from language to society, and from colonially exclusive to post-colonially inclusive paradigms. Whichever way one looks at it, there seems to be a growing interdisciplinary interest between translation studies and sociology. This interest relates, among other things, to the role of the translator and translation in the development of a society and the interplay between the constraints that society places on the translator and translation praxis, on the one hand, and the activism and resistance of the translation agency, on the other. This interest has been reflected in Translation Studies readers, monographs, edited collections, special editions of TS journals, and a multitude of articles. The uniqueness of this special issue of SALALS ( is that it will consider the role of translation specifically in the developmental context.

Although neither the UN or WTO or OECD suggest any definition of what a developing country might be, the group of developed countries beinga highly diverse group” (, the entry ‘developing country’ in New American Oxford Dictionary captures well the common feature of all developing countries, that is, all of them are “seeking to become more advanced economically and socially. Consequently, such countries put the translator and translation in the developmental context.

The main questions to be addressed in this SALALS issue are:

What is the role of translation in social development in general and in developing countries in particular?

What are the theoretical and methodological implications thereof?

Related questions may include (but are not limited to) the following:

Does the research of the role of translation in developmental contexts and, more specifically, in developing countries (have to) differ from traditional approaches established for translation research in the developed countries? If so, how?

Does such approach hold any particular promise for conducting research of translation praxis in developmental contexts, especially that of Africa, South America and Asia?

Can we hope to deduce any universally valid properties of translation research in such a “highly diverse group” as developing countries which, according to WTO, even escape any definition?

How does translation relate to social reality in developmental contexts? Is translation an (active/influential) agent in the development/transformation of society, or should it be?

Could translation studies in general benefit from new, sociologically informed insights into translation practices in social development processes, notably in developing countries, as well as from new methodologies that could be suggested for such research? If so, how?

Strategically, this issue is an initiative prompted by practical post-colonial efforts within TS. It is considered as a step towards the establishment of a multi-polar world of translation studies. Hence, this is a call welcoming as widely represented international contributions as possible.



June 2013 Final version of the issue to printers

30 May 2013 Deadline for submission of revised papers

April 2013 Anonymised reviewers’ comments sent to authors with requests for revisions if applicable

Feb 2013 Papers sent out to three reviewers each with request for review within six weeks

31 Jan 2013 Deadline for submission of completed paper

Oct 2012 Papers to be included selected based on abstracts and notification of authors

15 Sept 2012 Deadline for abstract submission


Potential authors are asked to send an abstract of approximately 500 words (excluding references) outlining the paper to be included in the issue to the corresponding guest editor, Marlie van Rooyen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), by 15 September 2012. Papers accepted for inclusion in the issue will be due by 31 January 2013. For further information, please contact Marlie van Rooyen at the email address above.

Articles must be in accordance with the SALALS Requirements for Authors ( They will be peer reviewed as per SALALS general policy.

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