New issue of Translating and Interpreting

Ignacio Garcia has just sent out the latest issue of The International Journal for Translating and Interpreting Research, including articles on speech recognition in translator training (Dragsted, Mees & Hansen), translation memory-mediated environments (Mesa-Lao), legal interpreters in Ireland (Phelan) and a quantitative study on clear English for Translation (Burns and Kim). Personally, I’m most excited about Pym‘s What technology does to translating:

Abstract: The relation between technology and translating is part of the wider question of what technology does to language. It is now a key question because new translation technologies such as translation memories, data-based machine translation, and collaborative translation management systems, far from being merely added tools, are altering the very nature of the translator’s cognitive activity, social relations, and professional standing. Here we argue that technologies first affect memory capacity in such a way that the paradigmatic is imposed more frequently on the syntagmatic. It follows that the translating activity is enhanced in its generative moment, yet potentially retarded in the moment of selection, where the values of intuition and text flow become difficult to recuperate. The redeeming grace of new technologies may nevertheless lie in new modes of opening translation to the space of volunteer translation, where humanizing dialogue can enter the internal dimension of translation decisions. The regime of the paradigmatic may thus be embedded in new modes of social exchange, where translation becomes one of the five basic language skills.

My main interest, of course, is in asking those questions that Pym potentially doesn’t consider. I mean this without malice, but I do feel that the academy is carefully cotton-wooled itself from the more interesting ideas that have come from the last century. In particular, I’d be looking to ask questions like how does détournement affect his “humanizing dialogue” – for instance, in the realms of crowd-sourcedillicit subtitling.

I’ve yet to read the article, but am looking forward to it.