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Babel

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ISSN 0521-9744
E-ISSN 1569-9668

Babel is a scholarly journal designed primarily for translators, interpreters and terminologists (T&I), yet of interest also for nonspecialist concerned with current issues and events in the field.

The scope of Babel is intentional and embraces a multitude of disciplines built on the following pillars: T&I theory, practice, pedagogy, technology, history, sociology, and terminology management. Another important segment of this journal includes articles on the development and evolution of the T&I professions: new disciplines, growth, recognition, Codes of Ethics, protection, and prospects.

The creation of Babel was proposed on the initiative of Pierre-François Caillé, founding president of the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (FIT) and approved by the first FIT Congress of 1954 in Paris. Babel continues to be published for FIT and each issue contains a section dedicated to THE LIFE OF FIT.

Articles for Babel are normally published in English or French but we also accept articles in Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Babel is published for the International Federation of Translators (FIT).


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  • Translation and mass-communication: Film and T.V. translation as evidence of cultural dynamics
    • Author: Dirk Delabastita
    • Source: Babel, Volume 35, Issue 4, 1989, pages: 193 –218
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    • Tout bien considéré, on ne peut que s'étonner de la disproportion entre l'importance évidente du phénomène de la traduction dans les mass-media audio-visuels (importance qui peut être définie en termes à la fois quantitatifs et qualitatifs) d'une part, et l'attention minimale que la science de la traduction y a accordée d'autre part. Bien qu'il y ait bon nombre de publications à ce sujet, la majorité d'entre elles sont d'orientation purement technique; en outre, leur teneur est souvent préscriptive plutôt que descriptive.En passant, cet article traite des causes de cette disproportion remarquable, mais avant tout nous avons l'intention d'indiquer de quelle façon la lacune pourrait être comblée. Le modèle que nous proposons est basé sur des schèmes de recherche dont l'utilité a amplement été établie dans le domaine de la traduction littéraire. En suivant Gideon Toury, nous présumons qu'il faut distinguer plusieurs niveaux de relations traductionnelles. Ainsi, la pratique de la traduction dans le domaine du film et de la télévision à l'intérieur d'une situation socioculturelle donnée (niveau de la performance) repose sur des choix faits parmi un ensemble d'alternatives assez vaste (niveau de la compétence); cette sélection est gouvernée par le niveau intermédiaire des normes. Les chercheurs de la traduction audiovisuelle devront se rendre compte de ces distinctions. Parmi leurs tâches les plus immédiates, nous comptons:- l'élaboratio n d'un modèle de compétence, c'est-à-dire, d'une théorie de la traduction audiovisuelle qui soit exempte de toute immixtion normative et qui soit fondée sur des disciplines diverses (sémiotique du film, théorie de la traduction, etc.); notre article essaye de jeter les bases d'une telle théorie;- l'analyse systématique et impartiale de la réalité historique des traductions afin de découvrir les mécanismes normatifs qui ont orienté les stratégies des traducteurs; à ce dessein, nous proposons un inventaire comprenant ces paramètres dont la pertinence nous semble fort probable.
  • The Myth of the Negro Past
  • Anomalous news translation: Selective appropriation of themes and texts in the internet
    • Author: Roberto A. Valdeón
    • Source: Babel, Volume 54, Issue 4, 2008, pages: 299 –326
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    • In recent years, several authors have underlined the need to enforce a critical approach to translation studies in order to explore ideologies in both source and target languages and cultures (Hermans 1999; Baker 2006). In this article we shall study BBCMundo’s news web texts and their source English BBCWorld reports from a critical approach. The article is divided into three sections. Firstly, we analyse two series of news texts. We shall discuss the use of headlines in the STs and TTs and proceed to study the strategies used in the main bodies of the reports, notably omissions, additions and permutations. Secondly, we shall concentrate on a case study in an attempt to gain further insight into the interplay of translational and editorial procedures within the Spanish service of the BBC. In a final section, we shall carry out the discussion about the ideological implications of the translational strategies identified in the previous sections.
  • Can "Metaphor" Be Translated?
  • Teleworking and collaborative work environments in translation training
    • Author: María Dolores Olvera-Lobo
    • Source: Babel, Volume 55, Issue 2, 2009, pages: 165 –180
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    • The professional translation work is highly influenced by new communication opportunities, reason why teleworking must occupy its rightful place in translator training at tertiary level. In addition, the ideal translation process should be divided into different stages (as already occurs in major translation agencies), each task being assigned to a different team member with a different role. This paper presents the results of a research study on translation students’ disposition towards and level of satisfaction with the use of a collaborative work environment. We propose a “Professional Approach to Translator Training”, our didactic model combines elements of roleplay, team-based task learning, simulation and case study in an innovative e-learning environment that functions via a collaborative platform (BSCW).Questionnaires were designed and used as evaluation tools before and after the experience of working in a collaborative environment. The aim of these evaluation tools was to measure students’ knowledge of the following skills: computing, tele- and teamwork, and translation tasks. The internal global consistency was adequate (Cronbach’s alpha in the pre-course questionnaire is 0.902 and the value for the post-course questionnaire is 0.802).
 Results show that collaborative work environments make the learning process easier, maintain students’ pre-existing positive disposition towards teamwork, and improve students’ self-confidence with regard to computers and translation tasks. The data obtained from this study suggest that using a collaborative work platform in translation course is beneficial, enabling students to gain confidence and feel satisfied with their work. 

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