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Translation Spaces

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ISSN 2211-3711
E-ISSN 2211-372X

Translation Spaces is a biannual, peer-reviewed, indexed journal that recognizes the global interdisciplinary impact of translation. The journal envisions translation as multi-faceted phenomena that can be studied (from) within a complex set of spaces where knowledge, beliefs, and values encounter one another. These global spaces of encounter are virtual, as in the boundless cyberspace of today’s Internet, and physical, as in the world’s rapidly expanding multilingual and multicultural cities. They are also disciplinary: arenas of discourse within which scholars explore the frontiers where translation practice and theory interact most dramatically with the emerging landscape of contemporary globalization.

As such, the journal actively encourages researchers from diverse domains as communication studies, information technology, economics and commerce, law and government, science, news and entertainment, and cognitive (neuro-)science to engage in translation scholarship. It explicitly aims to stimulate an ongoing interdisciplinary and inter-professional dialogue among diverse communities of research and practice. The journal's website invites discussion through its topic-oriented blogs, discussion/debate boards with threaded commentary, and an online interview section.

As of 2015, Translation Spaces publishes two issues per year. The first issue (1), Translation Spaces: Cognition and Behavior, invites submissions with a focus on translation in relation to cognitive, neuroscientific, and behavioral themes. The second issue (2), Translation Spaces: Culture and Society invites submissions to seven topical tracks that consider translation in terms of its impact on social and cultural institutions and processes: Global Dynamics; Socio-Cultural Spaces; Political and Legal Directions; Technologies; Multimedia; Sciences; and Professionalism. We welcome articles on special topics and approaches that may not fit these pre-established tracks, and which keep in the spirit of the journal’s vision.


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  • Translation as human–computer interaction
    • Author: Sharon O'Brien
    • Source: Translation Spaces, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012, pages: 101 –122
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    • This paper seeks to characterise translation as a form of human–computer interaction. The evolution of translator–computer interaction is explored, and the challenges and benefits are enunciated. The concept of cognitive ergonomics is drawn on to argue for a more caring and inclusive approach towards the translator by developers of translation technology. A case is also made for wider acceptance by the translation community of the benefits of the technology at their disposal and for more humanistic research on the impact of technology on the translator, the translation profession, and the translation process.
  • A dynamic network model of translatorial cognition and action
    • Authors: Hanna Risku, Florian Windhager, and Matthias Apfelthaler
    • Source: Translation Spaces, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013, pages: 151 –182
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    • As an interdisciplinary research endeavor into the foundations of human and artificial intelligence, cognitive science has substantial contributions to offer to the field of translation studies. Like any other explanatory approach to socially embedded and organized behavior, cognitive science deals with hard-to-resolve dichotomies such as static versus dynamic approaches, lab- or field-based methods or the opposing views of individual and social explanations. To introduce current theoretical developments from cognitive science, we offer a conceptual framework that conceives these apparent dichotomies as complementary perspectives and helps us to cope with the nested and embedded nature of translatorial cognition and action. For this purpose, we specify a dynamic network analytical model which treats acts of individual cognition and (inter)action as being constitutively interwoven with their social, symbolic and material environments and combine all its elements into a coherent dynamic process perspective. In our outlook, we discuss this extended model’s potential to structure the ongoing theoretical debate on translation process research, as well as its ability to serve as a scaffold for defining and contextualizing empirical studies and thus guiding research into the complex dynamics of translation as a situated activity.
  • Translation crowdsourcing and user-translator motivation at Facebook and Skype
    • Author: Marit Mesipuu
    • Source: Translation Spaces, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012, pages: 33 –53
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    • There is a growing trend among some internet software companies to involve users in the translation process by inviting or enabling them to shape the way the final product reads in their native languages. This is called translation crowdsourcing, and an increasing number of user-translators are willing to dedicate their spare time to contribute to such undertakings. What motivates them to do so, and how could their motivation be boosted? In order to answer these questions, this article looks at Facebook and Skype, examples of the two most common translation crowdsourcing models: open community and closed community. The first part of the article describes these two models, highlighting their principal differences and the business needs that help determine which model is adopted. The second part examines the origins of user-translator motivation and the ways that these two software companies maintain and boost motivation.
  • Cognitive Translation Studies and the merging of empirical paradigms: The case of ‘literal translation’
    • Author: Sandra L. Halverson
    • Source: Translation Spaces, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2015, pages: 310 –340
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    • The current reintroduction of the concept of ‘literal translation’ is an important development for two main reasons. Firstly, it has led to a range of intriguing empirical findings. Secondly, this revival exemplifies a more profound development in the field. This paper argues that the trajectory of this concept is one example of how cognitively oriented explanatory models are driving an integration of product- and process-based approaches to translational phenomena. In order to better understand this development and to investigate its potential to change Translation Studies, the paper first provides a brief historical overview and then proceeds to decompose the concept into key constituent parts. Two constituent concepts will be used as the basis for identifying the alternative ways in which product and process-oriented approaches have studied the same phenomenon. As a way of moving forward, pertinent theoretical tools from bilingualism research are identified, and concluding remarks focus on implications for the field.
  • Ergonomics of the Translation Workplace: Potential for Cognitive Friction
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