Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year in Review


It’s customary to do year-end reviews. I only started seriously on this blog in July, so it can’t be a full year. Nevertheless, I’ve combed through my posts, and this is what I’ve come up with.

The languages involved: American Sign Language, Arabic, Aramaic, Chinese, Douala, English, English Pidgin, Ethiopic, French, French Pidgin, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kafiri, Latin, Latvian, Polish, Pushtu, Russian, Spanish, Syriac, Urdu, and Valencian.

The places where they were used: Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Britain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA, USSR and Zambia.

The time periods: in Antiquity; and in the present era, the 1st, 4th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

The types of texts to which they were applied: blogs, folklore, journalism, literature, mangas, music lyrics, religious, scientific, terminological, theatrical, videos.

The types of interpreting: business, church, court, diplomatic, family, liaison, military.

And the types of translators: individual, collective, communal, computers, fansubbers, language brokers, revisers; Natural (with no training and minimal exposure), Native (with no training but self-taught by example and experience), Expert (trained and accredited), Professional (for money).

If any of these has particularly marked the year that’s ending, I think it’s crowdsourcing (see posts of July 14 and December 19), the spread of which has been made possible by new technology but with the translating as dependent as ever on humans.

It all adds up to this - and I hope to make it even more convincing in 2010. Irrespective of language, place, time, type, training, age, circumstances and language proficiency; insofar as bilingualism is universal, so too

************* TRANSLATING IS UNIVERSAL *************

Minako O'Hagan. Evolution of user-generated translation: fansubs, translation hacking and crowdsourcing. Journal of Internationalisation and Localisation, vol. 1, no. 1, 2009, pp. 94ff.

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