In an age where information is often regarded as more precious than gold or hard currency it is timely that JoSTrans has chosen to dedicate an entire issue to technical translation since many of the most significant advances, events and changes in our world seem to stem from or be assisted by, in one way or another, technology. Given the importance of this area I am honoured to have been asked to act as guest editor for this issue.
My goal from the outset was to show that technical translation is not a niche area concerned solely with how to translate highly specialised terms in obscure technical documents that would be read by very few people. Instead, I hoped that this issue would show that technical translation is both a complex and vital, challenging and multi-facetted area of translation. I also hoped that this issue would defy various preconceptions both from inside and outside the area. I think the various contributions have achieved these goals.
This issue contains papers from both established and up-and-coming scholars, all of whom provide valuable and unique insights into what is widely held to be the single largest sector of the translation industry. Many of the papers consider technical translation in novel ways, utilising research strategies and approaches previously not usually associated with specialised translation. Others address more familiar areas of technical translation but add a more insightful dimension which urges us to reassess our understanding of the area. Perhaps most interestingly, the papers show that technical translation is a vast, varied and complex area which requires a flexible, interdisciplinary and holistic approach.
This issue also includes two streamed interviews. In the first, Miguel Bernal examines localisation and video games with two professionals from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Dave Raynard (Creative Services Manager) and Vanessa Wood (Localisation Services Manager). In the second, Mark Shuttleworth, Course leader of the MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology at Imperial College, London, discusses translation tools with his colleague Christophe Declercq.
I would like to thank Lucile Desblache for the opportunity to guest edit this issue and to express my gratitude to her and the team at JoSTrans for their patience, support and invaluable assistance during this process. My gratitude also goes to the contributors whose work and commitment has, I believe, made this a valuable and interesting project.