RSS feed


The notion of translation increasingly evokes commodities created by both team of volunteers and machines, where texts to be processed are seemingly no harder to decode that the source reality of the original world to be translated. Available at the click of a button, free automated translation is a suitable metaphor for the pluriverse we live in, so complex to decipher in depth but easily decoded in surface. As a symbol of language and cultural barrier breaking, it has become part of the fabric of virtual communication and allows some level of exchange. Yet a wider spectrum of mediation is expected of human translators, as they communicate across semantic realities, but also, wide range of experiences: linguistic, cultural, ethical, sensory and biological. Translators, Douglas Robinson reminds us, have to accept that cyborgs translate and edit faster and more accurately than exclusively human mediators. They are also constantly stretching the limits of communication beyond interlingual and even intercultural boundaries, as they attempt to grasp challenging moral, physical, emotional and intellectual realities.

Translation mediates the plurality of meaning which is inherent in life and the current issue reveals the broad range of its nature as well as the complexity of its processes and frameworks. Web localisation (Miguel Jiménez-Crespo), audiovisual translation (Irene Ranzato, Agnieszka Szarkowska, Anna Corral and Ramon Lladó) and legal translation (Carmen Bestué Salinas, Mariana Orozco Jutorán Fernando Prieto Ramos and Anna Kizińska) are the main subfields of this volume, but the multiple pre- and post-translation tasks which also condition successful communication are given a strong voice: intercultural and ethical awareness (Panagiotis Sakellariou and Julie McDonough Dolmaya), co-edition (Fabio Regattin), evaluation (Tomás Conde) and revision (Kirsten Wølch Rasmussen and Anne Schjoldager) in particular. This is also a multilingual and multicultural issue, with articles in English, Italian and Spanish, from Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain and the US.

The articles presented here remind us of the wide and contrasting range of competences and sensitivities needed by translators to make sense of knowledge and systems. In her interview on her experience as a coordinator for Discovery Communications, Joanna Mal reminds us of the scope of intercultural and interlinguistic exchanges, stating that in 2009, around 31 000 hours of programmes were translated for the various channels of this media conglomerate. We cannot imagine a world without such wide opportunities to share diversity and must not forget that translation under its many guises brings them to us.

Lucile Desblache