School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    On Recent Nationalisms in Translation Studies
    Pym, A (Korean Association for Public Translation and Interpretation, 2021-11-30)
    ABSTRACT: If the intercultural were ever neatly opposed to the national as a frame for translational action and thought, then it would seem to be losing. Nationalist frames have gained new-found energy in various forms: translation is seen a weapon because nation-states support and manipulate it (Sapiro), the ethical aim of translation is to advance one’s national interests and priorities (Ren and Gao), and each country’s “translation capacity” can be quantified and ranked on a league table of competing nations (BFSU). Translators thus become foot-soldiers in battles to gain prestige on the world stage. Such manifestations of nationalism appear to run counter to the causes of intercultural positions and the ethics of cooperative communication between unequal parties. The need for translation nevertheless now lies more urgently in the culturally and linguistically diverse communities within and across national borders, where successful social inclusion is inseparable from the use of translation not as a weapon, but as a means of cooperation. 논문초록: 번역행위 및 사고의 프레임으로서의 상호문화주의가 민족주의와 대척점에 있는 개념이라면, 지금 상호문화주의는 민족주의에 기세가 밀리고 있는 것으로 보일 것이다. 민족주의 프레임은 다양한 형태로 새로운 동력을 얻고 있으며, 번역은 그 무기로 인식된다. 민족국가에서 번역을 지원하고 조작(Sapiro)하고 있고, 국가의 이익과 우선순위를 증진하는 것이 번역의 윤리적 목적(Ren and Gao)이며, 서로 경쟁하는 국가들의 리그 순위표 상에서 각국의 ‘번역능력(translation capacity)’을 계량화·순위화(BFSU)할 수 있기 때문이다. 이에 따라 번역사는 세계 무대에서 명성을 얻기 위한 전투에서 보병 역할을 하게 되었다. 이러한 민족주의의 발현은 상호문화주의적 입장의 대의, 그리고 불평등한 세력 사이의 협력적 소통의 윤리에 배치되는 것으로 보인다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 오늘날 각국의 국경 안팎에 자리한 문화적·언어적으로 다양한 공동체에서 번역의 필요성은 더욱 시급해지고 있다. 이들 공동체에서 사회적 포용의 성공 여부는 번역의 활용과 불가분의 관계를 가지며, 이때 번역은 무기가 아닌 협력의 수단으로 기능한다.
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    Cooperation, risk, trust: a restatement of translator ethics
    Pym, A (Ljubljana University Press, 2021)
    Within the general approach known as translator ethics, complementary roles are played by the concepts of cooperation, risk, and trust. Cooperation, as a technical term, describes the attainment of mutual benefits as the desired outcome of an interaction, indeed as the foundation of social life. In translator ethics, the aim is more specifically to enhance long-term cooperation between cultures. The concept of risk is then used to think about the probabilities of that general aim not being obtained and what kinds of strategies and efforts can be employed to avert that outcome by increasing mutual benefits. Trust, finally, characterizes the relationship that translators must have with those around them in order for them to contribute to cooperation, such that the most critical risk they face is that of losing credibility. Together, these concepts are able to address some of the thornier issues in translator ethics and provide a frame for ongoing discussion and research.
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    Conceptual tools in translation history
    Pym, A ; Rundle, C (Routledge, 2021)
    Western translation historiography has developed a set of conceptual tools with which to talk about translations in terms of separate languages, cultures, and texts, with operational maxims for distinguishing translations from non-translations, and translators from authors. Those concepts assume a foundational binarism that became strong in the early modern period in Europe and may be described as the Western translation form. They then moved outwards from Europe, first as a fellow travelertraveller of modernity, and later with the spread of Western translation studies. Translation historians have, nevertheless, become increasingly aware of alternative translation forms that consistently challenge the Western concepts. Here, it is proposed that the wider plurality might be embraced by honing conceptual tools that, for example, do not systematically separate orality and iconic communication from the written text,; that recognize the ways translators seek trust, collaboration, and inclusion in diverse intercultures,; and that work from technologies as the driving forces of translation history. In developing such concepts, translation historians should further recognize that they are responding to the priorities of the present, in a world where electronic media are revealing the historicity of truths once thought eternal.
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    La confianza de los estudiantes de traducción en la traducción automática: ¿demasiado buena para ser verdad?
    Pym, A ; Torres-Simón, E (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 2021)
    Cuando el traductor corrige o “posedita” una traducción automática, no solo trabaja más rápido sino también suele producir una terminología más consistente. Por ello, la mayoría de los programas de formación de traductores incluyen cursos de posedición. Sin embargo, muchos traductores profesionales se oponen al uso de la posedición, lo que da lugar a un conjunto de opiniones negativas sobre la traducción automática que se reproducen en el aula. En este artículo se exponen dos actividades con estudiantes de traducción que incluían posedición y evaluación de traducción automática. Se analizan las actuaciones de los estudiantes en las dos modalidades (traducción totalmente humana frente a la posedición de la traducción automática), para luego compararlas con los comentarios de los propios estudiantes sobre la traducción automática y su experiencia personal tras la interacción. Si bien la mayoría de los participantes reconocieron una mayor eficacia cuando se usa posedición, se posicionaron en contra de la traducción automática, lo que indica un grado significativo de resistencia en el seno de la comunidad de aprendizaje. Translation: Advances in neural machine translation have reached the point where professional translators can work faster and produce better terminology when post-editing machine translation as opposed to fully human translation. Most translator-training programs thus include courses in how to post-edit machine translation. Many professional translators, however, are opposed to the use of post-editing rather than fully human translation, resulting in a suite of negative opinions about machine translation within the teaching situation. Here we report on two cases in which classroom activities with translation students involved the post-editing and evaluation of machine translation.
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    Translation and language learning as policy options: Questions of costs and literacy development
    Pym, A (UNIV WESTERN SYDNEY, INTERPRETING & TRANSLATION RESEARCH GROUP, 2021-01-01)
    It has been claimed that the provision of translation and interpreting services curtails the motivation of immigrant groups to learn host languages and thus constitutes an unjustified social cost. Studies with asylum seekers nevertheless show no evidence for such a relation, while studies in healthcare indicate that the targeted use of interpreters, mediators and bilingual providers can reduce overall healthcare costs. To make sense of this evidence in terms of language policy, it is argued in this paper that translation and interpreting cannot be seen as an isolated communication solution but must be analysed alongside a series of situational factors: relative access to alternative mediation strategies, the situated building of trust, the risks associated with each interaction, and the length of the intended stay in the country. It is more generally argued that, in many situations, translation and language learning can go hand in hand, since both enhance literacy.
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    Aspects of machine translation. An interview with Professor Anthony Pym
    Pym, A ; Fan, M (China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing, 2021)
    The rapid development of information technology, especially artificial intelligence, has triggered breakthroughs in translation technology. This interview addresses the relation between translation and technology, the evaluation of the quality and the ethics of machine translation, as well as the role it plays in language education and language maintenance.
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    On cosmopolitan translation and how worldviews might change
    Pym, A (UNIV STELLENBOSCH, DEPT GENERAL LINGUISTICS, 2021-01-01)
    The theorisation of cosmopolitanism can be dated from Kant’s “right to hospitality”, where the reciprocal welcoming of foreigners is supposed to lead to universal understanding. Differences in languages and religions are recognised as obstacles in the way to that ideal, yet Kant has little to say about how to get around their differences – translation is strangely absent. A role for translation in cosmopolitanism nevertheless appears in the discourses that assume an age of effective economic globalisation. The cosmopolitanisms elaborated by Ulrich Beck (2004/2006) and Gerard Delanty (2009), among many others, adopt a sense of cultural translation that requires no anterior text, no language barrier, and thus no mediator: the cosmopolitan becomes an intercultural space where relations transform subjects. Those views may be tested on the narratives of three Afrikaans-speaking intellectuals who recount how they grew up under Apartheid and progressively dissented from totalitarian discourse. The concepts of cosmopolitan translation are found to explain some of the narratives involved, particularly when the self is seen through the eyes of the other, yet strong social and national frames are still in force, boycotts counter hospitality and reinforce national frames, and language translation is found to be relatively unimportant in a milieu of polyglots.