“Social Conversations, Online/Digital Visibility, and Translation Studies”

CTIS Research Seminar, presented by Dr Renée Desjardins, Université de Saint-Boniface

Thursday 28 April 2022 at 2pm BST

Participation on campus: Room 3.62, Simon Building (no. 59 on this campus map). No registration is needed.

Participation online: Registration in advance is required at: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMucuCtpjspHt0uI5pAODR7mbqPtTrpTSLp

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event via Zoom.

Social Conversations, Online/Digital Visibility, and Translation Studies

As artificial intelligence and automation gain ground, recent research in Translation Studies examining technological shifts tends to focus on machine translation (MT) (e.g. MT literacy; developing MT; MT in pedagogical/training contexts). This makes sense to the degree that machine translation, particularly neural machine translation, has changed many aspects of the translation profession and has sparked a number of questions around translation valuation and ethics. In this talk, I shift the tech focus to another arena: that of social media. Even though online social platforms have existed for over twenty years, some still view online social content as subordinate to literary or legacy news texts. Yet, if we consider that TikTok influencers are now being briefed by high-level government officials in times of crisis (to name only this example), it is increasingly difficult to argue against the staying power and social relevance of these platforms. When we think of content creation, content creator, and influencer economies, rarely do we think of translation. However, translation is ubiquitous on online social platforms and it fuels the creator economy in perhaps unexpected ways. Using examples from Netflix, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, I indicate how social conversations can be insightful for the study of content reception and translation quality. Further, I argue that these social conversations contribute to the visibility or even ubiquity of translation and how Translation Studies, as a field of study, can leverage this.

Renée Desjardins is an associate professor at the Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg (Treaty 1), Canada. She is the author of Translation and Social Media: In Theory, in Training, and in Professional Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and the co-editor of When Translation Goes Digital: Case Studies and Critical Reflections (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). She has been researching and writing about translation and social media for over a decade and has published on the subject in a number of other outlets, including The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Pragmatics, and in a special issue of Translation Studies on “Social Translation”. Her most recent work examines the Manitoba government’s online and digital translation strategy (or lack thereof) in the handling of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s