[New Publication] Online collaborative translation: its ethical, social, and conceptual conditions and consequences (Open access)

By Cornelia Zwischenberger

Perspectives, https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2021.1872662


This paper analyses the conceptual, social and ethical dimensions of online collaborative translation and particularly one of its major subtypes, translation crowdsourcing. Since online collaborative translation is still a rather young field of research there are still conceptual uncertainties, particularly surrounding the selection of the meta- or top-level concept for recent forms of online translation (such as translation crowdsourcing), unsolicited and self-managed forms of online translation (like Wikipedia translation), and the various forms of online fan translation. This paper argues for using online collaborative translation as the meta-concept, based on a painstaking analysis and justification of the concept against its competitors. The paper focuses on translation crowdsourcing for profit-oriented companies like Facebook and its social and ethical consequences. It concludes by investigating whether this kind of translation is exploitative despite the seemingly mutually beneficial transaction between the volunteer translators and the profit-oriented companies employing them, usually unpaid.