Vol. 12, Issue 1, 2023

Guest-edited by Hanna Pięta, James Hadley, Jan Buts and Laura Ivaska

Indirect translation and sustainable development

In an increasingly global society, people are often expected to translate from already translated texts or with further translation in mind. This is especially the case in contexts where multiple low-diffusion and/or low-resource languages are used (Whyatt and Pavlović 2021). Such translating for and from translation, here called ‘indirect translation’ and understood to include both oral and written texts (Assis Rosa, Pieta, and Bueno Maia 2019), has traditionally been perceived as a work-around to be avoided.

For quite some time now, research has focused on negative effects associated with this practice, particularly on mistakes that are added as one moves away from the ultimate source text ( Amponsah-Kaakyire et al. 2021; Pas 2013). Others have noted the disturbing economic implications of English as a dominant pivot language worldwide (de Swaan 2020) and the damaging consequences associated with taking translation work away from people who are already marginalized because of the language they use (Brodie 2012; Oziemblewska and Szarkowska 2020).

However, more recent studies have shifted the focus from these negatives to the benefits associated with indirect translation, suggesting its potential to work as a tool for the social, economic, and political development of countries and peoples (Footitt, Crack, and Tesseur 2020); an empowering device that allows people from the margins to access relevant information (Van Rooyen 2018); a life-saving measure in crisis situations (Federici and O’Brien 2020); a productive way of maximizing linguistic diversity in educational outlets (Kavalir and Chudoba 2020; Torres Simón et al. 2021); or a catalyst for feminist solidarity across borders (Castro and Ergun 2017).

The aim of this special issue is to cast light on indirect translation and its role in the context of sustainable social, economic, political, technological or linguistic development. More specifically, we invite papers analysing practices and products of indirect translation in relation to at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We welcome proposals focusing on any type of indirect translation. Successful proposals will outline specifically which of the SDGs they address and how. For a full list and more details about the SDG, please see this page: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-developmentgoals.

Proposals (max. 300 words) should be submitted using this link: https://forms.gle/z6nLyweHBFAsscEU9.

This is an open call, related to the IATIS 2021 panel on the same topic (https://www.iatis.org/index.php/7th-conference-barcelona-2021/item/2242-panels#P4), but welcoming contributions from scholars and and practitioners, irrespective of whether they participate in this event or not.