Paris 2011

Session 4 - Tools for translators / Les outils du traducteur

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Alberto Fernández Costales

2.0: facing the challenges of the global era

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This paper explores the new horizons in the field of translation resulting from the technological breakthroughs and the influence of globalisation. The promotion and development of high-speed communication systems in the global village have also provoked a sharp increase in the amount of information exchanged on a daily basis and this requires streamlined translation workflows in order to meet the overwhelming demand for online contents in different languages. This new scenario does affect both, the academic field and the professional practice of translation, as more and more users are getting engaged in the so-called fan translation. The Web is a fast consumption communication tool that imposes certain rules and features that can influence the development of the translation industry in the next years.

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A brave new world

1Globalisation, together with new technologies, has changed the way people communicate every day. The world has shrunk and the -still- on-going effects of globalisation have reached far-distant areas from economy affecting practically all spheres in our society [Schäffner, C. (2000: 1)]. In this scenario, translation is not “only” the basic tool for intercultural communication and a vehicle for understanding among nations but it has turned into an essential element in the economy of every company seeking an international presence beyond the borders of its home country [Corte, N. (2000)].

2The financial, social, cultural and technological implications of globalisation have had an impact in the current panorama of professional translation. Research in Machine Translation and the development of more powerful and user-friendly CAT tools have contributed to streamline and optimise the translation process in a world governed by the speed of communications, tight deadlines, and fast-paced markets (e.g. ‘sim-ship’, or simultaneous shipment has become the standard in many productive sectors). Also, the consolidation of the localisation industry in the 1990s, supported by the creation of the Localisation Industry Standards Association or LISA has contributed to the shift towards new patterns in the translation industry [Esselink, B. (2000: 6)].

3In this framework, there is a need for translators to be constantly adapting and updating in order to meet the requirements of the new market models. Thus, as a consequence of globalisation, the role of translators is in a continuous transition process. This new panorama may have a serious impact on translation, concerning not only the professional practice but also the business model and the development of the industry in the short term. In the last years we have also witnessed how borders between disciplines have been blurred and interdisciplinarity is nowadays a meeting point where translation converges and interacts with other varieties such as video games localisation or web internationalisation. High-speed modes of interaction among users in the so-called Web 2.0 have opened new horizons, as they have fostered the dissemination of new phenomena in communication and in Translation Studies: fansubbing, scanlations or romhacking are activities that can be regarded as types of fan translation, that is translations made by fans and for fans [Ferrer Simó, M. R. (2005)]. The adaptation of contents by amateur translators has been clearly promoted by new technologies thanks to the possibility of exchanging information on a free basis and in real time. Therefore, relying on previous experiences with other collaborative efforts on the Web, we can pose the hypothesis that amateur or fan translation is a phenomenon that can hardly be avoided: even when there are several ethical questions to be solved and barriers can be settled by companies or institutions aiming to hamper certain activities -such as fansubbing- the own specific features of the Internet provide users with an incredibly effective tool to take profit from legal vacuums.

4The output of fan translation has obvious implications regarding quality, legal and socio-cultural issues that should not be ignored by academia. Indeed, collaborative translation can also have an impact on the way the translation industry develops in the next years: as big corporations (e.g. Google, Facebook) rely on amateur translation for adapting some of the contents of their websites and applications, new business models and synergies can pop up in the short term; likewise, online translation tools and Machine Translation systems can be implemented to allow users to continue adapting web contents. Also, the exchange of translation memories can gain momentum thanks to the new formats and standards.

5Besides issues concerning the professional practice of translation, it is also important to underline the relevance all this may have from the point of view of Translation Studies, as new paradigms could result from the study of fan translation. Can amateur adaptation of online contents influence the role of the (professional) translator? What about quality criteria? Should new standards be created? What is the role of CAT tools in this process? Can they really improve translators’ efficiency and textual coherence? These are just some of the many questions that scholars and professional translators have to face in the context of the global village: their joint effort is a must in order to tackle the challenges of the new era. Accordingly, interdisciplinarity will be the key if we want to succeed in the task of transferring the acquired knowledge to society.

The coming of age of the World Wide Web

6The Internet has improved global communications thanks to its high-speed features and has promoted international trade by reducing paperwork and shipping costs. At the same time, it has enlarged the arena for all those companies wishing to export their products and services beyond their national borders. The internationalisation and localisation of websites have already been studied by a good number of researchers and from different points of view [Yunker, J. (2002), Sandrini, P. (2005), Neuert, S. (2007), Jiménez Crespo, M. A. (2008), Fernández Costales, A. (2010)]. Beyond linguistic, cultural or social interests, the adaptation of a website to a particular market is intended to increase the sales figures of the company at the same time it enhances and reinforces its brand image at a global scale.

7In addition to the financial and marketing benefits it has provided to both, companies and institutions, the Web has completely changed the way we keep in touch, as it has become the main communication tool for millions of people who use it in order to access information on a daily basis: e-mailing and video communications (e.g. videoconferences, video chats, etc.) are low-cost alternatives that make it possible for a user to get in touch with somebody in a foreign country in real time.

8Within the general development of the Internet, the Web 2.0 can be regarded as the coming of age of this single invention since it has fostered human-computer interaction and also the contact and cooperation among users. Social networks -such as Facebook or Twitter-, collaborative efforts -like Wikipedia- or the creation of forums on specialised topics are just but a few samples of the power the Internet has put on the hands of the users. The bi-directionality of the Web has allowed people to publish an edit contents that are accessed, read, post-edited, reviewed or commented by users all around the world. Also, podcasting or video blogging provide everyone with the necessary technology to create contents on any given topic. In a nutshell, Web 2.0 has brought people and technology together more than any other previous development in World Wide Web. The key of this success is that the Internet has become more user-centred; an interesting issue to be addressed here is whether this model could be exported to particular fields like translation technology in order to make it more user-friendly. As it will be commented later on in this paper, the way people use translation tools today, together with the new practices and activities emerging within the translation industry, may suggest further developments and a possible shift in the design of translation technology in order to make it more usable and accessible on the Web.

9As it has already been mentioned, the advantages of the Internet seem quite clear, as it has allowed millions of users to access online contents without the need to travel or commute to other places. In terms of revenues, it has also meant an important foothold for many companies and institutions that benefit from international marketing and advertising campaigns [O’Hagan, M. & Ashworth, D. (2002: 67)]. However, as this widespread phenomenon shares many of the pros and cons of globalisation, a series of problems have also started to pop up: there are multiple issues concerning copyright, privacy policies, intellectual property, legal, social and economic matters. Nevertheless, this paper focuses on the communicative and promotional function of the Web and the possible links with the future of the translation industry; hence, the article concentrates on the basic tools used to transfer meaning no matter the media we use: languages.

10There is an increasing demand for translating online contents in the Web. As the lingua franca of the global village, English -or ‘McEnglish’ as some authors refer to the type of simple and plain language used in most websites [Snell-Hornby, M. (2000: 12)]- has been favoured by the technological supremacy of the United States. Nevertheless, it is worthy to mention that research has proven that most users prefer to access the Web in their own languages [Hayward, W. G. and Tong K. (2001: 1099)]. This implies there is a huge amount of information to be translated from English into other languages. Statistics also confirm that English is losing power in the Internet if we observe the growth of other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Russian or Spanish:

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Figure 1: top ten languages in the Web. Source: Accessed on February 4th 2011.

11In the particular context of the European Union, where several policies have been designed and issued at an institutional level aiming to foster multilingualism (e.g. the “Barcelona Objective1”, which is intended to encourage the citizens of the EU to speak at least two foreign languages aside their mother tongue), the idea of having multilingual websites has been paid more and more attention in the last years2. The internationalisation and localisation of websites is a hot topic that can be included, in a broader sense, in the general objective of making the Web accessible for the larger number of users. Indeed, it can be related to other elements present in web development such as usability, accessibility and legibility: it can be argued that, in order to make the Internet really accessible for the higher number of users, translation is also a must [Fernández Costales, A. (2010: 6)]. In fact, the Web 2.0 has also encouraged users to adapt online contents to other languages: amateur or fan translation has enlarged the arena by adding more players to the game and translation is no longer a concern for scholars and professionals only because new emerging phenomena rely on users themselves to adapt the message to other cultures.

New kids on the block: crowdsourcing and amateur translation

12Globalisation has allowed for the implementation of new market models that have been empowered by the communicative and promotional features of the Web. One of the practices arising in the first years of the 21st century is the process known as crowdsourcing, a term formed by the words “crowd” and “outsourcing”. This concept, coined by Jeff Howe, implies the massive outsourcing of tasks to volunteers and it is intended to reduce the gap between professionals and amateurs. Howe provides the following definition in his website: “Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call3”. Obviously, the Web appears as the perfect tool for any activity aiming to reach the larger number of people, so it is not surprising that web-based crowdsourcing has become tremendously successful. This process has been widely criticised, as its ethical, social and economical implications are subject to debate, and the real interest of many companies is somehow hidden behind the idea of improving interaction among users and consolidate the freedom in the Web. The quality standard is another question to be addressed when dealing with crowdsourcing since any user who volunteers to perform a task may be allowed to do so even without knowing if this person has any previous experience or expertise in the field. This may end up in poor quality products or services as long as appropriate monitoring systems or quality standards have not been set.

13As regards translation, crowdsourcing -supported by the Web 2.0- has also propelled new ‘translational activities’ based on the massive collaboration of volunteers: this new trend or fashion has been labelled as fan or amateur translation, although it is also known as massive or collaborative translation. In tune with the criticisms massive outsourcing has received in different sectors, some scholars have already expressed their concern for the future of professional translators “due to the pincer effect of both machine translation and “crowdsourcing” [García, I. (2010)], for there is a real danger in professionals becoming part of a supply chain where they will only have to edit or supervise in many cases. Although it can be easily argued that professional translators do play an essential role in any communication process and their skills go beyond the “simple” linguistic transfer process (i.e. word-for-word), this ideas could fall apart if surveys and studies were conducted enquiring for the companies’ (and users’) preference for quality or low-costs.

14Many well-known companies, such as Google, LinkedIn or Facebook have relied on crowdsourcing to have their online contents translated into different languages. The social network has been translated into 23 languages by volunteers who have accepted to participate in the crowdsourcing process of Facebook. Even though there are professional translators and agencies working on this project (some of them can even gain some recognition or pursue promotional goals by translating some pages or applications), most of the people who are adapting the contents can be considered as amateurs or “fan translators”. In the case of Spanish, Facebook has received 142,243 translations made by users and the number of active translators accounts to 1954.

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Figure 2: statistics of the number of translations into Spanish in Facebook.

15The example of Facebook may have influenced other companies that have followed suit. LinkedIn sent an e-mail to more than 41 million users with a survey asking about their availability and willingness to translate online contents on a voluntarily basis. The process undertaken by these two companies may serve to illustrate how crowdsourcing is working in the Web and the way it can affect the practice and the industry of translation.

16Beyond crowdsourcing, the Web also hosts other related phenomena in which users translate contents on a voluntarily basis without having been encouraged to do so by any company or institution. On the contrary, they have started to adapt the contents with the goal of allowing the access to other users. One of the most well-known phenomena of this type is fansubbing, a process in which users subtitle audiovisual material into their own language. Jorge Díaz-Cintas, one of the -few- scholars who has studied this type of audiovisual translation, explains some of the key elements to bear in mind when dealing with this brand-new translational activity:

Despite the questionable legality of this activity, the philosophy underlying this subtitling is the free distribution over the Internet of audiovisual programs with subtitles done by fans. The translations are done for free by aficionados and then posted on the Internet. This new form of subtitling “by fans for fans” lies at the margins of market imperatives and is far less dogmatic and more creative and individualistic than that which has traditionally been done. In fact, some aficionados prefer to use the term subbing, instead of subtitling, in order to emphasize the peculiar nature of the activity. In the first instance, this practice dealt solely with Japanese anime into English, but nowadays it has spread to other linguistic combinations and other audiovisual programs such as films [Díaz-Cintas, J. (2005)].

17Even though fansubbing was originally concerned with manga, as many anime series were only available in Japanese, nowadays there are plenty of examples in which fans subtitle TV shows or films into different languages. American well-known series, such as Lost, Heroes, Dexter or How I Met Your Mother can be found subtitled into Spanish, as a wide community of fansubbers has been created in South America. Indeed, most of these TV shows are fansubbed almost in real time and it is possible to find the last chapter in the Web some hours after the episode has been released in American TV channels.

18Similarly to fansubbing, scanlations are translations made by users for users with the exception that in this case, it is comics what is being adapted. The term scanlation comes from the words “scan” and “translation” and implies that the comic has been scanned and edited to adapt it to the target culture [Tercedor, M. (2005)]. Finally, romhacking is the edition and modification of videogames that have not been adapted or localized into a particular locale. In the case of romhacking, fans have to modify the code of the videogame to translate the information strings and also to adapt the visual contents to make them suitable for the target audience [Muñoz Sánchez, P. (2008)].

19Although there are obvious differences among the three processes here mentioned, all of them share the common rule of being adaptations made by fans or amateur translators for the rest of the community. Albeit there is a number of questions to be addressed regarding the ethical and legal status of these practices, this seems to be an unavoidable tendency as long as the Internet provides users with the capability to share and exchange materials in a fast and cost-free way.

20The translation of online contents cannot be restricted to the case of fans aiming to adapt their favourite products. Institutions have also incurred in this kind of practices and cases of “amateur translations” can be observed in institutional websites. A recent study analysing more than 400 websites of the top universities of the 27 member states of the European Union has verified that, in most cases, online contents are translated from English into other languages by university staff, and only in a small percentage (below 10%) translations have been carried out by professional translators [Fernández Costales, A. (2010)].

21There are two main questions to be asked regarding amateur translation. The first one relates to quality and the second one concerns the possible impact on the translation industry. As regards quality, there are no published studies measuring the possible pitfalls of amateur translations but it does not seem a difficult challenge to find mistakes and translation errors in many of the products adapted by fans. Although the question of quality has been always a complex issue in Translation Studies and the concepts of “correct or right translations” are avoided in many occasions (as other approaches as equivalent translations are preferred), there are plenty of examples of grammar mistakes, translation errors or typos in many fansubbed series. Also, the lack of consistency in the destination locale seems to be a common feature, as typical Argentinian or Mexican expressions can be spotted in (Spain’s) Spanish fansubbed series. This is not a surprising fact considering the number of fansubbers working on a single chapter, which can be edited several thousand times. Figure 3 shows a screenshot of a popular website providing Spanish subtitles for American TV shows. As it can be observed, this particular episode has been subtitled by 46 different fansubbers and it has been edited 1,281 times.

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Figure 3: percentage of subtitles submitted by the different fansubbers of a chapter of Dexter (

22Similarly, websites being adapted by non-professional translators show deficiencies not only on the textual level but also regarding non-verbal and semiotic elements, such as images, icons, colours, cultural references, number and date formats, currency, flags, etc. Figure 4 shows a sample of a university website containing several mistakes: besides the existence of untranslated text and the use of acronyms in the international version of the page, the section “Actual Information” has been wrongly adapted: the word aktualné means “current” in Slovak and therefore, this false friend was literally translated as “actual”. Some of these mistakes are repeated in many university websites together with other issues like text exceeding the allocated space, as translations from English into other languages usually end up in an extension in the target text.


Figure 4: website of the University of St. Cyril and Methodius (Slovakia).

23The consideration of these mistakes as a demonstration of the poor quality of some of the online contents translated by fans leads to the question of its relevance and how it can affect the translation industry. First, the low standards of amateur translation can be relativized as long as it is understood in the framework of user-to-user communication, i.e. provided that users are aware of the function of the translation and they accept it: comic fans who translate a manga graphic novel from Japanese into English do not expect a professional quality but a rather deep understanding of the anime conventions in order to adapt them effectively and keep the essence in the destination culture. Similarly, the main target of fansubbers of American TV shows is to provide a subtitled version of their favourite series as soon as it has been released. This guideline implies that, in many occasions, speed is preferred to quality, and the goal of fansubbers is to publish the subtitled chapter even when it contains grammar mistakes or when idiomatic expressions have been wrongly adapted into the target language, as word-for-word translation is a usual strategy observed in this process.

24At an institutional or corporate level, the lack of quality standards in websites could be criticised, as a poor translation could break the users’ expectations and consequently, they could even abandon the page and try to look somewhere else.

25In any case, it seems quite clear that globalisation and the Internet have had a strong influence in translation practices and they can have a say in the future development of the industry. Therefore, Translation Studies, including both, professionals and scholars, have to pay attention to these new phenomena and provide suitable solutions in order to improve quality and preserve best practices.

CAT tools: are they really effective?

26The application of Computer Assisted Translation has been widely studied by several scholars [Austermühl, F. (2001), Nogueira, D. (2002), Somers, H. (2003), Melby, A. K. (2006), Wallis, J. (2006)] and is a topic in the radar screen of the academia. It is commonly accepted that translation memories or localisation tools can provide a helping hand to translators although by no means these applications have been designed to replace them. The main function of CAT tools is to improve and optimize the performance of human translators’ by providing coherence and reducing the required time to complete an assignment on the basis of recycling previous translations [Webb, L. E. (1998: 6)]. Therefore, the final quality of the text will still depend on the language proficiency and the translation skills and strategies of professionals. However, it has been suggested that assisted translation can be more effective in some fields than in others: literary translation does not seem to benefit from the use of translation technologies as much as other branches such as software or videogames localisation. The use of CAT tools is more profitable as the text contains a higher number of repetitions, being this kind of texts usually of a technical nature [Fernández Costales, A. (2009)].

27In the specific case of web translation, the use CAT tools may be particularly effective if we observe the special features of the Web. The first thing to bear in mind is the high ratio of repetitions of any website, as there is a large number of structural elements that need to be consistently repeated in the different documents and levels that compose the site: menus, slogans, titles, navigation elements and other textual and non-verbal components will be present in different parts of the web. To illustrate this with an example the corporate website of the University of Oviedo ( contains 83,788 translatable segments of which 31,443 are unique strings that are not repeated: in other words, 68% of the textual content of the web is formed by repeated elements. This figure supports the idea that using a translation memory can indeed improve translators’ performance and contribute to maintain textual coherence and cohesion, a key objective in order to fully exploit the own essence of the hypertext and allow users to move from one point to another by means of links.

28Similarly to other multimedia products, such as videogames, software of mobile phone applications, websites demand translators to bear several limitations in mind, for example space restrictions, semiotic and non-verbal elements (e.g. colours), and cultural references [Yunker, J. (2002: 477)]. In addition, websites do pose a series of challenges that translators have to face in order to keep the basic elements that guarantee user experience, such as usability, accessibility and legibility. Indeed, the type of discourse of websites has to be in tune with the particular characteristics and function of the Internet and there are guidelines that suggest the use of plain and simple language, short sentences, stick to the “one idea per paragraph” pattern, avoid acronyms, colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions, etc. [Nielsen, J. (2000: 111)].

29These features make the Web a suitable field for the use of CAT tools because the segmentation of the text strings of a website can be processed in an effective way and the translator can focus on terminology and simplicity rather than in stylistic questions. Albeit, this hypothesis is to be applied only to the case of websites, as other web-based phenomena, such as fansubbing, cannot be categorized on the same basis. Indeed, fansubbing is to be analysed under the approach of Audiovisual Translation where the quality and the suitability of subtitles is measured according to other parameters such as equivalence in the target language, dialogue techniques, metatextual information or the synchronization of the subtitles with the image of the screen [Díaz-Cintas, J. (2005)]. There are no deep studies on the type of tools and resources used by fansubbers and amateur translators although it is quite feasible that they do not rely on CAT tools but on web-based translation technologies (including online dictionaries, forums and even Machine Translation).

30Even when this paper supports the use of translation technologies in a broad sense and CAT tools in particular, it is noteworthy to mention the danger that these applications can entail for the professional practice of translation. As some authors have already suggested, the use of assisted translation provokes that translators stop paying attention to relevant translational issues, such as the function of the text, the purpose it has to fulfil in the target language, the destination audience and culture, or the most appropriate translation strategies to be selected in any given case. Anthony Pym states the following:

At the same time, however, these technologies tend to separate communicators from the act of communication. Translators usually cannot see the whole source text; they are unaware of any iconic qualities that might profile a particular end- user; they are normally given no specific information about the purposes of the communication act; they thus cannot assess usability in anything more than generic terms (cf. Byrne, 2006); they rarely receive any feedback from the distant world of text use; and if any of those things happen, it is a thestage of revising, publishing or marketing, beyond the technologies that keep the translator looking at nothing but phrases from memories [Pym, A. (2007)].

31 Pym concludes that there is a danger of the translator becoming a cyborg, while Mary Snell-Hornby talks about the translator as a “homo communicator” in the global village [Snell-Hornby, M. (2000: 13)]. In other words, an excessive dependence on technology could signify that translators lose contact with the context and the background of the translation assignment and they are only focused on transferring information strings from the source to the target language, what usually ends up in word-for-word translation.

32Although the effectiveness of CAT tools has been studied and research has been conducted on the topic [Fernández Costales, A. (2009), Jiménez Crespo, M. A. (2009)] the question of whether or not this technology is being used by amateur translators has not been addressed yet. Due to the textual characteristics before mentioned, CAT tools could be effective for amateur translators involved in web translation but they do not seem to be a suitable option for fansubbers. We also have to consider that many amateur or fan translators adapt their favourite products “just for fun” and the use of translation memories or other similar software can limit the pleasure of translation to a certain extent. However, the collaborative efforts promoted by the Web 2.0 can also affect the way amateur and professional translators cooperate and share contents, resulting in new trends and tendencies in the use of translation technologies.

Web based-translation

33In the last years we have witnessed how CAT tools have been optimized and streamlined thanks to the new technologies. Also, localisation tools have been empowered in order to meet the increasing demand of the L10n industry and its flourishing market. As it has already been explained, the Web will have a say in the development of new translation tools and -especially- in the way these applications are used by professionals and amateur translators.

34The Internet allows for the immediate exchange of files and this is a possibility that can be effectively integrated in translation technologies. The compatibility of translation systems will allow selecting and using different tools for the same assignment or even to exchange or migrate information from one tool to another. To this regard, the development or optimization of standards, such as the TMX (Translation Memory Exchange) will foster and promote the exchange of translation memories in the Web. The creation and maintenance of free multilingual corpora in the Internet, available to any user who wants to find equivalences in two languages, must be supported by new practices and standards like Open Source Software and Copyleft [Abaitua, J. (2001)]. The shift in the established model is intended to promote the free transmission and exchange of information -including translations- in the Internet, which will turn into a giant database for translators. This was suggested quite a few years ago by Minako O’Hagan in The Coming Industry of Teletranslation, where she forecasts that the Web can become a huge translation memory itself [O’Hagan, M. (1996)].

35Similarly to open source solutions, web-based translation memories and other online applications will gain momentum. The obvious question to be addressed here is -again- the quality of these shared translation databases, as many non-qualified users will be able to edit and publish their results. Obviously, the expertise of translators should assist them when deciding the source they rely on to consult and check terminology or expressions. However, there is a growing tendency to think that the future of translation relies in post-editing texts rather than in translating a source text from scratch. This hypothesis can be easily explained on the basis of the speed of the Internet and the tight restrictions of current fast-paced markets. As the exchange of information keeps growing so it does the demand for translating online contents into different languages; deadlines will be -even- shorter and the model is likely to shift towards post-edit workstations and workflows rather than towards “isolated” translators.

36The use of common glossaries, translation memories, forums or wikis can present an alternative to Machine Translation systems such as Google Translate or Babelfish, in which many students and amateur translators rely on to get their texts translated. To this regard, this paper supports the idea of promoting User Generated Translation [Perrino, S. (2009)]. The establishment of quality standards could make the difference by increasing the reliability of the applications and promoting the interaction among users, but bearing in mind the possible danger of leaving the machine-assisted human translation to move into the human-assisted machine translation [García, I. (2010)].

By way of a conclusion

37Globalisation, together with new technologies has reshaped the way people communicate in our days. At the same time, the availability of free contents and the speed of the new communication channels have contributed to rocket the exchange of information on a free basis.

38This new panorama has provided the framework for the emergence of new phenomena and the incorporation of new players to the game as the Web has become more user-centred. Beyond other well-known trends or processes such as localisation and internationalisation, Translation Studies have to be aware of the rising importance of collaborative efforts in the Internet and future research in this field can contribute to sort out fragmentation by reducing the gap between theory and practice. To this regard, the development of web-based translation technology will be in tune with the tendency to exchange translation memories and information by translators, and the optimization and consolidation of standards can provide guidelines to both, professional practitioners and amateur translators. However, in the future high-speed and Web-driven industry of tele-translation, Translation Studies will provide the necessary grounds in order to safeguard the quality and best practices in the profession. In the framework of interdisciplinarity, it is important that (professional) translators gain visibility and are recognized as socio-cultural and linguistic experts in the communication process: beyond having their IT skills updated, translators should be able to add some value to the final output of translational activities. In addition to the ‘humanization’ of the process -which might not be in the agenda of companies or institutions- and the guarantee of quality standards, the work of (professional) human translators can be used to optimize and regulate new software, practices and translational activities. In other words, the different processes and approaches mentioned in this article should not be mutually excluding; on the contrary, the joint efforts and ‘collaborative’ work of researchers, professionals and practitioners can provide the basis for the future of the translation industry.


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Pym, Anthony (2007), « Translation technology as rupture in the philosophy of dialogue ». In: Kemble, Ian (ed.). Translation Technologies and Culture, pp. 1-9. Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth.

Sandrini, Peter (2005), « Website Localization and Translation ». Acts of the Challenges of Multidimensional Translation (MuTra). Conference proceedings. Saarbrücken.

Schäffner, Christina (ed.) (2000), Translation in the Global Village. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Snell-Hornby, Mary (2000), « Communicating in the Global Village: On Language, Translation and Cultural Identity ». In: Schäffner, Christina (ed.). Translation in the Global Village, pp. 11-28. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Somers, Harold (2003), Computers and Translation. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Tercedor Sánchez, María Isabel (2005), « Aspectos culturales en la localización de productos multimedia ». Quaderns, revista de traducció 12, pp. 151-160.

Wallis, Julian (2006), Interactive Translation vs. Pre-translation in the Context of Translation Memory Systems: Investigating the effects of translation method on productivity, quality and translator satisfaction. PhD Thesis. University of Ottawa.

Yunker, John (2002), Beyond Borders: Web Globalisation Strategies. Indiana : New Riders.


1  Source: Website of the Commissioner for Multilingualism of the European Commission: Accessed on February 5th 2011.

2  The creation of the European Thematic Network “Multilingual Web” is a good example, as this group is devoted to exploring standards and best practices that support the creation, localisation and use of multilingual web-based information.

3  Source: Accessed on February 5th 2011.

4  Source: Accessed on February 5th 2011.

To cite this document/Pour citer ce document

Alberto Fernández Costales , «2.0: facing the challenges of the global era», Tralogy [En ligne], Tralogy I, Session 4 - Tools for translators / Les outils du traducteur, mis à jour le : 21/05/2014,URL :

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University of Oviedo (Spain)