Edited by Kairong Xiao and Sandra L. Halverson
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies 8:2] 2021
► pp. 251–276
In this article, we explore socially distributed cognition (SDC) as a theoretical model of translation and investigate it empirically as an aspect of the collaborative and creative translation workflow. With the aim of developing a better understanding of SDC and collaborative workflows in translation, we analyzed two different settings where more than one person works on a translation: commercial specialized translation (CST) services, and the production of audio descriptions (AD) as teamwork between blind and sighted describers. The analysis focuses on how the process of co-creation unfolds in the communication that binds together the systems of SDC. While the process of co-creation was strikingly similar in the two different translation contexts, the differences were bound to channels of communication (with or without direct contact between participants), and the draft translation was identified as a central artifact that carries much of the communication when the participants do not work in the same space. With an emphasis on socially distributed cognition, our study provides a framework for both the cognitive and social aspects of translation and develops the understanding of collaborative translation processes. It also contributes to the development of translation practices by helping translation operators and trainers make choices between alternative workflows.