Edited by Sergey Tyulenev and Binghan Zheng
[Translation and Interpreting Studies 12:2] 2017
► pp. 253–277
Globalization, translation, and cultural diversity
The share of the economy related to translation activities is growing steadily under the influence of the globalization of exchanges. Today it numbers dozens of billions of which an increasing share belongs to machine translation. Various factors, such as migratory flows or the propagation of mobile telephony, prompt new translation practices in a variety of languages with simultaneous coverage enabled by networks. Nevertheless, is it true as we intuitively believe that translation promotes linguistic and cultural diversity? This article originates from a study conducted for UNESCO’s world report on cultural diversity (2009). This study notably reveals that 75% of all books are translated from three languages with 55% being from English. On a planetary scale, translation is dominated by some twenty languages, primarily European. In the new world economic order, the urgent and paradoxical task is to “rebabelize” the world.
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