Collaborative translation

Sharon O’Brien
Table of contents

Collaboration is evident in all types of translation scenarios and across the whole process of translation, from authors, to publishers, to translation agencies and to translators. Collaboration can occur between translators and any one of these other agents or between two or more translators. Functionalist approaches to translation theory (Nord 1997) emphasize this collaborative nature of the entire translation process. A general definition of collaborative translation, then, is when two or more agents cooperate in some way to produce a translation. Collaborative translation can also have a more narrow meaning, referring to the situation where two or more translators work together to produce one translated product. The term has also come to be closely linked with the concepts of community translation, social translation, volunteer translation, fan translation, fansubbing and crowdsourcing. This close association of concepts is evident in the term “CT3” (pronounced “CT cubed”) which was coined by DePalma and Kelly (2008) to refer to “Community”, “Collaborative technology” and “Crowdsourcing” in the domain of localization. Collaborative translation can occur in many domains including the translation of technical, literary (e.g. Agorni 2005; Rosslyn 2001) and popular genres (e.g. O’Hagan 2009).

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