Book review
Lynne Bowker & Jairo Buitrago Ciro. Machine Translation and Global Research
Bingly: Emerald Publishing, 2019. xiii, 111 pp.

Reviewed by Sharon O’Brien
Publication history
Table of contents

The sub-heading for this book – “Towards improved machine translation literacy in the scholarly community” – provides a succinct description of its primary focus, namely, scholarly communication, the dominance of English as a lingua franca for international scholarly publication, and the potential role of machine translation (MT) in helping with the ‘Publish – in English – or Perish’ paradigm that has emerged. Lynne Bowker and Jairo Buitrago Ciro are careful from the outset to neither endorse nor scorn the ever-increasing role of English as a lingua franca in scholarly publication, but pragmatically tackle the issue – if you wish or need to publish in English and do not feel well-equipped to do so, you could consider using machine translation as an aid. The central supposition of this book is that if you are going to use MT, you are well-advised to develop machine translation literacy, so you understand the ramifications of using this technology as a writing aid. Bowker and Buitrago Ciro state categorically that the book is “not aimed at machine translation researchers, and no prior knowledge of linguistics, statistics, or machine translation is required” (37). This is an important positioning of the content that is to follow.

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