Research

My research interests are primarily in three areas:

  • Translator motivations
  • Website localization
  • Translation networks

Translator motivations

What motivates translators who play a role in disseminating controversial, polemical or revolutionary works to a new audience? How do the motivations of translators and publishers compare? What happens when publishers, translators and other agents clearly do not have the same motivations for disseminating such translations?

Through interviews with anglophone and francophone translators, I explore the motivations behind the translation of controversial, polemical and/or revolutionary essays written in Canada by English- and French-speaking writers such as Mordecai Richler and Pierre Vallières. One of my main research goals is to answer the following questions: When a polemical work advocating the independence of Quebec is written in French for Quebecers, what motivates its translation into English? When an English-language work satirizes and criticizes French-speaking Quebec politicians, institutions and legislation, what motivates its translation into French?

By analyzing new TT paratexts such as prefaces, book covers and series notes, I can compare translator motivations with those of publishers and other agents to determine how the translation was positioned when it was published.

Website localization

One of my main areas of research is analyzing localized websites, particularly those targeted at English- and French-speaking Canadians. My current and future projects include:

  1. Localized websites and Otherness
  2. Otherness is eliminated when localized websites adopt target-locale images, icons and symbols. What effects might this have on the target-locale users? Is localization always necessary when differences between the source- and target-locales are slight?

  3. Localized websites and national symbols
  4. How often are the national symbols of a target-locale incorporated into localized websites? What happens when such national symbols are included in localized websites?

  5. Localized websites and national identity
  6. When a website is localized for English/French Canada, how is the country portrayed through the images and text in the localized site? How do the colours, images and text prepared for Canadian websites demonstrate the concerns and values Canadians are expected to have, and what are these values?

Translation networks

My research into translation networks explores various facets of how translators interact and collaborate through networks. Previous and current research projects include:

  1. Categorizing translation networks
  2. What are the features of profession-, practice-, research-, and education-oriented networks? And what variables affect the composition and structure of these networks?

  3. Weak- and strong-tie relationships in networks
  4. By studying active and passive participation in discussion forums of such translation networks as Translatorscafe.com and Proz.com, I have been able to determine how weak and strong ties affect communication among language professionals.

  5. Ethics in translation networks
  6. Codes of ethics developed for profession-oriented translation networks highlight which aspects of translation are considered most in need of moral guidelines. By contrasting these ethics with those of several online practice-oriented networks, as evidenced in the discussion forums, I can determine how translation values vary from one region to another and between networks with a different set of interests.

  7. Competence assessed through translation networks
  8. Because nearly all communication among members of online translation networks and between bloggers and readers is computer-mediated, one way for practicing translators to demonstrate their competence in the field and to assess the competence others is to post messages and blog entries. How do such entries demonstrate competence? What competencies are most valued by bloggers and network members? What differences can be found in how translation competence is perceived by bloggers or network members and how it is defined and assessed by professional associations such as the ATA or ATIO?