Abstracts

1. McDonough Dolmaya, Julie. (2012). Analyzing the Crowdsourcing Model and Its Impact on Public Perceptions of Translation. The Translator 18(2): 167-191.

This paper draws on the results of an online survey of Wikipedia volunteer translators to explore, from a sociological perspective, how participants in crowdsourced translation initiatives perceive translation. This perception is examined from a number of perspectives, including the participants’ profiles, motivations and idiosyncrasies vis-à-vis those of individuals involved in other collaborative social phenomena. Firstly, respondents are grouped on the basis of their training background, their current professional status and their former occupation to compare how translation is perceived by volunteers who do and those who do not work in the translation industry. To further understand the range of respondents’ perceptions of translation, the crowdsourced translation initiatives they participate in are divided into three types: product-driven (localization/translation of free/open-source software projects), cause-driven (not-for-profit initiatives with an activist focus), and outsourcing-driven (initiatives launched by for-profit companies). A comparison between the results of this survey and two others focusing on the motivations and profiles of free/open-source software developers seeks to identify distinctive features of participatory translation practices. The final part of this article discusses how participants in a crowdsourced translation initiative view translation and how the latter is depicted by the organizations behind such collaborative projects.

2. McDonough Dolmaya, Julie. (2011). The Ethics of Crowdsourcing. Linguistica Antverpiensia, 10: 97-111.

Because crowdsourced translation initiatives rely on volunteer labour to support both for-profit and not-for-profit activities, they lead to questions about how participants are remunerated, how the perception of translation is affected, and how minority languages are impacted. Using examples of crowdsourced translation initiatives at non-profit and for-profit organizations, this paper explores various ethical questions that apply to translation performed by people who are not necessarily trained as translators or financially remunerated for their work. It argues that the ethics of a crowd-sourced translation initiative depend not just on whether the initiative is part of a not-for profit or a for-profit effort, but also on how the project is organized and described to the public. While some initiatives do enhance the visibility of translation, showcase its value to society, and help minor languages become more visible online, others devalue the work involved in the translation process, which in turn lowers the occupational status of professional translators.

3. McDonough Dolmaya, Julie. (2011). A Window into the Profession: What Translation Blogs Have to Offer Translation Studies. The Translator 17(1).

When translators, academics and other language professionals blog about translation, their posts describe working conditions, emerging technologies, ethical challenges and other aspects of the profession, indicating how translation is evolving and how translators are working in the 21st century. To illustrate how such blogs can be used by scholars of translation to better understand translator practices and attitudes, this paper uses content analysis to explore a convenience sample of 50 blogs, randomly selected from a pool of translation blogs active between January and June 2009. Some characteristics of the bloggers are discussed, including how they self-identify, where they live and what language(s) they write in. The content of the blogs is then analyzed to show how it can be used to enhance our understanding of the sociology of translation. Finally, some suggestions for future research in this area are explored.

4. McDonough Dolmaya, Julie. (2011). Moral Ambiguity: Some Shortcomings of Professional Codes of Ethics for Translators. The Journal of Specialized Translation, 15: 27-49.

When translators, interpreters and other language professionals become members of a professional association, they are often obliged to follow a code of ethics or a code of professional conduct that aims to ensure all members are adopting a common set of ethical principles when they practice their profession. To help determine whether these codes are providing similar principles for translators and addressing issues translators are likely to encounter in the course of their work, this paper studies seventeen ethical codes
from profession-oriented networks in fifteen countries, comparing their common principles and highlighting gaps in the guidelines. The codes are then compared with issues discussed in the Ethics and Professionalism forum of TranslatorsCafe.com to help illustrate whether and how the codes could apply to ethical dilemmas faced by translators in their practice.

5. McDonough Dolmaya, Julie. (2010). (Re)imagining Canada: Projecting Canada to Canadians through Localized Websites. Translation Studies, 3(3): 302-317.

Localized websites, which contain images and text chosen specifically for consumers in a given region, offer insight into how targeted consumers are viewed by localizers. Together, the text and images tell a story about how the people of a particular region dress, interact and live. In countries like Canada, with more than one official language, various groups may be targeted by localizers, resulting in contrasting stories about the country. Using a corpus of twenty-five global brand websites localized for Canadian users, this paper explores how Canadians are represented in localized websites. Images and texts are analyzed to help determine how visual and textual narratives depict multiculturalism and bilingualism. These websites are also compared with those of the twenty-five top Canadian brands to discuss whether and how the corporate
narratives in the localized websites differ from those in the Canadian websites.

6. McDonough, Julie. (2007) How do How Do Language Professionals Organize Themselves? An Overview of Translation Networks. Meta, 52(4), 793-815.

This paper provides a framework for categorizing and describing translation networks. It defines and outlines four main categories of translation networks: profession-oriented, practice-oriented, education-oriented and research-oriented. To better describe these networks, variables affecting their structure and composition are also explored. Finally, the TranslatorsCafé network is analyzed to demonstrate how this framework could be applied to future studies.

7. McDonough, Julie. (2006) Beavers, Maple Leaves and Maple Trees: A Study of National Symbols on Localised and Domestic Websites. Localisation Focus, 5(3), 7-14.

Because a national symbol appeals to the sense of collective identity shared by the members of a nation, its use in localised websites by companies from outside the nation merits reflection. In this paper, a case study of thirty of the largest American corporations is used to explore how common it is for national symbols to be incorporated into websites localised for Canadian users. The results are then compared to the use of national symbols on the websites of thirty of the largest Canadian corporations to determine whether national symbols are adopted more frequently by domestic or international companies. The paper ends with some reflections on the inclusion of national symbols within a localised website and the ambiguity of their meaning.

8. McDonough, Julie. (2006) Hiding Difference: On the Localization of Websites. The Translator, 12(1), 85-103.

The localization process is described in industry documentation as the best solution a company can adopt to reach target-language users in a particular country or region. By eliminating foreignness or inaccessibility, localization allows target-locale users to access information or products designed specifically for them. However, the process adversely affects perceptions of Self and Otherness since localization relies exclusively on target-oriented adaptation to account for differences between source- and target-language communities. This paper uses examples from 3M, GE and Maytag to argue that when companies adopt target-locale images, icons and symbols on their websites, they disguise Otherness, making it easier for consumers to believe that the company is part of the target locale but difficult for them to determine whether or not it actually is. It further argues, using the Canadian and American versions of the McDonald’s website, that when the cultural and linguistic differences between two locales are minimal, adaptation may not always be necessary. Finally, it considers the ways in which the localization process could ensure greater transparency with respect to Otherness.