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Tales of the “fish in your ear”: How does Wikipedia help to shape a public narrative on interpreting?

Centre for Translation (December 17, 2021)


Digital research methods to identify, analyze and visualize conflicts in ...
Corpus-based Wikipedia studies: Theoretical and methodological challenges ...
Tales of the “fish in your ear”: How does Wikipedia help to shape a ...
Scraping Wikipedia articles
Digital tools for researching Wikipedia
LENGTH : 85 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : Wikipedia is the world's largest online encyclopaedia. It has 303 active language editions, which were accessed from 1.7bn unique devices during October 2020. Now over twenty years old, the encyclopaedia has been studied by academics working within a range of disciplines since the mid-2000s, although it is only relatively recently that it has started attracting the attention of translation scholars too. During a short space of time we have learnt a considerable amount about topics such as translation quality, translation and cultural remembrance, multilingual knowledge production and point of view, the prominent role played by narratives in articles reporting on news stories, and how translation is portrayed in multiple language versions of the Wikipedia article on the term itself. However, translation largely remains Wikipedia's "dark matter": not only is it difficult to locate, but researchers have so far struggled to map out the full extent of its contribution to this multilingual resource. Our aim in organising this international event is to allow the research community to take stock of the progress made so far and to identify new avenues for future work.

The activity of interpreting dates back to ancient human history (Baigorri-Jalón, 2014; Takeda & Baigorri-Jalón, 2016). Nevertheless, the work of interpreters has for a long time remained mysterious and has only been increasingly placed in the public eye since their involvement in major international events such as the Paris Peace Conference (Baigorri-Jalón, 2014). Recent years have seen growing narratives of this complex human activity online and in the media. As an online platform of collective knowledge production and sharing, Wikipedia, despite controversies (Jemielniak, 2014; Leitch, 2014), provides an ideal space for the study of a public narrative (Somers and Gibson, 1994; Baker, 2006). There is also a shared view of taking Wikipedia as a corpus that provides scholarly value (Shaoul & Westbury, 2010; Sketch Engine, 2014; Davis, 2015). Under such a background, this study focuses on what and how stories of interpreting are circulated on Wikipedia. Exploratory in nature, the study compiles corpora of Wikipedia articles on interpreting or interpreters, Talk pages on articles of the same subject, and Wikinews articles relating to interpreters. Apart from investigating the linguistic and textual features of the interpreting related articles, the study performs topic and sentimental analysis on the corpora data to find out events/people and opinions associated with the profession in Wikipedia. The talk will end with a discussion of how Wikipedia can be used as a unique lens to study narratives of professional activities such as interpreting. translation.  [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]

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