Digital Translations in the Making: Hong Kong Contemporary Fiction in Spanish

  • MARIN-LACARTA, Maialen (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Whilst considerable scholarship has been devoted to documenting the publishing of print translations, scant attention has been paid to emerging practices related to digital translations. The publishing of literary translations in digital format is transforming two interdependent realities: translation practice, and the interactions and roles of the actors involved in the publication. These two realities are part of the “making” of translations that the research team will analyse. This project starts from the assumption that the materiality impinges on the making of the translation in different ways. Special attention will be paid to two key issues in translation theory: the agency and the visibility of the translator.

The project will focus on examining the making of Dorothy Tse’s 《頭》 (Head) translation into Spanish, which will be published by ¡Hjckrrh!. Translations published by ¡Hjckrrh! are designed to be published as e-books, which means that they do not necessarily imitate the print book. All the actors involved are translators, the traditional hierarchy of the publishing company disappears and actors that share the same professional expertise assume different roles. A pilot project involving the Spanish translation of Shanghai modernist fiction for the same publishing company is currently underway, paving the way for a fruitful participant observation research.

Three types of data will be gathered to analyse both the transformation of the translation and the interactions between the actors: 1) discursive data to analyse the practices themselves (based on interviews with the participants); 2) written data related to the management of the translation (email correspondence, contracts); 3) written data connected to the translation and its paratext (translation drafts, the website, the blog, social media). The visibility of the translator will be examined by identifying traces of the translator or of the foreign in the translation and the paratext. The agency of the translator will be the key issue when looking at the organisation and management of the translation.

The outcomes of the project will include: three to four papers on translators’ agency and visibility in the making of digital translations; and two workshops (in Hong Kong and Barcelona) bringing together researchers in the field, and professional translators and publishers. By offering a detailed ethnography of the making of a translation in digital format, the results of this project will be beneficial for the training of translation professionals. The outcomes generated in this project will also contribute larger-scale sociologies in Translation Studies.
Effective start/end date1/01/1630/06/18


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