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This encyclopedia entry introduces ethnography as a research methodology, discusses the fundamentals of ethnography, and its application in translation studies research.

Ethnography is one of the most commonly used research methodologies across various disciplines in the social sciences. The explanation of ethnography pursued is rooted in social and cultural anthropology and influenced by hermeneutics. Taking a translation community as an example of fieldwork, the ethnographer may give advice to the translators and interpreters, which demonstrates a level of acceptance in the community; however, the ethnographer does not translate with them or display the same skills, and hence does not achieve the same status as the community members. The rigour of an ethnographic study is often challenged due to the researcher’s involvement in the research context and interactions with other participants. Ethnography has long been associated with translation as a practice and as a metaphor. The last intersection between ethnography and translation relates to how ethnography is employed as a research methodology in translation research, particularly to examine and understand translation processes and the social actors involved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies
EditorsMona Baker, Gabriela Saldanha
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315678627
ISBN (Print)9781032088709, 9781138933330
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019


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