Expanded or limited? Online collaborative translation in the ecology of the Chinese internet

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One force that drives online collaborative translation is digital culture. Nonetheless, whilst the phenomenon of digital culture is global, a particular type of digital culture is in fact local. In this presentation, I will examine online collaborative translation in the ecology of the Chinese internet, drawing a parallel between the development of the Chinese internet, the associated government regulations, and the development of online translation and translation communities.
The presentation opens with an introduction to the concepts of ‘participatory culture’ and ‘media convergence’ (Jenkins 2006), and the paradoxes of a convergence culture in the Chinese context. I then present several online translation communities and their translation practices, including Cenci Journalism Project, Yeeyan, and ChinaDialogue. My analyses of the translation communities and its online collaborative translation practices are in tandem with the development of the Chinese internet and the media regulations in the country in the past two decades. The analyses first reveal that online translation communities and practices with different foci and nature are subject to the government control to different extents. Secondly, an online translation community’s organisational resources and its response to the changing media environment also contribute to its fate in the Chinese cyberspace. I argue that whilst online collaborative translation has been thriving overall, local social, economic and political ecologies where such practice is situated are important factors that both empower and limit the expansion of translation in the digital space.


ConferenceThe 7th Conference of the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies
Abbreviated title7th IATIS Conference
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • Online collaborative translation
  • Chinese internet
  • participatory culture
  • media convergence


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