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

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021
EventUnderstanding Wikipedia’s Dark Matter: Translation and Multilingual Practice in the World’s Largest Online Encyclopaedia - Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Duration: 15 Dec 202117 Dec 2021


ConferenceUnderstanding Wikipedia’s Dark Matter
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


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