Translation in the Digital Space: A Social Network Analysis

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What is ‘text’? What is an ‘ST’ and a ‘TT’? What kind of ‘text’ is translated? And what does it mean to translate in the digital space? In this paper, I intend to seek ‘answers’ to these questions by positioning translation in a multimodal and multisemiotic digital media space.

To begin with, I shall introduce three digital media platforms on which translation plays a crucial role – Yeeyan (a translation community in China); Chinadialogue (an independent bilingual online magazine) and Global Voices (a multilingual and international citizen media community). Drawing on the method of social network analysis, a networked space is created, i.e. a space of translation. In this space, the nodes and ties that connect these three platforms and through which texts travel include: 1) human actors like journalists, translators and social activists; 2) non-human actors which are social networking sites (e.g.WeChat, Twitter and Facebook), media portals (e.g. The Guardian), and other non-traditional semiotic signs (i.e. hyperlinks and diverse forms of the visuals), as well as 3) a chain of textual materials selected, translated and re-narrated in this space of translation. After that, I discuss the translation of a particular ST and its travelling trajectory at a textual level through analyzing a set of textual and paratextual elements. I argue that translation in a digital media space is a kinaesthetic and interactive exploration of the textual and visual texts. The space where it takes place is both a networked digital media space as well as a textual space.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018
EventA Space for Translation: Thresholds of Interpretation - The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 10 Dec 201812 Dec 2018


ConferenceA Space for Translation: Thresholds of Interpretation
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


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