1st Edition

Online Collaborative Translation in China and Beyond Community, Practice, and Identity

By Chuan Yu Copyright 2022
    180 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this original and innovative work, Yu boldly tackles the increasingly influential collaborative translation phenomenon, with special reference to China. She employs the unique perspective of an ethnographer to explore how citizen translators work together as they select, translate, edit and polish translations. Her area of particular interest is the burgeoning yet notably distinctive world of the Chinese internet, where the digital media ecology is with Chinese characteristics.

    Through her longitudinal digital ethnographic fieldwork in Yeeyan, Cenci and other online translation platforms where the source materials usually come from outside China, Yu draws out lessons for the various actors in the collaborative translation space, focusing on their communities, working practices and identities, for nothing is quite as it seems. She also theorises relationships between the actors, their work and their places of work, offering us a rich and insightful perspective into the often-hidden world of collaborative translation in China.

    The contribution of Yu’s work also lies in her effort in looking beyond China, providing us with a landscape of collaborative translation in practice, in training, and in theory across geographic contexts. This volume will be of particular interest to scholars and postgraduate students in translation studies and digital media.  

    1. Introduction 2. The Chinese Internet, Participatory Culture, and Online Collaborative Translation 3. Communities, Online Communities, and Communities of Practice 4. Narrative Community in a Community of Practice 5. Online Collaborative Translation as a Social Act 6. Collaborating and Translating for Learning 7. Professionals in Non-Professional Communities 8. Conclusion


    Chuan Yu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University and Associate Editor of the journal Interpreting and Society - An Interdisciplinary Journal. Her research lies at the intersection of Translation Studies, Anthropology, and Media and Communication Studies. Her research interests include collaborative translation, translation processes, translation communities, non-professional translation, crisis translation, translation technologies, citizen media, internet research and ethnography. She writes and publishes in the areas of translation and social sciences. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Translation Studies and The Journal of Specialised Translation. Chuan also undertakes translation work and teaches translation.

    "This daring and ambitious volume delivers a timely intervention into various sites of debate surrounding the scale and impact of online translation amateurism in China’s digital media ecology. Chuan Yu’s book recalibrates previous conceptualizations of translation as social practice and expertly demonstrates how the complexity of ethnographic research can be productively harnessed. Online Collaborative Translation in China and Beyond points translation studies in insightful new directions as digital media continue to transform social and political life."

    Luis Pérez-González, University of Agder, Norway