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The translator on blogs and social networks: identity, professional and academic issues

Abstract

This project proposes a qualitative study of two blogs deemed renowned among professional translators and three groups composed of highly influential social networking translators, with a view to analyzing what they say about themselves and what they say about translation, mainly about (lack of) translator's educational background and suggestions for beginners on "competences" required for the profession. Such approach will make it possible to discuss respective theoretical concepts, either explicit or not, as well as implications of their expressions in cyberspace. Those blogs have been selected since they are largely visited, provide both translator features (personal and professional) and their conceptions of the work performed and, finally, owing to the fact that such subject has not been sufficiently investigated in the translation field yet. Concerning social networking groups, the choice arises from the visibility among beginners, who often search for keywords on those networks and begin following groups and discussions, especially when referred to aspects little addressed (or not addressed) in the classroom. The first research thrust revolves around analyzing identity configurations of translators participating in blogs and social networks: who they are, which language concepts are underlying their comments, which contributions they bring to an understanding of the profession and market for future translators or beginning translators are among the questions to be covered. The second thrust refers to contents and digital "files", mostly encompassing suggestions and tips for beginners, focused on arguments on the need, or not, for translators to hold educational background in the area. Comments covering the translator's educational background, involving "competence" issues", will be analyzed. The third thrust consists of comparing market expectations (from translators' standpoint) in respect of beginning translators to the current scenario surrounding undergraduate courses. For such purpose, a survey and an analysis on curriculum frameworks and profile of undergraduates entering translation courses in Brazil, available on the official websites of colleges and universities, will be carried out. Accordingly, the applied methodology will comprise research on digital files, bibliographical research and analysis, whose major corpus is composed of postings on blogs and social networks, in order to gather and select comments on translator's educational background. The number of postings subject to analysis has not been previously defined, since it depends much more on quality rather than quantity of comments, which will be only determined during the research course. Moreover, the documentary research will involve an online survey on curriculum guidelines of Brazilian undergraduate courses in translation for comparing them to information on the matter provided in cyberspace. As per these data, we may compare universities' offers to social networking searches regarding the profession. On a theoretical basis, some of such project references derive from works of Hurtado-Albir (2005), Martins (2006), Pym (2008), Castellões de Oliveira (2009), Gonçalves e Machado (2006), Darin (2013), Rodrigues (2012) and Stupiello (2014), particularly concerning discussions about translator's educational background and competence issue (translation/translator's). Works of Lévy (1999), Marchuschi (2010), Galli (2011) and Komesu (2010) also provide a basis for this project, mostly while discussing the role of social networks and blogs in today's society. Other works supporting the project, as to the defended translation concept, were developed by Arrojo (2003, 2007), Siscar (2013) and Lima (2012). Finally, in order to address issues relating to the university and (digital) file, we will rely on works of Derrida (2001, 2003). (AU)

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