The Changing Translatorial Landscape

Translatorial practices have been under constant change over the past decades. Evolving technologies and digitalization have constantly remodeled both the practicalities of translation and interpreting work and the cultural and economic understandings of multilingual communication. The study of translatorial practices and professions therefore provides opportunities to understand the effects of automatization and technologization many other fields are only entering into. Our research group builds on the sociological research tradition in Translation Studies, an approach Tampere-based and Tampere-raised scholars have actively participated in creating. Working with a wide network of national and international collaborators, we use multiple methods (e.g. surveys, interviews and focus groups, traditional and virtual ethnography, usability research methods) to map and understand the current landscape and its ongoing change processes, looking into professional, paraprofessional and non-professional practices of written and oral translation. We aim to provide answers to research questions such as:

  • How does changing translation technology change translatorial practices and professions and the language industry?
  • How does machine translation change professional practices and non-professional uses of translation? Is the understanding of ‘translation’ changing?
  • What kinds of professional profiles, boundaries and competence areas are emerging (new tasks; professional vs. paraprofessional work)?
  • How do those working in various translatorial professions understand and negotiate their position in the changing landscape (role, agency, well-being at work, future prospects)?
  • How and to what extent are actors socialized into different translatorial fields and how do they perceive their identity?
  • What kinds of affective and ethical questions arise, and how have they been responded to?

In addition to describing and understanding the various changes, we aim to contribute to the emerging field of language industry studies in constructive ways, by providing research-based innovations to support businesses to transform their processes and diversify their services. User-centered translation (UCT) is one such innovation, and we are also working on the notion of service design.

Team members

Kaisa Koskinen (director)

Sari Hokkanen

Mary Nurminen

Annamari Korhonen

Anu Heino

Elin Svahn (Stockholm University)

Jenni Laaksonen

Annukka Jakkula

In cooperation with:

Prof. Jaana Vuori (University of Eastern Finland), FT Marta Choroszewicz (University of Eastern Finland), Dos. Tuija Kinnunen (University of Helsinki), Prof. Nike K. Pokorn (University of Ljubljana), Prof. Helle V. Dam (Aarhus University), Dr. Tiina Tuominen (University of Turku), Prof. Rebecca Piekkari (Aalto University), Prof. Susanne Tietze (Sheffield Hallam University), Prof. Annjo Klungervik Greenall (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim), Dr. Sylwia Ciuk (Oxford Brookes University), Prof. Martyna Sliwa (Durham University).

Selected publications:

Tytti Suojanen, Kaisa Koskinen & Tiina Tuominen 2015. User-Centered Translation. Routledge.

Helle Dam & Kaisa Koskinen (eds) 2016. The translation profession: centres and peripheries. Special issue of JoSTrans n:o 25.

Kaisa Koskinen, Jaana Vuori & Anni-Kaisa Leminen (eds): Asioimistulkkaus – monikielisen yhteiskunnan arkea. Vastapaino. To appear in August 2018.

Kaisa Koskinen & Nike K. Pokorn (eds) (forthcoming in 2020). Handbook of Translation and Ethics. Routledge.