Machine translation and the Kafkaesque

pipeErrors resulting from MT, machine translation (traducció automàtica [ca], traducción automática [es]), based on English as an interlingua are more than just fodder for funny anecdotes. They point to the abundance of “contaminated” textual resources that undermine “a technological edifice that privileges a massive amount of data over the systematic control of its quality”. The subtle Englishing of non-English languages as a by-product of English-mediated MT reveals an English-language imperialism that goes far beyond “language wars” or the struggle between languages for discursive space. More Kafka-like, MT intrudes into its host languages, morphing and creolizing them from within.

For in-depth analyses of this phenomenon see:

About Ronald Puppo

Ronald Puppo is a research fellow at the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, where he has taught translation and English studies since 1994. He has published in journals such as Babel, Catalan Review, Translation Review, and contributed chapters for volumes at Reichenberger and Routledge. He has translated several Catalan poets, notably Jacint Verdaguer (1845-1902) and Joan Maragall (1860-1911). His full-length, annotated translation of Verdaguer’s epic Mount Canigó: A tale of Catalonia was awarded the 2016 “Serra d’Or” Critics Prize for Research in Catalan Studies.
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