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:

Ronald Puppo

About Ronald Puppo

Ronald Puppo, senior lecturer in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Applied Linguistics (UVic-UCC), has taught English studies and translation since 1994. His articles and reviews have appeared in Babel, Catalan Review, Translation Review, Anuari Verdaguer and others, including book chapters for Reichenberger and Routledge. Translator of several Catalan poets, his annotated translation, Mount Canigó: A tale of Catalonia (Barcino/Tamesis, 2015), was awarded the 2016 “Serra d’Or” Critics Prize for Research in Catalan Studies, and his extensively annotated anthology of poetry and prose by Joan Maragall, One Day of Life is Life (Fum d’Estampa Press, 2020) won the 2021 Ramon Llull International Translation Prize.
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