My research

Research areas

In my research I study the socio-technical practices of translation, from a range of perspectives and in a variety of settings, past and present.

  • Workplace practices of translation
  • Translation of science
  • Volunteer translation
  • Corpus-based translation studies

Workplace practices of translation

This research examines the workplace practices of translation professionals. Areas of analytical focus include the deployment of technologies and the dynamics of collaboration. I draw on conceptualisations of practice and agency from science and technology studies (e.g. Olohan 2011, 2016) and social theories of practice. I have published a study of relations of trust between project managers, clients and freelance translators (Olohan and Davitti 2015) and am working on a book that brings together these theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of translation practices.

scientific and technical translation

Translation of science

This research focuses on practices of scientific translation in different times and places. I am interested in the economic, political and scientific contexts in which translation takes place, the personal and institutional networks through which scientific translation is promoted and organised, and the interplay between translators and other agents. Some research on 19th-century scientific translation is published in Olohan 2012 and 2013. I co-edited, with Myriam Salama-Carr, a special issue of The Translator on the translation of science (2011) and have published a postgraduate coursebook, Scientific and Technical Translation (2016).

Introducing corpora in translation studies

Corpus-based translation studies

In Olohan 2004 and several prior publications I carried out analyses of the language of translation using electronic corpora of translated texts (in particular, the Translational English Corpus). One area of focus was the process of explicitation.

Volunteer translation

I am curious about the motivations underlying volunteer translation. I studied altruistic translation and publishing in the context of a 19th-century scientific journal (Olohan 2012) and motivation among a small group of present-day volunteer translators for TED.com (Olohan 2013).