Author: Rebecca Zantjer

Rebecca Zantjer is a Master's student in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Michigan State University. Her thesis work revolves around understanding how difference is talked about and recognized in the usability/user experience community. Other research interests involve user experience research and design, storytelling for usability, and documentary filmmaking.

When people talk about translation, they are usually thinking about the process of taking a word from one language and pairing it with a corresponding word in another language. In this model, translation becomes an act of substitution, with the goal being an accurate one-to-one replacement of words in the first language with words in the second language. Most current digital translation tools operate on this translation-as-replacement model. Users type in a word or phrase in one language, select the desired destination language, and click “Translate.” The equivalent word (or a selection of equivalent words) in the destination language then…

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