Since November 2021, when the first issue of the Journal was released, it has offered readers a forum for the full spectrum of both translation and intercultural studies. Two of its features have drawn particular attention: opening with a Special Article and offering bilingual abstracts (one in English and one in the author’s native tongue). The purpose of bilingual abstracts is to promote cultural diversity through linguistic accessibility.
The Special Article introduces results of collective research endeavors on a topic deemed of significance to members of the research communities exploring the topic. Following the first one based on a focus-group discussion format, the Special Article of this issue (Sangsoo Kim) again is significant in two respects: the timeliness of the topic ‘The Role of Interculturalism in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic’ as we move, hopefully, towards the ending phase of the plague, and as a moment-in-time demonstration of the usefulness of the online discussion format during this physical movement-constrained era. The discussion touches on the psychological perspective, the implications of cyber literature access for youth education, a regional community's effort to keep its creative spirit in culture, and the crisis of liberalism in international relations.
In the translation studies (TS) thread, three articles with different research methods and foci widen the scope of research. ‘Quo Vadis, Crowdsourcing and Online Collaborative Translation?’ (Miguel A. Jiménez-Crespo) gives a sketch of the evolution of translation collaboration on the web and a critical review of existing TS research trends. The article ends with a suggestion for future research directions in this ever-changing area driven by technological innovation. ‘Looking under the Hood for Evidence of Normalization’ (Changsoo Lee) is a meticulously-designed two-staged quantitative research. It investigates the hypothesis of normalization utilizing frequency tests on lexical bundles and examines the underlying relationships among individual texts, lexical bundles, and translated and non-translated group categories based on two types of multivariate exploratory analyses. ‘Crisis Translation: A snapshot in time’ (Sharon O'Brien) begins with an introduction to disaster studies and crisis communication and situates crisis translation as the nexus of the two disciplines. Following a review of topics of interest to TS scholars, it discusses emergency response policy, translation technology, citizen translator training, and ethics, together with recommendations to recognize translation as a crisis communication tool.
In the interculturalism arena, ‘A Dance between Structure and Agency’ (Lonnie Edge) notes that North and South Korea can be the perfect laboratory for contrastive studies to control factors like language and history. In examining the impact of the social structures and constraints of the individual agency on the cultures of the Koreas, the article moves beyond the dichotomy of frameworks, allowing for a nuanced discussion. ‘Constructing ‘Indonesian-ness’ in Modern Art and Artistic Identity in a Politically Fraught Terrain during the 1950s’ (Amanda Rath) presents case studies focusing on the four years after Indonesia’s independence. Three conflicting yet overlapping positions are discussed in terms of their respective participation in constructing a national identity, among other things. Last but not least, ‘Shakespeare in Japanese Pop Culture’ (Yukari Yoshihara) is an exemplary collaboration between translation studies and interculturalism. In contrasting Western graphic novels with Shakespeare incorporated with Japanese manga, different levels of faithfulness to the original author are
analyzed. It is argued that manga with Shakespearean motifs should be viewed not as a debasement of his literary authority but as creative innovation.
We appreciate all inquiries and submissions made and try to make the webpage as visitor- and user-friendly as possible. Although the language of submission is English, we accepted Yoshihara’s submission with great enthusiasm. Translating the original draft in Japanese and making it accessible in English was not easy. Our warmest thanks to the author and the translator Lim Hyun-kyung for collaborating to make this publication possible.
In closing, I must also acknowledge the invaluable help of our Editorial Board members, Lim Hyang-Ok, Koh Young Hun, and Sangsoo Kim in particular, and the support provided by the Assistant Editors in preparing this issue. We hope you will enjoy this new issue of INContext: Studies in Translation and Interculturalism.