This special issue of InContext: Studies in Translation and Interculturalism brings together thoughts on distant interpreting, a mode of communication experiencing increased demand since the spread of COVID-19, under the theme of “Teaching and Practice of Distant Interpreting in the Pandemic Era”.
No one will deny that the pandemic has forced almost every industry to adapt to the new conditions, and that of translation and interpretation is not immune to this apparent force majeure. Interpreters have been challenged to work with changed work processes and business models, including having to leave the interpreting booth and work at home instead and rapidly equip themselves with online technology. Changes to the work practices have accordingly raised the need to redefine interpreter education and training. Researcher-practitioners have been motivated to reflect on these changes. “Teaching and Practice of Distant Interpreting in the Pandemic Era” is the summation of these efforts.
Since the launch of the Journal last November, we have planned to bring this special issue, our Journal’s first one, to our readers in a timely manner, before this exceptional period has passed. Befitting the identity of the Journal, serving the two pillars of translation studies and interculturalism, the plan was that the research articles cover areas that are not limited to translation studies per se and touch upon cultural and industrial changes and their implications.
Andrew K. F. Cheung, our Journal’s first guest editor, has met the challenge and enlisted collaboration from the above areas. An associate professor at the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and one of the founding members of the Journal, he is a serious researcher in interpreting pedagogy, corpus-based interpreting studies and quality perceptions of interpreting services. His own insightful comments in his co-authored article as well as his pursuit of a diversity of contributions have greatly added to the value of this volume.
This issue is comprised of an introduction and seven research articles. Altogether, they give the sense of interconnections between interpreter training classrooms, remote interpreter aptitude testing, interpreting practice, changed industrial landscape, and a remote simultaneous interpreting platform. I hope our readers find the issue both informative and provocative.
The editorial team of InContext sincerely wish our readers and collaborators both physical and mental health, that they may continue to persevere through this exceptional period. We hope that this special issue serves as a connecting bridge between translation studies and its pedagogy, between translation studies and the translation industry, and between translation and intercultural studies. We hope to bring you special issues on other topics in the near future.
It goes without saying that our deep appreciation goes to those on the editorial board. Lim Hyang-Ok has shared her insights and energy to make this special issue happen. The editing team did a marvelous job once again.
Enjoy the read!