Translating Tweets in the Soccer Industry: Identity Management and Visibility in a Global Game

in International Journal of Sport Communication
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $63.00

1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $119.00

2 year subscription

USD  $156.00

Migration has created exceptionally diverse communities in many professional soccer leagues. These diverse communities then interact with global audiences, yet the key challenge of communication across languages has not previously been the focus of academic attention. This study investigated Twitter translation practice in this highly commercial industry, drawing from questionnaire and interview data from the perspective of translation providers, figures in the soccer industry, and migrant player and club tweets. The findings reveal tensions between global and local identities as soccer players, soccer clubs, and governing organizations manage identity performance and economic potential across language barriers on social media. These tensions foster debate about cross-language communication on social media in the soccer industry and extend existing work on social media and translation, in particular with regard to professional practice, fluency, and the visibility of translation and translators in this unusual professional setting.

The author is with the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.

Address correspondence r.w.baines@uea.ac.uk.
  • ACAS. (2018, January). Social media in the workplace. Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Retrieved from http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3375

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adab , B. , & Valdés , C. (2004). Key debates in the translation of advertising material. Translator, 10(2), 161–177. doi:10.1080/13556509.2004.10799175

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alshenqeeti , H. (2016). Are emojis creating a new or old visual language for new generations? A socio-semiotic study. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(6), 56–69. doi:10.7575/aiac.alls.v.7n.6p.56

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Associated Press. (2015, December 16). 2014 World Cup final attracted 1.01 billion viewers, FIFA says. Retrieved from http://www.espn.co.uk/football/world-cup-soccer/story/2759180/fifa-reports-101-billion-viewers-for-2014-world-cup-final

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baines , R . (2018). Translation and interpreting for the media in the English Premier League: Elite level football, power, and translation. In S. Baumgarten & J. Cornellà-Detrell (Eds.), Translation and global spaces of power (pp. 179–193). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bassnett , S. (2005). Bringing the news back home: Strategies of acculturation and foreignisation. Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(2), 120–130. doi:10.1080/14708470508668888

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bennett , S. (2011). 39% of all tweets are in English, but Arabic now fastest-growing language on Twitter. Adweek. Retrieved from https://www.adweek.com/digital/twitter-language-share/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Billings , A. , & Hardin , M. (Eds.). (2014). Routledge handbook of sport and new media. London, UK, New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Carter , T. (2011). In foreign fields: The politics and experiences of transnational sport migration. London, UK: Pluto Press. doi:10.1111/jlca.12057

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Danesi , M. (2017). The semiotics of emoji: The rise of visual language in the age of the Internet. London, UK, New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de Mooij , M. (2005). Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. New York, NY: Sage.

  • Desjardins , R . (2013). Social media. In Y. Gambier & L. van Doorslaer (Eds.), Handbook of translation studies (Vol. 4, pp. 156–159). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Desjardins , R. (2017). Translation and social media. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Drugan , J. (2013). Quality in professional translation: Assessment and improvement. London, UK/New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

  • Eriksen , T.H. (2014). Globalization: The key concepts. London, UK/New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

  • Evans , V. (2017, July 6). Why we need emojis. Nautilus, 50. Retrieved from http://nautil.us/issue/50/emergence/why-you-need-emoji

  • Fuchs , C. (2017). Social media: A critical introduction. London, UK: Sage.

  • Georgakopoulou , A. , & Spilioti , T. (Eds.). (2015). Routledge handbook of language and digital communication. London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilchrist , P. (2005). Local heroes or global stars. In L. Allison (Ed.), The global politics of sport: The role of global institutions in sport (pp. 107–126). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giulianotti , R. , & Robertson , R. (2007). Sport and globalization: Transnational dimensions. Global Networks, 7(2), 109–112. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0374.2007.00159.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goffman , E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York, UK: Doubleday.

  • Hale , S. , & Napier , J. (2013). Research methods in interpreting. London, UK/New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

  • Hambrick , M. , Simmons , J. , Greenhalgh , G. , & Greenwell , C. (2010). Understanding professional athletes’ use of Twitter: A content analysis of athlete tweets. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3(4), 454–471. doi:10.1123/ijsc.3.4.454

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hutchins , B. (2010). The acceleration of media sport culture. Information, Communication & Society, 14(2), 237–257. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2010.508534

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hutchins , B. (2014). Twitter: Follow the money and look beyond sports. Communication & Sport, 2(2), 122–126. doi:10.1177/2167479514527430

  • Johnson , S. (2016, January 29). Revealed: QPR’s 27-page rulebook on how players should behave . . . and what happens if they don’t. Evening Standard. Retrieved from https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/revealed-qprs-27page-code-of-conduct-manual-given-to-every-new-signing-on-arrival-a3168076.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones , C. , & Steckelmacher , S. (2012, October 24). It’s a funny old game: You say tomato, I say ‘solanum Lycopersicum.’ Marca. Retrieved from http://www.marca.com/blogs/itsafunnyoldgame/2012/10/24/you-say-tomato-i-say-solanum.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaufman , A. (2013, November 23). For Hollywood’s social media managers, tweeting is a living. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/for-hollywoods-social-media-managers-tweeting-is-a-living/2013/11/21/880110ce-5143-11e3-9fe0-fd2ca728e67c_story.html?utm_term=.1d1d0bf9a84f

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kelly , N. (2009, June 19). Freelance translators clash with LinkedIn over crowdsourced translation. Common Sense Advisory. Retrieved from http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/Default.aspx?Contenttype=ArticleDetAD&tabID=63&Aid=591&moduleId=391

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Korzynski , P. , & Paniagua , J. (2016). Score a tweet and post a goal: Social media recipes for sports stars. Business Horizons, 59(2), 185–192. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2015.11.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kytölä , S. , & Westinen , E. (2015). “I be da reel gansta”: A Finnish footballer’s Twitter writing and metapragmatic evaluations of authenticity. Discourse, Context and Media, 8, 6–19. doi:10.1016/j.dcm.2015.05.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leary , M.R. (1995). Self-presentation: Impression management and interpersonal behavior. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.

  • Lebel , K. , & Danylchuk , K. (2012). How tweet it is: A gendered analysis of professional tennis players’ self-presentation on Twitter. International Journal of Sport Communication, 5(4), 461–480. doi:10.1123/ijsc.5.4.461

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maguire , J. , & Falcous , M. (2010). Sport and migration: Borders, boundaries and crossings. London, UK: Routledge. doi:10.1080/14927713.2011.555659

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mangiron , C. , & O’Hagan , M. (2006). Game localisation: Unleashing imagination with restricted translation. Journal of Specialised Translation. 6. Retrieved from https://www.jostrans.org/issue06/art_ohagan.php

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marwick , A. , & boyd , d. (2011). To see and be seen: Celebrity practice on Twitter. Convergence, 17(2), 139–158. doi:10.1177/1354856510394539

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mocanu , D. , Baronchelli , A. , Perra , N. , Gonçalves , B. , Zhang , Q. , & Vespignani , A. (2013). The Twitter of Babel: Mapping world languages through microblogging platforms. PLoS One, 8(4). 61981. Retrieved from https://journals.plos:plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0061981

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parganas , P. , Anagnostopoulos , C. , & Chadwick , S. (2015). ‘You’ll never tweet alone’: Managing sports brands through social media. Journal of Brand Management, 22(7), 551–568. doi:10.1057/bm.2015.32

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pegoraro , A. (2010). Look who’s talking—Athletes on Twitter: A case study. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3 , 501–514. doi:10.1123/ijsc.3.4.501

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pegoraro , A. , & Jinnah , N. (2012). Tweet ’em and reap ’em: The impact of professional athletes’ use of Twitter on current and potential sponsorship opportunities. Journal of Brand Strategy, 1(1), 85–97.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Poli , R . (2014). International migration of professional footballers. In J. Goddard & P. Sloane (Eds.), Handbook on the economics of football (pp. 227–237). London, UK: Edward Elgar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Price , J. , Farrington , N. , & Hall , L. (2013). Changing the game? The impact of Twitter on relationships between football clubs, supporters and the sports media. Soccer & Society, 14(4), 446–461. doi:10.1080/14660970.2013.810431

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson , R. (2012). Globalisation or glocalisation? Journal of International Communication, 18(2), 191–208. doi:10.1080/13216597.2012.709925

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roderick , M. (2006). A very precarious profession: Uncertainty in the working lives of professional footballers. Work, Employment and Society, 20(2), 245–265. doi:10.1177/0950017006064113

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ruthven , G. (2016, October 25). #AgainstModernFootball—Footballers on Twitter. YahooSport. Retrieved from https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/againstmodernfootball-footballers-on-twitter-103029552.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sanderson , J. (2013). Stepping into the (social media) game: Building athlete identity via Twitter. In R. Luppiccini (Ed.), Handbook of research on technoself: Identity in a technological society (Vol. 2, pp. 711–730). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schäler , R . (2010). Localization and translation. In Y. Gambier & L. Van Doorslaer (Eds.), Handbook of translation studies (Vol. 2, pp. 209–214). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomas , S. (2014). Celebrity in the ‘Twitterverse’: History, authenticity and the multiplicity of stardom. Situating the ‘newness’ of Twitter. Celebrity Studies, 5(3), 242–255. doi:10.1080/19392397.2013.845962

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vaast , E. , & Kaganer , E. (2013). Social media affordances and governance in the workplace: An examination of organizational policies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(1), 78–101. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12032

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Venuti , L. (2008). The translator’s invisibility: A history of translation. London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Venuti , L. (2010). Translation as cultural politics: Régimes of domestication in English. In M. Baker (Ed.), Critical readings in translation studies (pp. 65–79). London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 111 111 16
Full Text Views 14 14 3
PDF Downloads 6 6 0