Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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The translation profession in the Southeast Asia context has not been adequately investigated in a methodologically rigorous manner. One reason is the focus of Translation Studies scholars on textual end products, mostly of canonical literature. Another reason, perhaps more importantly, is the absence of an appropriate theoretical and conceptual framework (or the inadequacy of current paradigms) to look into the translation agents. This paper begins by reviewing the existing research work on the translation profession in the Southeast Asian context. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is not much, and some of the material found is casual and cursory discussion on personal weblogs and websites of translation companies. In view of this, I would suggest how economic science can be used as an analytical framework for studying the translators and various other stakeholders in the region and particularly how the translation profession can be investigated from macro, micro and meso levels. The last section of this paper points out some epistemological strengths and weaknesses of any such approach.

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