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A Place for Translation Technologies in Disaster Settings: The Case of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

Patrick Cadwell

Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland


This chapter uses the case of foreign nationals residing in Japan during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (hereafter, the 2011 disaster) to discuss the role played by translation technologies in this emergency and to explore the part that translation technologies could play in future disasters in Japan. The chapter begins with a brief introduction to translation technologies. It provides the reader with an overview of key terms, historical developments, and future prospects in the field that are relevant to the ideas discussed in this research. The chapter continues with an outline of the 2011 disaster that provides the context necessary to argue that translation technologies were relevant to the experiences of the foreign residents who make up the case. Next, a review of the existing literature is carried out to position the research presented in this chapter in current academic debates and to show that carrying out such

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research is of academic interest. The data used in this chapter were gathered as part of a broader project, so an outline of the methodology used in that project is given before the findings relating to these data are then presented and discussed. The chapter closes by drawing some broad conclusions from the discussion and by indicating potential avenues for future research.

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