“I’m your guy”: Self-promoting behaviour in a Slovenian translators’ forum

Orthaber, Sara and Márquez Reiter, Rosina (2022). “I’m your guy”: Self-promoting behaviour in a Slovenian translators’ forum. In: Xie, Chaoqun and Tong, Ying eds. Self-praise across cultures and contexts. Springer, pp. 17–40.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99217-0_2


Self-promotion and positive self-disclosure are widespread on social media. Despite their pervasiveness they have been shown to trigger negative evaluations about one’s character (e.g. bragging). When engaging in self-promotion online, therefore, participants tend to display an awareness of its potentially sensitive nature and engage in redressing activities, such as self-denigration (Dayter, 2014; cf. Matley, 2018, 2020). In this study, we examine interactions in a Slovenian online translators’ forum that provides assistance with translation queries and publicises job opportunities. In these, the participants make explicit their relevant skills and qualities for the task in hand (e.g., responding to a query, responding to job opportunities, discussing requirements and working conditions) in light of potential work opportunities. Participants promote themselves as knowledgeable subjects with relevant professional experience, linguistic skills or educational qualifications. The qualifications, however, are not in Translation related subjects. The forum thus offers an evaluation benchmark and advice opportunity for freelance translators in some largely unregulated segments of the translation market. Their contributions shed light on a hard industry where multilingualism and linguistic speed are presented as desirable assets. Self-promotion activities were observed in reactive position. They included reactions to bilingualism or multilingualism as a measurable skill, or, conversely, as a given talent, by virtue of familial connections, in which language is presented as the authentic possession of native speakers. Self-promotion activities and views on language reveal what the participants see as relevant and valuable attributes in the translation marketplace and a concomitantly measured approach to positive self-disclosure in the setting of the forum.

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