The Jordanian translator in the era of COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and perspectives


  • Sameer Naser Olimat Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, The Hashemite University, P.O. Box 330127, Zarqa 13133, Jordan
  • Dana Khalid Mahadin English Language Department Al-Balqa Applied University P.O. Box. 206, Salt, 19117, Jordan


Translation profession, translator’s role, COVID-19, crisis translation, Jordan


COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health and socio-economic crisis, with cascading effects. In a bid to combat the pandemic, Jordan has imposed extreme measures, including border shutdowns, declaring a state of emergency, and a lockdown. These measures have had an adverse impact upon businesses and professions, including translation. Translators play a significant role in disseminating health information in times of crisis. This paper reports the results of a large-scale survey of translators’ perspectives in the Jordanian context on the pandemic and its effects on their role and profession during the time of COVID-19 restrictions. A quantitative five-scale Likert questionnaire was completed by 106 in-house and freelance professional translators. The results showed that COVID-19 has had adverse effects on translators in the Jordanian context. Translators faced several challenges during the pandemic, including career change or loss, lower income, increased workload and time pressure, high-level job demands, unclear job prospects, and anxiety about their future. The results also highlighted that language service providers (LSPs) as well as translators need to play a more active role during times of crisis.  The findings of this study suggest that further research is necessary to investigate the effect of COVID-19 and similar pandemics on translators’ experiences of occupational stress and job satisfaction in Jordan.