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Translation and Interpreting

Convergence, Contact and Interaction


Edited By Eugenia Dal Fovo and Paola Gentile

A glance at the current state of the profession reveals a varied scenario in which Translation and Interpreting (T&I) constitute two interlingual processes usually performed by the same person in the same communicative situation or in different situations within the same set of relations and contacts. Although both practices call for somewhat different communicative competences, they are often seen as a single entity in the eyes of the public at large. T&I are thus found in relations of overlap, hybridity and contiguity and can be effected variously in professional practices and translation processes and strategies. Yet, when it comes to research, T&I have long been regarded as two separate fields of study. This book aims to address this gap by providing insights into theoretical and methodological approaches that can help integrate both fields into one and the same discipline. Each of the contributions in this volume offers innovative perspectives on T&I by focusing on topics that cover areas as diverse as training methods, identity perception, use of English as lingua franca, T&I strategies, T&I in specific speech communities, and the socio-professional status of translators and interpreters.
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4 Occupation as Part of our Identity: A Pilot Study on Translators’ and Interpreters’ Visual Narratives (Raquel Lázaro Gutiérrez)


Raquel Lázaro Gutiérrez

4 Occupation as Part of our Identity: A Pilot Study on Translators’ and Interpreters’ Visual Narratives


Interpreting and translation have been described as under-professionalised occupations (Sela-Sheffy and Shlesinger 2011), constantly redefining their boundaries and their social function. Since occupation is part of a person’s professional identity – or self, in this chapter interpreters’ and translators’ professional identities will be analysed using the method of visual narratives. The focus of this chapter lies on how interpreters and translators portray themselves and whether their self-image takes different shapes according to their different professional profiles and backgrounds. Two groups of results will be illustrated: those related to the answers from 17 respondents to an online questionnaire, and those concerning the appropriateness of the methodology used in the pilot study. Findings on translators’ and interpreters’ identities that are presented here suggest that visual narratives may serve as a useful method to study interpreters’ and translators’ self-representation and professional identities.

1. Introduction

Identity is built by each individual as a response to social and cultural circumstances. One’s identity reflects one’s status (how one is perceived by others) and self-esteem (how one perceives him/herself). Furthermore, identity can be constructed not only around aspects such as race, gender or religion, but also around other transitory circumstances, such as occupation (Lázaro Gutiérrez 2014; Davis 1994). As Sela-Sheffy and Shlesinger (2009: 124) point out:←89 | 90→

Not only do occupations...

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