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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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6 Locating Translation and Interpreting in a Speech Community: Locating the Speech Community in Translation and Interpreting Studies (Jim Hlavac)


Jim Hlavac

6 Locating Translation and Interpreting in a Speech Community: Locating the Speech Community in Translation and Interpreting Studies


This chapter has as its starting point a linguistic group – speakers of a transposed, immigrant language in Australia – defined here as a speech community. This is a term widely used in sociolinguistics, but despite the social turn that occurred over 20 years ago, it is seldom used in Translation and Interpreting Studies. This chapter draws on a number of data samples from the Macedonian-Australian speech community in Melbourne to elicit the incidence of translation and interpreting in this speech community and to gain descriptions from protagonists of linguistic mediation. The data samples include: a survey completed by 60 first-generation and 38 second-generation speakers; interviews with a user, broker, dual-role mediator, bilingual employee and professional interpreter; a survey completed by 10 professional interpreters. Based on both quantitative data and an ethnographic approach, this chapter contextualises a speech community within Translation and Interpreting Studies, and proposes an expanded definition of the term to include translation and interpreting practices.

1. Definitions of Speech Community

This chapter focuses on translation, interpreting, and a speech community. The term speech community comes from sociolinguistics and became a term used by prominent linguists, such as Chomsky (1965), Gumperz (1968/1972), and Labov (1972), to reflect their approach to describing the relationship between individuals, groups and speech varieties. Chomsky’s (1965: 3) definition foregrounded his notion of the ‘ideal...

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