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Interpreting naturally

A Tribute to Brian Harris

María Jesús Blasco Mayor and María Amparo Jimenez Ivars

In this book, we aim to bring together seminal approaches and state-of-the-art research on interpretation as a tribute to Brian Harris’ influential legacy to Translatology and Interpreting Studies. Whenever Harris has sat down to reflect and write, he has paved the way to new approaches and promising areas of research. One of his most outstanding contributions is the notion of natural translation, i.e., the idea that all humans share an intuitive capacity to translate which is co-extensive with bilingualism at any age, regardless of language proficiency. This contribution has proved pivotal to translation and interpreting research. In a world where most individuals speak more than one language, and therefore millions of translational acts are performed every second by untrained bilinguals, the concept of natural translation provides the arena for T&I scholars to discuss issues directly related to or stemming from it, such as bilingualism, language brokering, community/public service and diplomatic interpreting, all of them paramount to interpreting research and the future of the profession.

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IntroductionMaría Jesús Blasco Mayor and Amparo Jiménez Ivars1

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Introduction We are particularly delighted to edit this volume dedicated to Bri- an Harris. This volume is a celebration of his life and work, which in his case go inextricably together. First and foremost, Brian is a professional interpreter and translator. But he is many, many more things. We met Brian a few years ago at a conference organized at our home institution, Universitat Jaume I. He kept on rising his hand to ask questions to each speaker, but he did it so elegantly and respectfully that he managed to keep everyone in the audi- ence actively involved, to the delight of the speakers who enjoyed a debate stirred by Brian Harris’ illuminating arguments and impec- cable logic. The book is a collection of essays in Interpreting Studies, which present the evolution and state-of-the-art of concepts coined by Prof. Brian Harris. They are the plenary lectures in a recent Sympo- sium held in his honour at Universitat Jaume I. In this book, we aim to bring together seminal approaches and state-of-the-art research on interpretation as a tribute to Harris’ influential legacy to Trans- latology and Interpreting Studies. Whenever Brian Harris has sat down to reflect and write, he has paved the way to new approaches and promising areas of research. One of his most outstanding con- tributions, the notion of natural translation, i.e., the idea that all hu- mans share an intuitive capacity to translate which is co-extensive with bilingualism at any age, regardless of language proficiency, has proved pivotal...

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