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Interpreting naturally

A Tribute to Brian Harris

Edited By 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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IV Norms in Interpreting


Miriam Shlesinger, Bar Ilan University The ‘True Interpreter’ Revisited: On (im)partiality and (in)consistency in court interpreting Introduction Unlike the liaison interpreter1 whose role is always under-defined (Anderson, 1976), or the consecutive interpreter in small-scale con- texts – such as business meetings, official visits or informal con- versations – the role of the consecutive interpreter in legal settings is ostensibly clear-cut. It may or may not be defined in an explicit oath, but it is most often perceived as neither more nor less than the delivery of a verbatim reproduction of the source language utter- ances. In what follows, I will discuss the ways in which two inter- preters, both of them intent on fully complying with the oath they have taken, nevertheless opt for different forms of expression, re- flecting their own personal views of the subject matter. The extracts on which the paper is based figured in a series of pre-trial depo- sitions taken in Tel Aviv in 2008-2009. All of the deponents were victims or relatives of victims of terrorist attacks; i.e. either they or a member of their immediate family had suffered trauma and/ or injuries, or else one or more members of their family had been killed as a result of an act of terrorism. The exchanges took place in a fairly informal setting (a hotel room) but nevertheless following a ritualized procedure, with the aid of two interpreters, between the Hebrew-speaking deponents and the English-speaking attorneys representing the organization in question. 1 Liaison interpreting is...

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