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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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V Interpreting Taxonomies


VInterpreting Taxonomies Franz Pöchhacker, University of Vienna NT and CI in IS: taxonomies and tensions in interpreting studies Introduction One of the most significant developments in the evolution of inter- preting studies over the past two decades has been the way its con- ceptual foundations have come to be extended far beyond the classic focus on conference interpreting that had characterized the field un- til the 1980s. Rather than a well-organized international profession, founded on a clear-cut mode-based distinction between consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, there is now a broad array of inter- preting activities, with many different types and forms of practice. Scholars who see interpreting as their object of study can thus claim an extensive and highly diverse territory and, at the same time, have to make sure that all of it is duly explored and cultivated. Gaining an overview of the field is an important prerequisite, whether the emphasis is on practices or theoretical models – or on concepts and categories, as in this paper. In surveying the terminological landscape of interpreting stud- ies I am going where some, albeit not many, have gone before. And the one who ventured into this field most boldly at a very early time is Brian Harris, to whose groundbreaking work I wish to pay tribute. I will do so first of all by offering a fairly detailed presentation of his terminological and taxonomic efforts, and then by engaging with the key concepts of “community interpreting” and “natural trans- lation”, discussing their...

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