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Breaking Ground in Corpus-based Interpreting Studies

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Edited By Francesco Straniero Sergio and Caterina Falbo

This book focuses on interpretation corpora which is one of the major subjects of research in interpreting studies. It explores key issues such as corpus design and representativeness, as well as aims and challenges of the application of corpus-linguistics principles and methods to interpreting. Interpreting corpora represent a real challenge because of the very nature of the items they are composed of. The oral dimension, the unavoidable stage of transcription and the difficulties in relying on authentic data are only some of the aspects that make the creation of interpreting corpora a complex, challenging and time-consuming activity. The book discusses the theoretical problems and presents the working phases leading to the collection of five different interpreting corpora. The variety of approaches adopted by each research team highlights the fact that aims, interrogation methods and corpus design are intertwined. A survey of the studies carried out so far using these five interpreting corpora identifies data comparability as the core issue of corpus-based interpreting studies.

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MARIACHIARA RUSSO, CLAUDIO BENDAZZOLI,ANNALISA SANDRELLI, NICOLETTA SPINOLO - The European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC): implementation and developments 53

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53 MARIACHIARA RUSSO, CLAUDIO BENDAZZOLI, ANNALISA SANDRELLI, NICOLETTA SPINOLO The European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC): implementation and developments1 The main objective of the EPIC project was to collect a large quan- tity of authentic simultaneous interpreting data to produce much- needed empirical research on the characteristics of interpreted speeches and to inform and improve training practices. To this end, an interdisciplinary research group was set up in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Translation, Language and Culture (SITLeC) of the University of Bologna at Forlì: it includes interpret- ers, translators, corpus linguists, computational linguists and IT ex- perts who designed and developed a multimedia archive and a corpus of machine-readable transcripts (the EPIC multimedia archive and the EPIC corpus, respectively). The present chapter describes the methodology developed to collect and transcribe the data in a user-friendly format and to design the open, lemmatised, indexed and part-of-speech (POS)-tagged cor- pus (1. and 2.). Furthermore, the chapter briefly describes the web- interface developed to carry out simple and advanced queries on- line (3.). Examples of the corpus-based studies carried out so far are also provided in 4., in which special emphasis is placed on EPIC’s huge potential as a teaching and research tool. Drawing on the re- corded material stored in our EPIC multimedia archive, students are offered a unique opportunity to reflect upon real-life professional interpreting and upon their own learning process, whilst transcribing 1 Although the present chapter is the result of a joint effort, Claudio Bendazzoli wrote 1....

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