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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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BENDAZZOLI CLAUDIO - From international conferences to machine-readable corpora and back: an ethnographic approachto simultaneous interpreter-mediated communicative events 91

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91 BENDAZZOLI CLAUDIO From international conferences to machine- readable corpora and back: an ethnographic approach to simultaneous interpreter-mediated communicative events The DIRSI-C, i. e. Directionality in Simultaneous Interpreting Corpus, is a bilingual (Italian / English), machine-readable corpus of source and target speeches (transcripts + recordings) from three international medical conferences, during which simultaneous interpretation was provided. Together with the speeches produced by conference par- ticipants, DIRSI-C includes the output of professional simultaneous interpreters into both their native languages (i. e. A languages) and their foreign working languages (i. e. B languages), hence the focus on directionality in the name of the corpus. Besides the three confer- ences included in the corpus, further data were collected from other interpreter-mediated conferences and stored in the DIRSI Multime- dia Archive (DIRSI-MA). These will be used in future developments of DIRSI-C. The DIRSI project (Bendazzoli 2010a) originated from the ex- perience gained during the creation of an earlier corpus called EPIC – the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (Monti et al. 2005, Russo et al. in this volume), and therefore took advantage of its theo- retical and methodological framework. However, the materials col- lected in EPIC and DIRSI come from two different communicative situations, i. e. the European Parliament plenary sittings (with inter- preters usually working into their A languages only) vs. international conferences taking place in Italy (with interpreters usually working into both their A and B languages). This means that a number of corpus design-related issues had to be reconsidered in order to do...

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