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Interpreting Brian Harris

Recent Developments in Translatology

Edited By María Amparo Jimenez Ivars and María Jesús Blasco Mayor

The editors of this volume organized the symposium Interpreting... Naturally at Universitat Jaume I (Castellón, Spain) in November 2009. They have now compiled some of the most outstanding work presented at the event by young researchers, which is included in this book as a sequel of Interpreting Naturally. A tribute to Brian Harris. Furthermore, the editors have invited seasoned and renowned academics to contribute to Brian Harris’ well deserved homage. Their contributions mainly deal with natural translation (NT), a notion coined by Brian Harris to describe untrained bilinguals’ ability to translate. The authors seek to further develop NT by connecting it with related areas: bilingualism and translator competence, cultural brokering, language learning and interpreter training, interpreting paradigms and training. Furthermore, they discuss norms and directionality in interpreting, interpreting quality, interpreting in the public services, postgraduate interpreter training and the profession.


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Directionality and Working Memory in Conference Interpreting – an Experimental Study - Jan-Hendrik Opdenhoff 161


Jan-Hendrik Opdenhoff, Universidad de Granada Directionality and Working Memory in Conference Interpreting – an Experimental Study The debate on directionality in interpreting might be as old as inter- preting itself. There have always been those who have supported the idea that the B>A direction is the “best”, the “easiest”, and the “least stress-producing,” and those who spoke up for the A>B direction as the one which meets best the expectations of high quality interpreting. The advocates of both points of view tend to base their argu- mentation on the very processes involved in interpretation: the com- prehension (analysis) process on the one hand, and the production process on the other. While most professionals in Western countries and international organizations, in order to underpin their B>A pref- erence, invoke the arguments of the Paris School (Selescovitch & Le- derer, 1989: 135), for which the focus is on production, which in their eyes is much more fluent, natural and easier in the A language, east- ern European countries followed mainly the soviet model of direc- tionality (Denissenko, 1989; Chernov, 1999; Shveitser, 1999) which focussed more on comprehension, arguing that this link is the most important one in the chain of interpreting since no good rendering of the intended sense is possible without a complete understanding of the original speech. Obviously both theories are in the right and the optimum conditions would be a clear A>A and the A>B direction, one might conclude that both directions, in spite of their...

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