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National Identity in Translation


Edited By Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Interpreting Culture Specific References in U.S. Political Discourse


Abstract: With increased globalization the interpreter plays a vital role enabling understanding when interlocutors are unable to understand each other and communicate directly. Working under extreme time pressure a simultaneous interpreter has to make quick decisions on how to render source language utterances into the target language at the speed required and in an appropriate manner. This task is exacerbated by ever changing political discourse in which an interpreter must be up to date on terminological peculiarities, as well as culture specific references, including idioms and jargon constantly created by media, politicians, bloggers, press secretaries, lobbyists, etc. The lack of interpreter competence and intercultural sensitivity may lead to distortion of the intended meaning and miscommunication between the two parties. Based on the latest brain to brain communication research we argue that it is the meaning accessed by the target audience that should guide the professional norm. Specific examples from the U.S. political discourse are given to illustrate the challenges of such tasks.

Keywords: Simultaneous interpreting, political discourse, culture specific references, language directionality

1 Simultaneous Interpreting

In the current global environment language interpreters play a vital role in enabling communication in situations when interlocutors are unable to understand each other and communicate directly. Interpreters are translators with no access to any dictionary or reference materials, except their own brain. Simultaneous interpreters also work under extreme time pressure with minimal if any time lag between the source language (SL) income and the target language...

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