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Introduction In response to the challenge posed by the theme of the EST Congress in Ljubljana, my aim in this paper is to consider why interpreting studies as a sub discipline, and the research produced by scholars affiliated with it, could be said to matter, and to whom. My fundamental assumption, that the existence of a distinct research community dedicated to the study of interpreting corresponds to an epistemological need, will be argued from a historical perspective, using examples from such more established disciplines as psychology and sociology to illustrate how interpreting used to be seen and studied — or not.

Using some recent examples, I will show how this may well be the case but, at the same time, point to some serious limitations in the capacity of interpreting research to matter quite enough. This amounts to saying that we exist because we have a unique object of study, and that we matter because we exist. That is our function, our use to society: Interpreting studies as such did not exist in the s, so research on interpreting was done within other paradigms, mainly psychology and psycholinguistics. Interpreting, and research on it, clearly mattered — to psychologists.

Even the pioneering work of my Viennese colleague Ingrid Kurz, then Pinter, is an example of that phenomenon. Having been trained as an interpreter and Why interpreting studies matters at the same time worked on a degree in psychology, she devoted her doctoral thesis in psychology Pinter to demonstrating what she knew from immediate experience, i. But it is still an example of the normal workings of the scientific process, within a given scientific community, in this case, psychology. Two issues emerge quite clearly from this brief review of the way influential psychologists related to interpreting: And not only by psychologists, as the following example will show.

In a review article published in , he discussed two medical interviews from his own empirical work. One of them involves a year-old Mexican boy suspected of suffering from epilepsy. The patient is accompanied by his mother and uncle, with the latter serving as ad hoc interpreter for the former.

Here is a brief excerpt, adapted from Cicourel Was it the three-day or ten-day measles? Do you remember how long it lasted? Three days or ten days? Did it last a long time? That I saw myself? And yet, what looks like an early example of discourse-based research on interpreting in healthcare is not about interpreting at all. Cicourel is particularly interested in the written record of the interview and, from this perspective, concludes that nothing is said in the medical report about the difficulties of conducting the interview and Why interpreting studies matters obtaining accurate information.

His analysis of the mediated communication is very succinct: It is true that those were early days for healthcare interpreting, and for research on it. There are only a few substantial papers on this topic from the s. Much has changed in this field, as we know, but not the fact that interpreting may remain invisible in sociological or sociolinguistic studies on communication in healthcare.

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In this article, which is part of a larger study of three US healthcare settings, the focus is on the workplace routines of nonmedical personnel in charge of scheduling appointments and much more. But the issue of language barriers does not feature. My intention here is of course not to fault Aaron Cicourel for not being an interpreting scholar though our discpline could certainly use him only too well. On the contrary, the point is that a given research community is entitled — and expected — to cultivate its particular parcel of scientific territory, be it as extensive as human interaction and coexistence, or as specific as mediated real-time communication across languages and cultures.

Though only in relatively recent times, interpreting scholars have come to stake out their claim on the scientific landscape for the study of interpreting. By doing so, they are addressing a basic human epistemological need, taking charge of a phenomenon at the intersection of language, cognition, interaction and culture that is socially relevant and therefore clearly worth studying.

To put my conclusion that the latter matters in a nutshell: If interpreting studies did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it! Having asserted that interpreting studies matters, we would be challenged to state, economically speaking, what sort of a market there is for the output of interpreting scholars. To whom it matters 3. But the link between research findings and actual teaching practices in the interpreting classroom is rather tenuous.

In recent years, there has been considerable progress in training-oriented research, with studies usually at the doctoral level on strategy use by trainee simultaneous interpreters; on note-taking practices in consecutive interpreting; on the role of preliminary exercises in SI training; or on the assessment criteria applied to final-exam performances. My answer would be two-fold, depending on the timeline along which professional practice and research have evolved.

In more recent times, one of the main challenges facing the interpreting profession has been remote interpreting. Here again, initial implementation efforts could hardly be said to have been based on research findings. At the same time, though, the topic of remote interpreting in international conference settings provides evidence to warrant an affirmative response to the question at hand: Increasingly, interpreting research does matter when it comes to responding to new professional challenges. The review of research on remote interpreting experiments by Mouzourakis is a case in point.

On a much smaller scale, there is also the challenge posed to the traditional consecutive mode by the use of digital recording devices. His call has been heeded by some interpreting scholars e. For a well-known example of what might be seen as the profession following research, I would recall the study of user expectations, which was launched unwittingly by an individual scholar H. At this point we might also reflect on what the relationship between academic research and a profession should be like, for instance by looking at the situation in other professions. We usually like comparing ourselves with the medical profession, or the legal profession, but I would suggest that it is also appropriate to take, say, journalism and communication studies as a paragon.

Do professionals there need the output of researchers? The answer invariably brings us back to the university education of such professionals, where curricula and teaching content, if not also instructional practices, should be research-based and, through the newly graduated generation of practitioners, inform and shape professional practices. This affords the profession a means for the constant development and critical appraisal of its unique body of knowledge and expertise, and it is this mechanism of collective self-reflection that constitutes one of the hallmarks of a profession.

These reflections on the relevance of research to the profession so far have focused on international conference interpreting in spoken languages. I would suggest, without arguing this point at length for lack of space, that research informing practice can also be seen in the field of signed language interpreting e.

As regards the field of community interpreting in general, assessing the role of research for professional practice is more difficult: A case in point is the focus group study by Angelelli on the CHIA standards of practice for healthcare interpreters. Though Angelelli in her article laments the fact that professional developments, such as the drafting and dissemination of a code of practice, are often not sufficiently informed and guided by research, the fact that CHIA commissioned her to do the study does suggest a healthy interaction between research and the profession.

And yet, this example from the Californian context cannot be generalized to other states or countries, where professionalization is often lacking and where the role of research can therefore be discussed not so much in relation to the interpreters as with regard to the institutional contexts in which individuals serving as interpreters are used.

A typical kind of research on community-based settings are studies to assess interpreting needs and communicative practices in a given domain. More sophisticated is the stocktaking study by Erik Hertog and Jan van Gucht on public service interpreting in Flanders e. But to what extent has this type of research been of relevance in shaping a given social and in it, communicative practice?

If we can assume that a social practice — such as professional interpreting — is informed by a body of basic and applied research, via training or through findings bearing directly on an aspect of practice, the same would hold also for other social practices, such as medical interviewing, police questioning, psychotherapy, or refugee status determination. In other words, there would be scientific communities producing basic as well as applied research to inform and guide the respective social practices.

So, how, if we find it difficult enough for interpreting research to shape practices in our very own domain, can we hope to have an impact on practices in a different social institution, such as, broadly, medicine, law enforcement or the judiciary? If we manage this, research alone will be sufficient, and we may simply sit back and be cited. Such interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, however, is easier said than done. Indeed, it can be surprisingly difficult for interpreting researchers to gain access to the relevant fora conferences, journals of other disciplines.

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While a natural side-effect of increasingly differentiated and specialized scientific paradigms, the various barriers to extradisciplinary publication greatly limit the potential impact of our research on interpreting as practiced in certain institutional contexts. This, I suggest, has relatively little to do with publishing papers based on research.

It is in such time-consuming contacts that research-based expertise stands a good chance of being accepted and allowed to have an impact, but not so much through the dissemination of publications as through a translational process that relies on human qualities like openness, flexibility, commitment and communicative skills. In other words, in such development efforts it is not interpreting studies that matters, but the people who promote and leverage its findings in social contexts, ideally by moving toward collaborative research.

Since interpreting is invariably a situated social activity, though, the message here should apply to other domains of interpreting as well.

Conclusion Taking up the challenge of the Ljubljana Congress theme for the sub discipline of interpreting studies, I have argued that interpreting studies matters fundamentally for being the only scientific community to claim and take charge of interpreting as its unique object of study. With regard to practices in institutional user contexts in which community interpreting is embedded, I have suggested that research alone may not matter enough to shape the largely underdeveloped situation on the ground.

Why interpreting studies matters Broadbent, D. Heath eds , — Sinaiko eds , — Shlesinger eds , 53— Taylor eds , 28— A new technique put to the test. Studies and Reflections on Sign Language Interpreting. Expectations of different user groups. Shlesinger eds , — A survey of social welfare institutions and interpreting and translation services in Flanders. A technical perspective on recent experiments. Deaf jurors and the potential for pioneering law reform. Richelle eds , — Presses Universitaires de France.

Doctoral dissertation, University of Vienna. His four fields of professional, critical, policy and public sociology are used to chart similar trends in TS. Burawoy argues for a more visible engagement in public sociology. This paper argues for a similar focus on public Translation Studies. Introduction The growth of Translation Studies TS as an independent discipline during recent decades has been a success story: However, the recent crisis in the humanities amidst the commodification and neoliberalisation of higher education has, at least in my own country, Finland, created an unexpected backlash.

Faced with a need to increase productivity and cut down personnel costs, several Finnish universities are planning or already executing structural reforms where the longstanding independence of translator training which has just had its 40th anniversary is at risk, and severe cuts have been proposed. It seems that the apparent success of TS had gone largely unnoticed by several neighbouring disciplines, and the idea of the separate training mission and research agenda we had cherished was not regarded as a valuable asset either by our colleagues or by the university administration.

The success story seems to be more of an internal narrative than an actual achievement which has been externally recognised. At the same time, the rapidly changing field of the language industry is presenting us academics with constant challenges, as we try to keep up with the developments. Professional practices are evolving in new directions, and stretching and even breaking the boundaries of translation.

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Research in TS has to some extent kept up with the developments, widening its focus to follow the latest moves Delabastita , but research has seldom taken the initiative. This feeling of a less than perfect communication of our aims, values and research results — either beyond the disciplinary boundaries within academia or within the professional field of translation and language mediation called by other names — raises some important questions: Are there some inherent weaknesses in TS, in spite of its apparent successes, and if so, can these be re-enforced?

Is the discipline too narrowly focused? Does it have blind spots that need to be covered? What matters to Translation Studies as a discipline? Does it, or should it, care about the practitioners? Does it support and defend translator training? Do we reach out from or own academic niche?

Are we willing and able to take social responsibility? These are not simple questions. But Translation Studies is not alone in searching for its role in the new constellation of public and private interests. Many disciplines are presently asking similar questions. In this article, the state and status of Translation Studies will be discussed with reference to recent debates about the task of another discipline, sociology.

Division of academic labour In his much-debated presidential address to the American Sociological Association in , Michael Burawoy divides the field of sociology into four subfields, each characterized by its particular combination of audience academic vs. That is, their tasks and values are different, but the field is not properly functional without them all. In a perfect world the flourishing of each type would be the precondition of the flourishing of the others, but Burawoy warns us that each subfield can also develop into a pathological form, or become excluded or subordinated by the others.

It is the source of tested methods, accumulated knowledge, orienting questions and conceptual frameworks, i. In a pathological form, it can become wrapped in itself and get caught in methodological fads and trivial questions. Instrumental knowledge cannot thrive for long without the challenges posed to it by reflexive types of knowledge ibid.: Its values and research agendas need to be constantly re-examined and renewed.

This is the task of critical sociology, the heart and the collective conscience of the discipline. Critical sociology has a strong ethical undercurrent, and it is geared towards a critical reflection on the foundations of the professional subfield ibid.: Both of the two subfields described above primarily address academic audiences. The explicit inclusion within the disciplinary boundaries of the two subfields addressing extra-academic audiences is a key to a new understanding of the varied roles and tasks of academics.

As a social science, sociology has traditionally had close ties to decision-making bodies. Policy sociology provides solutions for the problems defined by clients. It is pragmatic and concrete, and in the service of the community Burawoy It is to be distinguished from public sociology, where the sociologist and the various publics enter a dialogic relation, and their agendas are discussed and adjusted ibid. Traditionally, public sociologists have, for example, raised sociological issues in newspaper articles or popularised research findings for lay people.

Organic public sociology, then, brings the sociologist into active cooperation with a thick, active local group e. This kind of public sociology often remains invisible, as those involved are too busy doing public sociology to have time to write academic articles about it, and it is also often considered to fall outside the discipline because of its practice-orientation ibid.: Burawoy makes a case for a more visible inclusion of extra-academic audiences.

It is not always entirely clear where the borders are to be drawn, especially since Burawoy argues that each quadrant can be further divided along the same axis i. But the particular value of the matrix for the present purposes is that it provides a pragmatic scheme that can be used for analysing how any discipline is positioned in relation to its various potential functions.

It also offers at least tentative answers to the difficulties described above: Division of labour in Translation Studies Translation Studies is often described as an interdiscipline Snell-Hornby , emphasizing its origins in a number of disciplines and its numerous borrowings from various sources. The discipline has a somewhat messy image, and its academic itinerary is convoluted. In recent years, another kind of narrative has also gained currency. The proposed counterpart of the empirical paradigm is a more problematic case.

Many trends in TS, from postcolonial studies to queer theory and beyond, follow research agendas and rationales different from the one valued in ESP, and not all research questions lend themselves to repeatable empirical testing.

And if there is, how far removed is it from its alleged polar opposite of ESP? Interestingly, this latter division has mainly been promoted by the EST, in its research forums and on the EST website. The number of translational phenomena one can study by empirical testing is limited. The list of names Daniel Gile n.

Research in the linguistic aspects and the history of translation is often conducted within Descriptive Translation Studies DTS , arguably the most popular research paradigm in TS during recent decades, both for those interested in literary translation and for those interested in corpus studies. The ethos of DTS is, as the name implies, against prescriptiveness, and similar to ESP it values empirical data, objectivity and rigorous analysis distinguishing between the two is, in fact, rather a matter of interpretation.

It also follows that it is largely defined by what it is not, i. LAP research, according to Gile n. The resulting picture partly resembles a caricature of bad research. Surely, rigorousness, fact-based argumentation and working with data can and should be expected from serious research within any paradigm. This is also, I think, the greatest achievement of ESP: The scientific ethos, and the perception of TS as a wannabe hard science, together with a particular understanding of what empirical research can be, has also resulted in a persistent disciplinary inferiority complex.

For example, the seminal work of Gideon Toury often functions as the backbone of ESP research projects, but his own research might be more appropriately categorized as LAP. Similarly, Andrew Chesterman has vigorously argued for ESP research, with a strong emphasis on causality and hypothesis-testing. He has, however, not engaged in such enterprises himself see also Gile This subfield contains all metatheoretical critical investigations examining the foundations of TS thus arguably including both this article and many of those cited here , and also a large proportion of ethically motivated critical approaches such as feminist or postcolonial studies see also Koskinen In this scheme, it is the moral duty of critical Translation Studies to initiate debates within TS and to spark discussion about the ethical values of research.

Admittedly, research identified as LAP by Gile is more prone to moral statements and is thus partially — but not entirely — located in the critical TS camp in the Burawoy matrix. Instead of trying to make predictions, a theory of translation should attempt to empower translators-to-be and raise their conscience as writers concerning the responsibility they will face in the seminal role they will play in the establishment of all sorts of relationships between cultures.

One can also discern a worry over the fragmentation, incoherence or non-cumulativeness of TS in these accounts, and the desire to create a duality may be interpreted as an attempt to systematise the field. In its pathological form, critical TS can become dogmatic and lock itself into an antagonistic position with respect to professional TS, thus hampering rather than enhancing the flourishing of the field. Critical TS needs a multifaceted and thriving professional TS. It seems plausible to argue that in Translation Studies both scientific and critical subfields are alive and well see, however, Gile and Hansen The recent discussions also indicate that there are conscious efforts towards a dialogic interaction between them, making development towards a pathological form less likely.

But how has TS catered for its extra-academic audiences? Answers are harder to find, since these issues may not be documented in academic publications. In Finland, there are some success stories. For example, following her dissertation on authorized translation i. Similarly, in community interpreting the small Finnish research community is actively involved in steering the practice. But are these isolated cases, or do we often have a say in policy decisions related to TS? Or, do we make ourselves heard? It remains to be seen, for example, whether the TS community will have much say in training reforms in addition to national reforms such as in Finland, there is the on-going Bologna process and the EMT network.

It seems that at least in Finland we have not yet been very successful in creating the publics that would take us on board in policy work see Burawoy For example, when the Ministry of Education set up a large and influential national task force to reconsider and forecast the needs for all kinds of language training in Finland in , no representative of translator training was invited to join the group KIEPO Those setting up the working group simply never came to think about translator training this did not prevent them from making statements and forecasts about it, though.

There thus is, at least potentially, a growing market for research-based consultation and benchmarking for best practices. Different from sociology however, where connections to the state apparatus have traditionally been strong in particular in the Nordic countries several potential clients of policy TS may also be found in the private sector.

I suspect many training institutions do have pragmatic networking projects traineeships, visiting lecturers, real translation and interpreting assignments, etc. The idea of policy TS in the Burawoy matrix is to do the opposite, bringing the instrumental knowledge generated by scientific TS to the professional field. In the best of cases, this dialogic knowledgesharing can lead to a mutually rewarding experience where new knowledge is generated in the process, creating a shift from policy TS to public TS.

Located along the instrumental horizontal axis, policy TS cherishes concrete and effective interventions, and the pragmatic aims easily override the more critical reflections. In a pathological form, it is prone to a servile attitude. That is why it requires public TS to function as its conscience. But do we have a flourishing subfield of public Translation Studies? First there was the speculative and utopian phase of the founders, strongly imbued with moral concerns.

The second phase was of positive science and empirical research. As a reaction to the earlier phase, this positivist science wanted to expel moral questions from the realm of science entirely Burawoy It calls for a new kind of science, and this third phase is that of public sociology: It calls for a science that seeks to develop alternative values, hence the importance of value discussions, what I have called critical sociology.

I call this reflexive science, a science that is not frightened of reflecting on its value foundations nor of articulating them publicly, but science nonetheless. Commodified programmes, increased productivity requirements both in research and degrees awarded, and business-oriented restructuring of universities are all background factors for the present plight of translator training in Finland. As a latecomer to the academic scene of language programmes, it may become a casualty of this marketisation. No matter how interesting findings scientific Translation Studies can unearth, no matter how sharply critical Translation Studies reflects on the foundations of TS research programmes and on the state of the art in the professional world, none of this is of much value unless we are able to communicate these beyond our own small cadre of TS scholars.

Public Translation Studies, if it was designed along the lines of public sociology, would need to begin by identifying and if necessary creating the relevant publics. In addition to reaching out to the general audiences unidirectionally via the opinion pages of newspapers and popularised books, it could also include more dialogic and engaged forms.

For example, actively reaching out for a sustained dialogue with neighbouring disciplines might have spared us some misunderstandings. Over the years, we may have been too complacent in creating our own little nest. Perhaps there have also been attempts at dialogue, with little success, leaving us disheartened. But as a discipline we cannot matter to others unless we communicate with them. Considering the recent changes in the profession, together with the declining working conditions reported by many practitioners, we might also find a responsive audience from among the professionals.

Starting from where they are, not where we scholars are cf. At the time of the revision process June the worst turmoil around Finnish translator training hopefully is over, and it now seems that most programmes will prevail, albeit within new institutional structures and with somewhat diminished resources. To an extent, there may even be beneficial consequences as we have been forced to rethink our aims and values and to restructure our programmes accordingly.

With its roots in the practicalities of translation and translator training, TS has never really been in an ivory tower. But public TS remains largely invisible. The organic dialogic interventions we scholars may engage in seldom get reported in academic fora, nor are they recorded for academic merits. Burawoy argues that in sociology this needs to change. The same might well apply to Translation Studies. The present instability both in universities and in the professional field make his call for increased public engagement resonate in Translation Studies as well as in sociology.

The matrix can be of assistance in assessing whether there is a good balance between the four types of academic labour. Among the questions we should ask are the following: Is the public image of TS within and beyond academia as good as it might be? Is the profession thriving?

Are we in touch with recent developments? Are the effects of translation on various groups understood and taken into account in translation policies? Is there enough critical discussion within and beyond TS about the goals and values of research? Answers to these questions indicate that there is room for public Translation Studies. Translation Studies as a discipline cannot focus on scientific progress only. All four fields need to be addressed. Compared to sociology, Translation Studies is a miniature discipline.

In the American Sociological Association alone, there are 14, members. According to Burawoy, most of them only occupy one quadrant of the matrix at a time In contrast, the success of policy and public Translation Studies may depend on the ability of TS scholars and translator trainers to occupy multiple locations, either in succession or simultaneously.

This is a tall order, and there are obvious limits to what an individual scholar can achieve. It is not without irony that as I am writing this article, there is a draft opinion piece concerning the plight of translator training in Finland on my desk, waiting for my comments. My pursuits for addressing the academic audience are thus actively stalling my contribution to public Translation Studies.

However, there is also a positive side to this lack of manpower. There is less risk of compartmentalisation, as individual scholars cannot be put into one box and labelled. In spite of the obvious hindrances, the time may be ripe for a more explicit inclusion of an activist component of TS similar and parallel to activist translation identified and recently widely debated and discussed by academics e. Scholars in the field of Translation Studies need to ask themselves two fundamental questions cf. These questions can and should be answered in a number of ways. Public Translation Studies is not a singular form but plural: This is where the fragmented and diversified nature of Translation Studies actually comes in handy: Public Translation Studies has no nor should have intrinsic normative valence; its only commitment is to the dialogue around issues raised in and by the field it is engaged with Burawoy Do these issues matter to Translation Studies?

Translating and the network economy. Also available at https: Pedagogies for Translation and Interpreting, Tennent, M. In Translation Research and Interpreting Research: Traditions, Gaps and Synergies, C. Gile eds , — Ammattitoiminnan ja auktorisointimenettelyn yhteensovittamisen haaste The Licensed Translator Safeguarding the Public Interest.

Reflections on recent trends in Translation Studies. Activism, social change and the role of translation in geopolitical shifts. Translation and society Translators as cultural mediators Wish or reality? Do most translators see themselves in this way and are they viewed as such by those who employ or commission them? Does the relative status of the translator within a particular society make it more or less likely that he or she is going to function as a genuine cultural mediator, or is this more dependent on institutional attitudes to translation or even on the type of translation being carried out?

How significant are cultural differences with regard to text production, as well as the differing status of the two cultures involved? These are the kinds of questions that Translation Studies should be able to answer.


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They will be discussed here in relation to a specific cultural context and textual genre: Introduction Translation Studies deals not only with the process and product of translation as a linguistic phenomenon, but also with translation as a form of intercultural mediation taking place in a specific social and cultural context.

And translators are increasingly portrayed as cultural mediators who possess a high degree of intercultural competence, as well as relevant subject-area expertise and other non-linguistic skills cf. My interest in this issue arises from the gap I perceive — at least, in the context in which I work — between what many translation scholars say should be the case a good example is the concluding statement made by Snell-Hornby These are, of course, the kinds of questions to which Translation Studies should be able to provide answers, for one of the aims of translation research should be to describe and evaluate the actual state of affairs in the field.

It is also uncertain whether the order of the sonnets is right or does it make any sense to rearrange the sequence. Even the division of the sequence into two parts — sonnet one till address a young man and sonnet till address the Dark Lady — is questionable because many of the sonnets have no gender-markers. However, most editors accept the ordering from the edition. With poems, Shakespeare wrote the longest sonnet cycle of the Elizabethan age. The whole sequence ends with two rather insignificant love sonnets which have nothing to do with the previous sonnets.

Seminar paper from the year in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: Idioms appear as isolated lexical units. These expres-sions have become rigid within the language. They are used in a fixed way without reference to the literal meaning of their component words. The common phenomenon that the meaning of an expression is difficult or even impossi-ble to deduce from the meaning of the components it is composed of is called Idiomaticity Fiedler The meaning of the components is difficult to derive because of the arbi-trariness in form and meaning.

However, if idioms were arbitrary, they would not be moti-vated. The aim of this term paper is to observe the motivation of idioms of fear and thereby determine that idioms are not arbitrary. Prediction and motivation will be distinguished in chapter 2. The emotion fear and the difference between this term and the related word anxiety will be described in chapter 2.

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