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Discourse Processes

Interpreting is the process by which people whose discourse systems are different communicate with each other in face-to-face interactions. Interpreting, then, coincides or happens within these processes and so is intimately bound up in discourse processes. Thus, interpreting inherently constructs and is constructed by many of the same elements and strategies as discourse processes, and interpreting has to be investigated while examining the discourse process.

To understand how interpreting the analytical model of discourse happens analysis and the theoretical principles of discourse are used to account for the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of an interpreted event. The analytical framework suggested by the approaches to discourse account for several themes in this study.

one, the aim of this work is to describe the linguistic and sociolinguistic activities of one interpreter involved in an authentic interpreted event, rather than prescribe certain ideals or norms about interpreters or interpreting. Following Tannen (1984) , the aim is to investigate an entire interaction which appears to be successful and to ask not only what the interpreter is doing but how the interpreter is managing the cross-cultural communication.

Two, discourse approaches also suggest that everyone within an interaction is а part of the interaction and thus contributing in different ways to the direction and outcome of the event. Consequently, to study the interpreter alone will not explain nor account for the “multi-directional and multi-layered processes of interpretation” ( Wadensjo 1998: 8) Much of the research focuses on а one-way activity and thus focuses on the production of а text by the interpreter.

When people engage in interpreted conversations, however, they see themselves as engaging in talk-oriented tasks, such as providing information, giving advice, asking questions, and so on, this poses other and different questions about the interpreter’s activity and message production. Three, an interpreter’s primary concern while interpreting is to make sense of what any one person means when saying something and to convey that same sense to another person.

How something is said and meant is guided by а number of relationships, the same sort of relationships that а discourse analyst uses when determining what speakers mean, such as speaker intentions, conventionalized strategies for making intentions recognizable, the meaning and function of linguistic forms, the sequential context of utterances, discourse genre, the social context, and а cultural framework of beliefs and actions. These relationships are the foundation of the complex process of discourse and interpreting.

Thus, in а manner of speaking, interpreters are discourse analysts, and the speech event of interpreting is а discourse process. Translation and Interpretation Eugene Nida has suggested that the “significance of translation as an act of communication has been overlooked or underestimated” and has called for translation to be studied as а communicative event with the publication of edited collection Translation, many authors began to call for studying translation (which is text-centered) and its related field, interpreting (which is speech-centered), as communicative processes.

In the introduction, Brislin notes: “There is а recent study area in the social and behavioral sciences that is devoted to just these aspects of communication in social settings. It is called sociolinguistics, and it has been described in а number of places. Nida’s point was that sociolinguistic theory focuses on language performance which, in turn, focuses the translator’s attention on the person who receives the message.

“Because translating always involves communication within the context of interpersonal relations, the model for such activity must be а communication model, and the principles must be primarily sociolinguistic” (1976: 78) Nida advocated sociolinguistic theory because he knew that translation processes needed to account for а myriad of factors–interpersonal relations, extra linguistic features, and linguistic, cultural, and social variants–that influence the way а message is formed and understood.

As Nida called for this change, sociolinguistics had just begun to account for these same social factors as they influenced meaning when language was used within а particular social event or institution. What Gumperz and Hymes made clear in the preface to Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication (1972) is that the primary theoretical goal of sociolinguistic investigation is the concept of communicative competence: what а speaker needs to know to communicate effectively in culturally significant settings.

Communicative competence includes not only the grammatical competence а speaker has but the knowledge of culturally appropriate “ways of speaking,” such as how to ask for information, give praise, complain, joke, and so on. This had an impact on translation because translations are written to specific audiences for specific reasons and to accomplish specific goals. Translators had to know how societies or cultures used words, phrases, and sentences in order to interpret them to and audience in а meaningful way.

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