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How Interpreters’ Professional Background Affects Performance and Strategies: Taking the Legal Domain as an Example
Past studies have shown that companies or clients, particularly those in a professional field, highly value background knowledge and would often hire an individual with related expertise to interpret for them. However, interpreting is also a profession requiring expertise, and is not an easy task for those without interpreting training. The present study examines how two different groups of interpreters perform when interpreting a speech of a professional domain—law. The data were collected from two participants with a master’s in law and who regularly interpret in the market, and two participants with a master’s in conference interpreting and who have some experience interpreting legal
matters. The four participants were asked to interpret a speech of a legal nature and a speech of a general topic in the consecutive mode to compare their performance and use of strategies. Finally, a group of listeners were invited to rate the interpreters and were asked to select their preference. Results revealed that professional interpreters were able to produce an interpretation with higher accuracy and fewer erroneous additions and disfluencies. As well, seventeen of the twenty listeners preferred the professional interpreter over the legal expert. This was mainly because professional interpreters were able to make use of skills acquired in interpreting training, such as note-taking and generalization. Furthermore, skills such as delivering their interpretation fluently and concisely were also appreciated by listeners. Thus, results suggest that even if the speech is of a technical subject, professional interpreters possess an advantage if they are given adequate time to prepare.
|Appears in Collections:||翻譯碩士學位學程|
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