The Speaker Is Being Impolite. How Is the Interpreter Interpreting That?

Wang, C. 2025. Forthcoming. The Speaker Is Being Impolite. How Is the Interpreter Interpreting That? Across Languages and Cultures. 686.

TitleThe Speaker Is Being Impolite. How Is the Interpreter Interpreting That?
TypeJournal article
AuthorsWang, C.
Abstract

Situations where a source speaker attacks their addressee’s face pose a challenge for interpreters, due to the potential controversy or conflicts to which impoliteness is prone from a pragmatic perspective. In this study, I drew upon Bousfield’s (2008) linguistic model of impoliteness and used a political speech by Nigel Farage, a former UK politician, at the European Parliament to examine how conference interpreters interpret impoliteness. I also conducted an interview immediately after the experiment to probe interpreters’ motivations behind their impoliteness interpreting moves. Analysis of the interpreting data from eighteen participants has evinced that (a) speaker-input impoliteness is predominately attenuated by interpreters and is seldom strengthened, and (b) for less experienced interpreters, attenuation is consistently the most frequent manoeuvre to interpret impoliteness among the five ones discovered; for more experienced interpreters, attenuations decrease in number and close renditions increase, with the latter sometimes surpassing the former; More experienced interpreters also have much less or no omissions or misrepresentations. Analysis of the interview data indicates that (a) attenuations and close renditions are interpreters’ intended decisions, and (b) omissions and misrepresentations are forced options. It is hoped that the findings from the current study will contribute to the literature on impoliteness interpreting.

Keywordsconference interpreters
impoliteness interpreting
interview
retrospections
simultaneous interpreting
Article number686
JournalAcross Languages and Cultures
ISSN1585-1923
Year2025
PublisherAkadémiai Kiadó
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Controlled (open metadata, closed files)

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