De-/Re-Contextualizing Conference Interpreting
Interpreters in the Ivory Tower?
This groundbreaking study explores Simultaneous Conference Interpreting (SI) by focusing on interpreters as professionals working in socio-cultural contexts and on the interdependency between these contexts and actual SI behavior. While previous research on SI has been dominated by cognitive and psycholinguistic approaches, Diriker’s work explores SI in relation to the broader and more immediate socio-cultural contexts by investigating the representation of the profession(al) in the meta-discourse and by exploring the presence of interpreters and the nature of the interpreted utterance at an actual conference. Making use of participant observations, interviews and analysis of conference transcripts, Diriker challenges some of the widely held assumptions about SI. She suggests that the interpreter’s delivery represents not only the speaker but a multiplicity of speaker-positions, and that this multiplicity may well be a source of tension or vulnerability, as well as strength, for interpreters. Her analysis also highlights how interpreters negotiate meaning in SI, and underscores the need for more concerted efforts to explore SI in authentic contexts.