Volume 67, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Interpreting is an activity embedded in a particular socio-cultural context that underpins norms of interpreting. Adopting the descriptive translation studies approach, this study aims to find out whether the interpretation for the Chinese government by institutional interpreters is becoming more target-oriented in the decade of the 2010s in comparison with the 1990s. Through both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the Corpus of Interpreted Chinese Government Press Conferences in the 1990s and that of the 2010s, the study reveals that there is a significant increase in the total number of target-oriented shifts in the 2010s, manifested predominantly in “inserting hedges before propositional statements” and “modality shifts to attenuate ST’s categorical force.” Only minimal differences are found for the number of shifts in “explicitation of emphatic meanings,” “specification of Chinese source deictic lexis,” and “explicitation of implicit logic relations” between the two periods. The results thus indicate a general trend of becoming more target-oriented in interpreting, particularly a tendency to mitigate ST’s illocutionary force to a greater extent in the 2010s. Such changes in China’s institutional interpreting are correlated with the evolving socio-political context and the norms of institutional interpreting.


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