Volume 61, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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High-level political interpreting in China is a specialized interpretation with distinct principles and requirements and among them the interpreter’s political awareness plays a critical role. In this article, the political awareness is investigated through a detailed examination of the interpreter’s experiential meaning transfer using former Chinese Premier Zhu’s debut press conference in 1998 as a case study. The study then identifies three types of political awareness-manipulated strategies employed by the interpreter at the conference: (a) the addition of experiential meaning to express political standpoint; (b) the omission of experiential meaning to eliminate potential negative political effects; (c) the correction of inaccurate experiential meaning to avoid political misunderstanding. Lastly, implications are drawn with reference to field as one of the contextual variables and the social institutional context. The article argues that political awareness on the part of the political and diplomatic interpreter in China is a paramount interpreting competence, that effective interpretation of the Chinese state leader’s speeches depends upon the interpreter’s high level of political awareness, and that such awareness is determined by the source text’s relevant field and Chinese specific social institutional context.


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