Volume 63, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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By examining the types and frequencies of non-renditions in a 100-hour corpus of court interpreting records from Hong Kong, this study demonstrated that court interpreters actively coordinate communication when carrying out their interpreting duties. Non-renditions are interpreters’ utterances that do not have a corresponding counterpart in the source language, and such renditions are ordinarily used to coordinate interpreter-mediated exchanges. This analysis revealed that in the Hong Kong court setting, non-renditions were less common in English (the court language) than in Cantonese (the main language of the witnesses and defendants). In the Cantonese subsample, interactional non-renditions were more common than textual non-renditions, and most of these utterances were self-initiated rather than prompted by others. In the English subsample, textual non-renditions were more common than interactional non-renditions, and most of them were other-prompted. The skewed distribution of non-renditions, and particularly the tendency to address non-renditions to the lay participants, suggests that court interpreters may not be absolutely impartial.


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