Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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This article approaches user reception of interpreting events by investigating video users’ parasocial interactions about a specific interpreter on the interface. The video of Chinese athlete Sun Yang’s public hearing (facilitated by an ad hoc interpreter) hosted on the Chinese video-sharing site, Bilibili, was chosen as a case study. Proceeding from an adapted parasocial interaction framework that features nine underlying parasocial processes, this study categorizes and analyses users’ comments directed at the interpreter, mainly qualitatively but also quantitatively. It also examines them as manifestations or verbalizations of their parasocial interactions with the interpreter on screen in cognitive and affective dimensions. The findings show users’ noticeable preference for engaging in evaluation- and comprehension-oriented interactions and expressing their sympathy and empathy towards the interpreter. The findings also show that the parasocial interaction framework usefully accommodates a plethora of user reactions to the interpreter and their performance and offers a way of investigating relevant utterances systematically in a seemingly chaotic space.


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