Types of oral translation in the Australian context
This paper discusses oral translation work carried out in Australia. It argues that the physical presence of the translator is a significant factor both for the act of translation and for the development of typologies of translation. In his highly readable and extremely thought-provoking book Grammatical Man Jeremy Campbell titles one of his chapters “The Struggle against Randomness” (Campbell, 1982:75). I believe that this is an apt definition of our particular concerns with the development of text typologies. I consider it a struggle because in my view we are still grappling with the randomness of phenomena; we are still in a high entropy state. The aim of this paper is to attempt to make a small contribution to the typology debate by outlining some observations of certain data which form part of the random world of texts; these data are different in at least two ways: one, they are derived from the Australian context and two, they refer to “oral translations” which, while being specific to the Australian context are firmly ensconced in the universe of oral translations. I intend to briefly describe the Australian context and then outline the characteristics of that context which sets it apart from others. I shall then discuss a theoretical framework for the observations which will be subsequently described and finally, I shall venture a possible avenue for further investigation.
Published online: 01 January 1988