This paper describes knowledge acquisition of professional conference interpreters in Taiwan when dealing with unfamiliar topics:
the focus is on how the required knowledge is developed before, during and after a conference. We interviewed 10 Chinese-English
interpreters, to find out about their preparation for such conferences and their approach to developing domain-specific knowledge.
We first collected each interpreter’s five latest conference programs and used these to analyze the knowledge domains covered. We
then based each interview on one conference agenda, considered representative by the interpreter, to examine the knowledge
acquisition process from pre- to post-conference. The results show strategic preparation of unfamiliar topics: to facilitate
comprehension and reformulation, interpreters make good use of conference documents and compile glossaries in which they organize
the concepts and terminology specific to the conference. As they assimilate the language usage of the presenters and other
participants during the conference, they use their analytical skills to manage any difficulties. Keeping in mind the aims of the
event (e.g., commercial, scientific), as well as the profiles of the speakers and target audience, helps to optimize availability
of relevant knowledge at short notice and continue updating it during the assignment.
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(2001) Interpretation of technical conferences. Conference Interpretation and Translation 3 (1), 7–29.
(2002) The interpreter’s preparation for technical conferences: Methodological questions in investigating the topic. Conference Interpretation and Translation 4 (2), 7–27.
(2005) Empirical research into the role of knowledge in interpreting: Methodological aspects. In H. V. Dam, J. Engberg & H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Eds.), Knowledge systems and translation. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 149–171.
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Cited by 6 other publications
Abdel Latif, Muhammad M. M.
2020. Researching Professional Translator/Interpreter Experiences and Roles. In Translator and Interpreter Education Research [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ], ► pp. 125 ff.
Chen, Hua, Ying Wang & T. Pascal Brown
2021. The effects of topic familiarity on information completeness, fluency, and target language quality of student interpreters in Chinese–English consecutive interpreting. Across Languages and Cultures 22:2 ► pp. 176 ff.
Corpas Pastor, Gloria
2022. Interpreting Tomorrow? How to Build a Computer-Assisted Glossary of Phraseological Units in (Almost) No Time. In Computational and Corpus-Based Phraseology [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 13528], ► pp. 62 ff.
2021. “The Interpretation Zone”: European Geopolitics and the Interpretive Body. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 111:4 ► pp. 1219 ff.
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