Interpreting is interpreting
Why we need to leave behind interpreting settings to discover Comparative Interpreting Studies
This article argues that the use of interpreting settings as theoretical categories is no longer empirically sound. Instead, research should focus on the commonalities of all interpreting practice. This move is viewed as an enabling shift for the creation of Comparative Interpreting Studies, a strand dedicated to considering interpreting as a global practice. After discussing the rationale for the current use of interpreting settings as analytical categories, evidence from a variety of existing settings is used to illustrate the commonalities between all instances of interpreting and the fuzziness of the boundaries between these settings. It is argued that using interpreting settings leads to silo thinking, where researchers focus on research in the setting in which they are working, even when findings from other settings can be applied. The article ends with a discussion of the theoretical and practical potential of this move including the power of a comparative approach.
Keywords: interpreting studies, interpreting settings, comparative interpreting studies, categorization, interpreting theory, interpreting research methods
Published online: 06 July 2020
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