Dialogue interpreting: A monologising practice in a dialogically organised world

Cecilia Wadensjö

This paper investigates dialogue interpreting as a monologising social practice, and demonstrates how this can be done within a general theoretical framework of dialogism. Drawing on earlier research on naturally occurring, interpreted face-to-face interaction, the paper argues for treating dialogue interpreting as a separate empirical field within the general field of Translation Studies. The constant overlap between target and source environment is identified as one of its characteristic features. Adding to the current discussion on ethics in Translation Studies, the paper finally highlights the point of distinguishing between interpreters’ professional ideology and lived professional practice.

Table of contents

In a recent thematic volume on ethics in Translation Studies, Pym (2001) identified a return to ethical issues as a trend. This trend could perhaps partly be explained by the close link between studies on translation and translators’ professional development. To my mind, an ongoing discussion among professionals on professional ethics is a goal in itself, linked as it is to the process of developing and sustaining a shared professional ideology. This paper aims at adding to this trend, not by suggesting measures by which to evaluate what translators uniquely do, but by demonstrating ways to understand and explore the nature of a specific branch within Translation Studies, namely dialogue interpreting.

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