Interpreter modification of discourse features in the media : a study of the broadcast trial of Saddam Hussein
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This thesis aims to make an empirically-based contribution to existing research on interpreting in the media. It explores how a media context contributes to interpreters’ implementation of reporting techniques and features and does this through an exploration of the interpreting from the broadcast of Saddam Hussein’s trial in Iraq during the period 2005 to 2006. The study draws on previous research into Translation and Interpreting Studies, Conversational Analysis, and reporting techniques in the media, and employs a descriptive approach to the performance of the interpreters in the trial. A predominantly descriptive methodology is adopted in order to analyse the performance and decision-making process of the interpreters in transcribed sessions of the trial. This analysis is principally guided by Wadensjö’s model of renditions (1998), Chesterman’s translation strategies (1997) and Dimitriu’s omission strategies (2004). Two styles of interpreting in the media are identified with regard to the interpreting techniques adopted by the interpreters. These are verbatim and the reporting styles, and they demonstrate the influence of the media context on the interpreters’ decision-making process and prioritisation of information in their output. The verbatim style is closer to the source utterance than the reporting style. The latter implements reporting techniques such as summarisation, and addition of information among other techniques. Both styles also highlight the role which the purpose of using interpreters in an interaction can have on their performance and role in the interaction. Both styles of interpreting illustrate to what extent the media interpreter can assume authorship of her output depending on the context and purpose of the output. Implications of these influences for the theory and pedagogy of translation and interpreting are made, and a number of avenues for future research are suggested.