Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving


July 20th, 2006

I was going to give her a hard time for only budgeting a half-hour with me &emdash; after I came all the way from the US! &emdash; but then I was the one at the wrong Starbucks. :-/ Besides, she gave me an hour. 🙂 And, I’ve read her excellent book: De-/Re-Contextualizing Conference Interpreting: Interpreters in the Ivory Tower?.
I should have been diligent about notes the entire conversation because she mentioned at least a half-dozen names of folks I ought to follow up on. Some were familier: Pochhacker, Toury, Seleskovitch. Others I recognized after she wrote them down: Vuorikoski (I have one article by her, I think), and Morven Beaton (I remember at least an hour with the librarian trying to track down her work). I’m not sure about Kaisa Koskinen . . . perhaps.
I pitched Blommaert to her, especially his work on voice, which he argues is the proper object of critique in critical discourse analysis: “Voice stands for the way in which people manage to make themselves understood or fail to do so. In doing so, they draw upon and deploy discursive means which they have at their disposal, and they have to use them in contexts that are specified as to conditions of use. Consequently, if these conditions are not met, people ‘don’t make sense’ &emdash; they fail to make themselves understood &emdash; and the actual reasons for this are manifold” (Blommaert 2005: 4-5).
We had quite the animated conversation (helped along, no doubt, by caffeine and chocolate).
Here’s as good a place as any to post these notes on language, interpreting, and meaning (since that is the gist of what we discussed):
From , fiction by Barry Unsworth:
The ten year old son sneaks out of the house in Beshiktash: “Henry thought suddenly about the little girl in the neighboring house, whom he had met that afternoon. They had had a kind of conversation without using any words at all . . . “ ( 1982: 70).
[regarding interpreter non-partiality] “The Turks bowed, unsmiling, then moved in a body to seat themselves at the far end of the table. With them went the interpreter, a man in a fez and long, buttoned tunic.
“Worsley-Jones began the proceedings, referring in general terms to ground already covered and to the great interest shown in the pacification of Macedonia by the late Ambassador. He spoke easily and well, looking from face to face along the table, pausing for the interpreter. The Turks listened impassively” (1982: 105). [regarding “invisibility” of the interpreter]
“Markham saw Nesbitt turn his head suddenly towards the speaker, sensed from that the unexpected nature of what was being said. He began to listen carefully, not waiting for the interpreter” (1982: 107). [regarding nonverbal communication and group dynamics]

Leave a Comment

Categories: Interpreting

Leave a Reply