Publication details [#10466]

Roy, Cynthia B. 2002. The problem with definitions, descriptions, and the role metaphors of interpreters. In Pöchhacker, Franz and Miriam Shlesinger. The Interpreting Studies reader. London & New York: Routledge. pp. 345–353.
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Chapter in bk
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This paper is an investigation of the ways in which various scholars and practitioners have sought to describe the process of interpreting and the role of the interpreter. The author discusses traditional definitions of interpreting and suggests that metaphors and metaphorical descriptions have assisted our understanding of the role of the interpreter. After a brief discussion of the changes in the profession, the author describes some of the metaphors that have come about in interpreting and relates a brief history of the metaphorical descriptions that have arisen in sign language interpreting. Unfortunately, these descriptions and definitions have limited the profession’s own ability to understand the interpreting event itself and the role of the interpreter within the event. This has led to a belief system about interpreting which is based on the unexamined notion of the interpreter as a conduit. To understand why a change in perspective is necessary, we must first examine these definitions and descriptions to understand why they are unsatisfactory. [Source: Abstract in journal]