Language into Language

Cultural, Legal and Linguistic Issues for Interpreters and Translators

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About the Book

Language into Language, conceived as both a theoretical and a practical source for aspiring and practicing interpreters and translators, also serves courtroom personnel (judges, attorneys, and reporters) and social-service administrators, as well as language teachers, diplomats, and business executives who are involved in bilingual and bicultural environments and language transactions.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Saúl Sibirsky practices translation and interpretation in Connecticut and has taught at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Pittsburgh, and Cornell College, Iowa.
Martin C. Taylor has taught Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Nebraska. The former dean of the Panama Center of Nova Southeastern University, he is the author of several books and articles on Latin American Literature.

Bibliographic Details

Saúl Sibirsky and Martin C. Taylor
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 254
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4811-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2276-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
A Note from the Authors      xiii
Preface      1

PART I: LEGAL, PROFESSIONAL, ETHICAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND ECONOMIC ISSUES
1. Introduction
A. A Brief Overview      5
B. The Authors’ Aspirations      7

2. Historical Perspectives from the New World
A. Communication and the Military      9
B. The Americas: Language Follows the Flag      9

3. Language and the Legal Systems
A. Federal Court Interpreters Act      13
B. Justice for the Limited-in-English Proficiency (LEP)      15
C. English-Only Statutes, Challenges, and the LEP      16
D. The “LEP” Controversy      19

4. Need for Adequate Interpretation and Translation
A. Are Interpreters Interlopers?      21
B. Language Mistakes      22
C. Ad Hoc or Stand-In Interpreters      22
D. Interpreters Bridge the Gaps      25
E. Consequences of a Lack of Interpreters      25

5. Professional Standards
A. Ethical Conduct      27
B. Expectations of Professionals      29
C. NAJIT’s and SDNY’s Codes      30
D. The Interpreter’s Role in Unfair Situations      32
E. Ethics, Meta-Ethics, and Postville      34
F. The Judicial System and Science      37

6. Professional Qualifications
A. Interpreting Day by Day      39
B. Journal of an Itinerant Interpreter      40
C. Neutrality and Decorum vis-à-vis Misfortunes      42
D. Physical and Emotional Conditioning      43
E. Professional Qualifications Defined      45
F. Minimal and Desirable Characteristics      46
G. Defending Professional Standards      47

7. Training, Testing, and Certification
A. Colleges/Universities: U.S., Canada, and Other Areas      51
B. California      54
C. Arizona and South Carolina      55
D. Medical Interpreting in English-Only States      56
E. Florida      57
F. Sign Language: D.C. and Arkansas      58
G. Tests and Testing      58
H. Certification      61
I. Self-Directed Competency      66
J. Additional Research Resources      69
K. A Debate: Ortega and the Necessity and Sufficiency of Training      71

8. Economics, Jobs, Salaries
A. Skills vs. Economic Worth      74
B. Government Agencies      76
C. Federal and State Courts      78
D. Private Sector Opportunities      83
E. Journals with Jobs      84
F. Networking at Conferences at Home and Abroad      85
G. Private Employment Agencies      85
H. Salary Surveys and ATA’s Role      89

PART II: INTERPRETATION AND TRANSLATION IN CULTURAL, LEGAL, AND LINGUISTIC CONTEXTS
9. Comparing Interpretation and Translation
A. Formal Definitions      95
B. Operational Definitions      96
C. Philosophical Definitions      96
D. Guide to Classified Definitions      97
E. Desirable Characteristics in Interpreters      105
F. Traits of Successful Translators      106
G. Machine Translators vs. Human Translators      106
H. Translators and Interpreters in/of Literary Texts      108

10. Decoding and Encoding Multidimensional Language
A. Interpretation as Communication      112
B. Triangular and Multidimensional Interpretation      114
C. The Speech-Chain Bridge and Diagram      116
D. Memory in Storing and Decoding “Units of Meaning”      117

11. Modes of Interpretation and Translation
A. Overview of the Modes      120
B. The Summary Interpretation Mode (SummI)      121
C. Consecutive Interpreting (CI)      121
D. Simultaneous Interpreting (SI)      125
E. Whispered SI, or Chuchotage, in Diplomacy      129
F. Interpreters as Scapegoats      130
G. Conference Interpreting (ConfI)      131
H. Sight Translation (ST)      133
I. Guidelines for Improving Performance      134

12. Verbal and Nonverbal Equivalencies in the Courtroom
A. Searching for Verbal Equivalency      135
B. Strategies for Finding Equivalencies      144
C. Equivalencies via Grammar or Linguistics      146
D. Nonverbal Equivalencies or Gestures      148

13. Settings and Procedures in Legal and Social Venues
A. Existential Aspects of Interpretation      151
B. Factors that Affect the Settings      151
C. Classification of the Settings      152

14. Playacting and Power Relationships in the Courtroom
A. Interpreters as Actors      170
B. Roles of the Other Players      172
C. Varieties of Power      177
D. Power Misplaced      180
E. The Power of Excellence and Modesty      186

15. Implications of Bilingualism
A. Defining Bilinguals and Bilingualism      188
B. Bilingual Interpreters and Translators      190
C. Code-Switching Patterns of Bilinguals      191
D. LEPs and Other Second-Language Learners      193
E. The Brain and Second-Language Learning      195
F. The Bilingual Education Act      197
G. Political, Cultural, and Security Aspects      198

16. Cultures and Languages in Play
A. Cultural Possibilities      201
B. Culture and Interpretation      204
C. Words Transmit and Distort Culture      207
D. Alternative Cultural Perspectives      212

Chapter Notes      219
Author and Works Cited      228
Suggested Readings      233
Index      235

Book Reviews & Awards

“exceptionally well written…strongly recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “solid…excellent compendium…a one-stop reference…highly recommended”—Proteus.