The use of corpus data in interpreting research is recent. In 1998 Miriam Shlesinger called upon the interpreting research community to start collecting corpus data for interpreting and so far mostly small collections have been compiled, which I have called “nano-corpora” elsewhere. As is well known, the size of a corpus and the (meta-)information included in it crucially determine what can be done with it. I will illustrate with examples from my own work what can be done, and what seems out of reach for the moment. I will argue that corpus-based interpreting studies should resist the appeal of theoretical frameworks that have inspired many translation scholars working on translation corpora, i.e. the universals of translation framework. Rather, a rich corpus of interpreting, even of limited size, can reveal many interesting facts about interpreting that experimental setups could never lay bare.
About the Speaker:
Bart Defrancq is an Associate Professor of interpreting and legal translation at Ghent University (Belgium). He is head of the training programmes in interpreting, conference interpreting and sworn interpreting. His research focuses on simultaneous conference interpreting and on police interpreting, areas for which he compiled corpora. Recently he has also been involved in research on CAI tools. He is an associate editor of Interpreting and an editorial board member of The Interpreters’ Newsletter, and currently president of CIUTI.
Corpus Data for Interpreting Studies: Fooling Around