Does extralinguistic knowledge really matter? An examination of the impact of Deaf interpreters' personal and professional experience on cancer-related translated texts

Autor/a: SHENEMAN, Naomi
Año: 2018
Editorial: Washington DC: Gallaudet University, 2018
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Traducción e Interpretación


Extralinguistic knowledgeis defined as knowledge unique to an individual, outside of language, that is retrieved from a person’s experiences, education, and work, and which influences interpreters’ and translators’ work products (Gile, 2009). Possession of extralinguistic knowledge may work in tandem with interpreters’ linguistic knowledge when addressing linguistic and lexical challenges in their work. In American Sign Language (ASL), cancer terms and related concepts often have no standardized translation equivalents other than fingerspelling. This study addressed three questions: (a) How are key cancer terms translated by Deaf interpreters from written English to ASL, and do translations differ based on the existence or lack of personal and professional experiences with cancer? (b) How do these translated terms compare to the same terms expressed directly by a deaf medical professional working in the oncology field? (c) How does a Deaf interpreter’s extralinguistic knowledge related to cancer potentially influence deaf consumers’ experience with the translated target text products? Translation products from two Deaf interpreters who were self-identified balanced bilinguals, one familiar with cancer and oncology and one not, were analyzed using Fillmore’s (1982 & 1985) frame-semantic model. Both interpreters’ translation products were compared with a deaf oncologist’s narrative text. The deaf oncologist’s narrative text, with his extralinguistic knowledge, maintained more form but had flexibility in offering meaning-based explanations of specific cancer concepts. Interview data from both Deaf interpreters were analyzed using Thornberg’s (2012) informed grounded theory, confirming that extralinguistic knowledge allowed interpreters to break from form. However, the majority of deaf cancer patients and survivors who participated in focus groups to review the translation products expressed that retention of form implied that the Deaf interpreter without extralinguistic knowledge had the appropriate medical knowledge and oncology-related interpreting experience.