Hansen, Gyde, Andrew Chesterman, Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast, (eds) (2008). Efforts and Models in Interpreting and Translation Research. A Tribute to Daniel Gile
Amsterdam /Philadelphia: John Benjamins. pp. 302. EUR 95.00 / USD 143.00. ISBN: Harbound, 978-90 272 1689 2 / e-book, 978 90 272 9108 0.
Daniel Gile is a translator, interpreter and researcher whose contribution to both theory and practice of T/I Studies is eminent. Now, he is paid tribute by an omnibus that not only recapitulates his work but also elaborates it with new frames and themes of research.
As the title suggests, the book covers a wide range of topics in both translation and interpreting describing Gile's resonance in the field and relating current studies to his work. The book is divided into four parts and offers an extensive list of Gile's publications as well as useful name and subject indexes in the end.
The first section, "Scientometrics and history", weighs Gile's career and work from two perspectives: "An author-centered scientometric analysis of Daniel Gile's œuvre" (Grbić & Pöllabauer) demonstrates his influence in the T/I Studies by analysing the scientific output according to publications, networks relations and citations. The second entry, "The turns of Interpreting Studies" (Pöchhacker), outlines the developments of Interpreting Studies as an academic (sub)discipline following the metascientific scheme from Snell-Hornby's 2006 book "The Turns of Translation Studies"—a tribute par excellence to Gile, who is regarded as one of the founding scholars of Interpreting Studies.
The three following parts contribute to the domains of Gile's most active engagement: theoretical contemplation (section "Conceptual analysis" in the book), training in research ("Research skills") and conducting empirical research ("Empirical Studies").
"Conceptual analysis" has three entries dealing with conceptual dilemmas. "The status of interpretive hypotheses" (Chesterman) and "Risk analysis of a hidden effort" (Pym) revisit the two perhaps most discussed conceptual proposals from Gile: the division of the field into "Liberal Arts Paradigm" and "Empirical Science Paradigm," and the Efforts Models of simultaneous interpreting. Both authors develop these propositions further with new insights and syntheses from other theories. The third conceptual analysis, "Stratégies et tactiques en traduction et interprétation" (Gambier), contributes to a more general but major issue in the field, namely the problem of disparate terminology.
The second part, "Research skills," deals with experiences from and guidance on practical matters in research. "Doctoral training programmes" (Schäffner) gives an overview of doctoral training in the UK, in particular pointing at research skills. "Getting started" (Gerzymisch-Arbogast) explains basic points in writing communicative, i.e. situation-adequate abstracts. "Construct-ing quality" (Moser-Mercer) discusses an important problem—the lack of training in using survey methodology—and gives guidance in a more comprehensive questionnaire design.
"Empirical studies" is the last and largest part of the book. The articles present a variety of research topics and models in T/I Studies, mostly focussing on interpreting. "How do experts interpret?" (Liu) elaborates the definition of expertise in simultaneous interpretation by examining the presumed differences between novice and expert interpreters. "The impact of non-native English on student's interpreting performance" (Kurz) reports on the outcome of a study by Dominika Kodrnja (2001), looking into the different problems that a strong non-native accent may cause to the interpreter.
Two entries discuss quality. "Evaluación de la calidad en interpretación simultánea" (Collados Aís) studies the role of intonation-based emotional inference as a quality factor in interpreting. "The speck in your brother's eye - the beam in your own" (Hansen) emphasises the role of revision in assessing quality in translation and raises the question whether creating competent revisers requires specific training.
"Linguistic interference in simultaneous interpreting with text" (Lamberger-Felber & Schneider) and "Towards a definition of Interpretese" (Schlesinger) deal with linguistic traits of interpreting. The former presents a case study that contributes to the analysis of interference, a well known but poorly studied phenomenon, whereas the latter reports on a corpus-based study made to track down possible "universals" of interpretation.
All in all, the articles cover a diverse set of research topics, methods and designs in T/I Studies. As many of the studies are tentative, the book opens up a variety of ideas and inspiration for further research. The book seems to lack only one thing: Gile's Efforts Models could have been built in as "a reminder" since they are discussed in several entries.
In conclusion, the book is a worthwhile companion to everyone who either plans to do research in T/I Studies or wants to widen their view on how to do it. They can find information about research skills and how the academic world works, experience about different research designs and models for analysis, and a useful introduction to Interpreting Studies.
- Kodrnja, Dominika (2001). Akzent und Dolmetschen. Informationsverlust beim Dolmetschen eines non-native speaker's. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Vienna.
- Snell-Hornby, Mary (2006). The Turns of Translation Studies. New paradigms or shifting viewpoints? Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Maija Hirvonen, University of Tampere (Finland), TransMedia Catalonia (Spain)