Claudio Bendazzoli – Interpreters’ use of ‘SO’

This is a short summary of a presentation given at the Second International Conference on Quality in Interpreting, in Almuñecar, Spain 2010. The summary is my own perception of the presentation and any mistakes in the summary are of course due to my misunderstanding.

Claudio Bendazzoli (University of Trieste, Italy) presented material from his English/Italian simultaneous interpreting corpus of 136 000 words, the DIRSI corpus (Directionality in Simultaneous interpreting). It has four subcorpora of more and less the same size and has both source and target speeches from international medical conferences, four interpreters with Italian mother tongue (A) and one interpreter with UK-english mother tongue. It was developed in co-operation with Laboratoria de Linguistica Informatica UAM.

Claudio Bendazzoli said that a lot of research in interpreting quality focus on bad quality rather than focusing on good quality. The results he reported on would focus on good quality. He chose to look at the ‘SO’ in the interpreted speech and it’s correspondence in the original. Bendazzoli chose ‘SO’ since it has multiple meanings and functions.

He concluded that almost 80 percent of the “SO” used in interpreted speech was an addition. i.e. not present in source speech. But he also said that the addition of ‘SO’ not necessarily led to a deterioration in quality. On the contrary he said and quoted Gile from 2003 additions can also be considered an improvement.

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