Accuracy and meaning


What is accuracy?

Accuracy is the requirement for an interpreter to deliver information within a message “in the same spirit, intent and manner of the speaker, with no additions, deletions or alterations to the meaning” (Napier, McKee and Goswell, 2010, p74)

Accuracy : optimally relevant translation

Measurement of accuracy is complex – needs to account for factual & affective information (style) (Hale, 2002)

Studies based on authentic interpreting data have provided evidence that strategic decision-making, based on contextual factors, is a key component (e.g., Napier, 2007; Major & Napier, 2012; Metzger, 1999; Roy, 2000)

Accuracy : contextual evidence

Deaf translation norm is not to create a ‘faithful’ interpretation, but one that is ‘optimally relevant’ to the Deaf audience (Stone, 2010)

Every interpretation has ‘omission potential’ – not always erroneous, but can be strategic (Napier, 2004)

Looking for a technique to analyse your recorded interpretations?

Analysis of your own interpretation from source to target languages is greatly enhanced when viewed through the lens of factual, affective and contextual factors.

Wadensjo‘s taxonomy of renditions comprises eight elements aimed at identifying the differences between the source and target languages in your interpretation; close, expanded, reduced, substituted, multi-part, summarised, non and zero.

Wadensjö’s perspective

An interpreter’s utterance is a rendition, which relates in some way to the immediately preceding original utterance.

‘Original’ utterances are produced in a particular context – so interpreters need de-contextualise each original utterance to a certain extent, so that it is a separate unit and can be re-contextualised as a new utterance in the “flow of talk”

Source texts can be considered as “context(s) in a chain of utterances”

The relation between the rendition and the utterance of the originator classified into distinct sub-categories.

1 Close

Propositional content of original explicitly expressed in the rendition, style approximately the same.

2 Expanded

More explicitly expressed information in the rendition than the original.

3 Reduced

Less explicitly expressed information in the rendition than the original.

4 Substituted

A combination of expanded and reduce.

5 Multi-part

Two interpreter utterances correspond to one original, which is splint into parts by the interjection of another original.

6 Summarised

Text that corresponds to two or more prior originals.

7 Non


8 Zero

Original not translated.

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