What is it about?

This study empirically investigates how interpreter ideology is manifested in the evaluative language of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in China in 2016 (English-Chinese language pair). Methodologically, van Dijk’s ‘Ideological Square’ and Martin & White’s Appraisal framework have been operationalised for the analysis of positive/negative evaluative language in ‘us’/’them’ discourses. The results reveal an overall positive-‘us’ and negative-‘them’ pattern in terms of interpreters’ ideological positioning. This manifested in three ways: i) negative, pejorative, and sensitive discourses about China have been self-censored, ii) positivity has been accentuated and negativity has been neutralised in China-related discourses, and iii) negative tones in the discourses of other countries have been amplified.

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Why is it important?

We can say that the speaker discourse is ‘edited’ during the simultaneous interpreting process when interpreter ideology is working in real-time. We acknowledge that linguistic patterns can only provide an implicit (partial) prediction for the possible relationship between interpreter ideology and cognitive operations. This study offers some empirical basis for future studies which might test this assumption in controlled experiments using neuroscience and other methods.


conference interpreting, ideology, discourse, cognitive operations

Fei Gao
Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications

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This page is a summary of: Interpreter ideology, Interpreting International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting, August 2022, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/intp.00084.gao.
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