Exploring Semiotic Resources in Sight Translation

Tatjana Felberg, Anne Nilsen
2017 The Journal of Specialised Translation Issue   unpublished
In this article, we present a pilot study with data from exploratory video-recorded experiments of sight translation, and subsequent focus group interviews. Our theoretical perspective is interactionist, with the encounter as a whole taken into consideration. The question we aim to answer is: what kinds of semiotic resources do interpreters use while interpreting from a written text? Thus, we supplement the interactionist perspective (Wadensjö 1998) with perspectives from multimodality and
more » ... timodality and socio-semiotics. We demonstrate how these perspectives may offer a new way of studying the interpreter's dual function as a translator and as a coordinator of the dialogue. The results from our pilot study show variations in how interpreters exploit semiotic resources such as handling of the written text, body posture, and gaze. Therefore, we argue that it is necessary to draw attention to the semiotic resources available for sight translation. There is also a need to rethink assessments and educational programmes regarding sight translation, and to include perspectives from social semiotics and multimodality. We recommend further investigation of the exploitation of semiotic resources in the process of interpreting. In particular, more research is needed that relates to how interpreters combine semiotic resources to construct their renditions.