Comparing signed and spoken language interpreting

Authored by: Jemina Napier

The Routledge Handbook of Interpreting

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  February  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415811668
eBook ISBN: 9781315745381
Adobe ISBN: 9781317595021


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Historically, signed language interpreting has been treated separately from spoken language interpreting in terms of theoretical discussions, research, education, and professional practice. However, there is growing recognition that signed languages should be included among all the languages to be considered in terms of interpreting practice. The interpreting studies field has recognized the value of contrasting spoken and signed language interpreting and then bringing discussions together under the single umbrella of interpreting studies. This shift was made particularly evident with the publication of Pöchhacker’s (2004) book Introducing Interpreting Studies, which makes many references to various signed language interpreting research studies and publications. The shift is further evidenced through increasing cross-linguistic and cross-modality collaboration in the education of interpreters, in research on interpreting, and in the number of publications that feature discussions of spoken and signed language interpreting issues across genres of interpreting practice. (See, for example, Chapter 6 on consecutive interpreting.)

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