Non-renditions in court interpreting: A corpus-based study

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9 Citations (Scopus)


By examining the types and frequencies of non-renditions in a 100-hour corpus of court interpreting records from Hong Kong, this study demonstrated that court interpreters actively coordinate communication when carrying out their interpreting duties. Non-renditions are interpreters' utterances that do not have a corresponding counterpart in the source language, and such renditions are ordinarily used to coordinate interpreter-mediated exchanges. This analysis revealed that in the Hong Kong court setting, non-renditions were less common in English (the court language) than in Cantonese (the main language of the witnesses and defendants). In the Cantonese subsample, interactional non-renditions were more common than textual non-renditions, and most of these utterances were self-initiated rather than prompted by others. In the English subsample, textual non-renditions were more common than interactional non-renditions, and most of them were other-prompted. The skewed distribution of non-renditions, and particularly the tendency to address non-renditions to the lay participants, suggests that court interpreters may not be absolutely impartial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-199
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Court interpreting
  • Interactional
  • Non-rendition
  • Other-prompted
  • Self-initiated
  • Textual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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