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2022 Vol. 13 №1

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English as a lingua franca — a paradigm shift for Translation and Interpreting



The global spread of English as a lingua franca (ELF) has caused a fundamental change to translation and interpreting (T&I). Translation and interpreting used to revolve around bilingual mediation between native speakers and native listeners. In interpreting, in particu­lar, more often than not, source speeches are now produced by non-native English speakers. The impact of this development has the potential to uproot our traditional understanding of T&I. This article sets out to describe how ELF or, more specifically, input produced by non-native English speakers under ELF conditions, differs from the native-speaker input, transla­tors and interpreters used to be dealing with. It gauges the consequences of these differences for translation and interpreting and examines how fundamental a change it is navigating between non-native speakers and listeners, as compared to the traditional situation of mediat­ing between speakers and listeners operating in their respective first languages. This culmi­nates in an exploration of the question as to whether there is reason to speak of a paradigm shift in translation and interpreting studies.


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