Kumiko Torikai - Voices of the Invisible Presence: Diplomatic Interpreters in post-World War II Japan

Kumiko Torikai - Voices of the Invisible Presence: Diplomatic Interpreters in post-World War II Japan
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing company | 2009-01-14 | ISBN: 9027224277 | File type: PDF | 207 pages | 5.65 mb

Voices of the Invisible Presence: Diplomatic interpreters in post-World War II Japan examines the role and the making of interpreters, in the social, political and economic context of postwar Japan, using oral history as a method. The primary questions addressed are what kind of people became interpreters in post-WWII Japan, how they perceived their role as interpreters, and what kind of role they actually played in foreign relations. In search of answers to these questions, the living memories of five prominent interpreters were collected, in the form of life-story interviews, which were then categorized based on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of ‘habitus? ‘field?and ‘practice? The experiences of pioneering simultaneous interpreters are analyzed as case studies drawing on Erving Goffman’s ‘participation framework?and the notion of kurogo in Kabuki theatre, leading to the discussion of (in)visibility of interpreters and their perception of language, culture and communication.
“This is a study of remarkable originality. It provides precious insights into the professional lives of an extraordinary group of Japanese diplomatic interpreters. Combining careful scholarship with the sensitivity of a practitioner, Kumiko Torikai casts new light on the chiaroscuro world of the professional interpreter.?br/>Professor Michael Kelly, University of Southampton
“Adopting oral history as a historiographic method in interpreting studies, this vivid account of the life stories of five post-war pioneers of the profession greatly enriches our understanding of interpreters and of their role in a unique historical and socio-cultural context.?br/>Franz Pöchhacker, University of Vienna
“In an outstanding work, Torikai offers the reader a unique look at the living memories of five pioneer interpreters of post World War II Japan and sheds light on the fascinating role they played. Through careful analysis of oral history and the examination of the Interpreter Interpersonal Role Inventory Torikai compares and contrasts interpreters?perceptions of their role to their own narratives as she uncovers the kind of people that became interpreters, their perceptions of their own roles, and the materialization of that role in Japanese diplomacy. Written in a clear and accessible language this book will engage interpreter educators and students, as well as practicing interpreters, linguists, historians and experts in Cross-cultural Communication.?br/>Claudia V. Angelelli, San Diego State University




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