Modelling Competence in Community Interpreting: Expectancies, Impressions and Implications for Accreditation

  • Lukasz Kaczmarek

Student thesis: Phd


The aims of this thesis are to propose and explore a competence model forcommunity interpreting, and to discuss implications of the model for accreditation ofcommunity interpreters in the UK. The thesis first focuses on selected approaches totranslation competence and interpreting competence in order to show that translation andinterpreting studies fail to offer foundations for a model of community interpretercompetence. The deficiencies identified in these approaches concern mostly a prevailingtendency to discuss the question of competence in terms of components. This, in turn,seems to result in prescriptive views on competence in translation and interpreting studies.With a view to overcoming those deficiencies, the thesis discusses achievements ofintercultural communication studies, arguing that scholarly contributions within thisdiscipline are helpful in seeking theoretical foundations for a new model. Having shownthe applicability of the model of intercultural communication competence to the currentproject, the thesis puts forward a model of community interpreter competence. Drawing onrelevant assumptions, the proposed model postulates approaching the question ofcompetence as a matter of subjective impressions governed by fulfilment of individualexpectancies.This correspondence between competence impressions and expectancy fulfilment isclaimed to constitute the decisive factor in the process of impression formation. For thisreason, the assumptions and propositions of the model are used to derive a principle whichdescribes the correspondence concerned. This principle is then tested through analysis oftranscripts of interviews conducted with all three participants of interpreter-mediatedencounters. The analysis successfully points to the correspondence between competenceimpressions and expectancy fulfilment.Finally, the thesis explores the conclusions and implications of the analysis byproposing enhancement to the framework of interpreter accreditation in the UK. Theproposals aim to enrich the framework by widening the range of individuals, methods andsources used to assess a candidate's competence. This enrichment acknowledges theexpectancy-based nature of impressions related to community interpreter competence.
Date of Award31 Dec 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMaeve Olohan (Supervisor)

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