Communication style of intercultural communicators: A comparative analysis of two sermon interpreters
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As globalization accelerates, intercultural communication becomes essential in all aspects of society. The linguistic and cultural barriers that hinder communication require the involvement of interpreters who play a key role in facilitating understanding among interlocutors. Besides the familiar fields of intercultural encounters such as business interactions and foreign affairs, religious activities also have a long history of an interpreter’s engagement. With a strong mission to share the Gospel, the message travels beyond cultural boundaries and reaches the foreign ears through the interpreter’s mediation, now as in the past. The often misunderstood identity of interpreters as conduits leads to unrealistic expectations that an interpreter will create a target-language duplicate of the original speaker’s utterance. In this regard, the present study examined the communication style of two sermon interpreters who rendered Christmas sermons from Korean into English, highlighting stylistic features that distinguish the two communicators. Based on a discourse analysis incorporating Garner’s (2007) analytical framework for sermon discourse analysis, the findings support the claim that interpreter’s contribute to meaning-making in a communicative event with their unique voice and participate as partners in generating a sermonic discourse. This study offers several significant insights for interpreters as intercultural communicators and may help guide future research on interpreter-mediated communication in religious settings and beyond.
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