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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Signed Language Interpreting in Brazil
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Photo 12. woman

Photo 13. man


Photo 14. woman

In this episode most of the interpreters decided to use the manual alphabet to spell the proper names in the selected text segment. Nevertheless, Viviane not only spells these names but also emphasizes the information with woman (photo 12) to refer to “Ana” and with man (photo 13) to explicitly refer to “Paulo.” The explicitation and emphasis are also marked with facial expressions (raising of the eyebrow and slight movement of her head), as shown in photos 12 and 13.

Viviane also uses modulation when choosing an adequate substitution for the proper name “Álvaro” with the sign several (photo 14), which gives an idea of continuity. Instead of spelling “Álvaro” as the other interpreters did, she chose to use the sign several and thus gives the idea of sequentiality.

Concerning the same text segment, Tiago considered it more appropriate to omit the name “Álvaro” in his interpretation. This indicates that the woman interpreter used explicitation and details of information so as to dispel doubts in terms of implicit messages from the text. Furthermore, it also suggests that Tiago used omission as a translational modality since he found it irrelevant to mention all of the proper names narrated in the text.

We feel it necessary to explain that, as a narrative, the source text contains mostly sentences in active voice and that all of the interpreters kept the same grammatical category in their interpretations. Besides, the vocabulary used in the source text is formal as it is extracted from a newspaper whose goal is to inform readers of the difficulties of educating boys and girls in society nowadays. As the interpretations maintained the same form of expression, they stimulated close contact with the target public.

Currently, the dichotomies between the way men and women use language can be seen as different discursive strategies that they may choose in their verbal interactions. The present discussion on language, gender, and translation has served to provide data for consideration in these converging areas of study, which are still underrepresented in the Brazilian context.

As a case study, this research did not intend to generalize about the results of the data analysis, but it has allowed us to observe that the women interpreters who participated in the research indeed used more explicitation, contextualized information, details, modulation, and emphasis to complement the information they were translating; that is, they conveyed concepts in a more specific way during their interpretations. Another significant characteristic is that, when compared to the men, the women interpreters spent more time in making their interpretation.

The male interpreters were more direct. They made use of a more literal translation, as well as transposition, which shows their preference for more economical lexicogrammatical choices and text structure. They often used omission and implicitation as translational modalities for what they saw as irrelevant data. As a result, their interpretations were shorter than those of the women interpreters.

We emphasize that, within the perspectives of translation studies and cultural studies, all translation modalities are valid, and the interpreters in our study used several of the modalities and resorted to techniques and resources to provide a clear understanding of the target text.

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