Impoliteness in interpreting: A question of gender?


  • Cédric Magnifico
  • Bart Defrancq Ghent University


simultaneous interpreting, corpus data, face


This paper reports on a study carried out on corpus data drawn from the Ghent Section of the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus. It focuses on how simultaneous interpreters handle face-threatening acts (FTAs) performed by speakers they interpret, and, more in particular, on the question whether female and male interpreters present different patterns of behaviour when faced with speakers’ FTAs. In line with previous research on face work performed by interpreters, the results show that simultaneous interpreters do downtone FTAs, disregarding interpreter norms in that respect. However, contrary to what is known from the literature on general linguistic behaviour, male interpreters downtone more than female interpreters.