English as a lingua franca vs. interpreting: battleground or peaceful coexistence?
The article addresses the contentious issue of the spread of English as a lingua franca in a number of domains – a trend that is not viewed very favourably by many interpreting professionals. After reviewing the development of English as a lingua franca (ELF) and its unique position in different domains, the advantages and disadvantages of ELF are discussed on a general level before approaching the topic from the interpreters’ perspective. The negative stance taken by many interpreters towards ELF is viewed as a result of work-related as well as economic and psychosocial reasons. Against this backdrop the paper reports the first results of a study on the communicative effectiveness of English as a lingua franca vs. simultaneous interpreting. The findings indicate that under appropriate working conditions, in a given setting of technical communication, professional simultaneous interpreting can ensure a higher level of audience comprehension than the use of non-native English.
The Interpreters' Newsletter
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Karin Reithofer, "English as a lingua franca vs. interpreting: battleground or peaceful coexistence?", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter, 15 (2010), pp. 143-157.