Student-Interpreters’ Foreign Proper Noun Pronunciation Errors in English-Arabic and Arabic-English Media Discourse Interpreting

International Journal of Translation and Interpretation Studies (IJTIS), 2, 1, 80-90, 2022

11 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2022

Date Written: May 29, 2022

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the types of pronunciation errors that student interpreters make in pronouncing foreign Proper Nouns during English-Arabic and Arabic-English Liaison Interpreting, the pronunciation error strategies that students utilize when they encounter unfamiliar Proper Nouns in media discourse, and the factors that affect students’ incorrect pronunciation of foreign Proper Nouns. A corpus of foreign Proper Noun pronunciation errors was collected from interpreting tests and in-class practice. Error analysis showed that students have difficulty identifying and discriminating one or more phonemes in foreign Proper Nouns such as Rio di Janeiro, Paraguay, Abuja, Davos, Scandinavia, Missouri, Helsinki, Crimea, Al Gore, and Yuan, whether such words were heard in English or Arabic. Whenever the students heard an unfamiliar Proper Noun, they produced (made up) nonsense words that rhyme with the unfamiliar source words as in *Dagos, *Dados, *Dabos which they provided for Davos; *lizouri, *rozouri, *kansouri, *mansouri instead of Missouri; and *Scinavia for Scandinavia. Sound analogy was also used in producing equivalent for unfamiliar Proper Nouns. Volcanoes and *burkini were provided as equivalents for Balkans and *NADO for NATO. They reduced, i.e., deleted part of the Proper Noun, whether it is a vowel, consonant or even a syllable as in *Buja instead of Abuja, United *State, *Izheimer, *Philippine, *Parkins, *Bloomber probably because of the length of the words and poor short-term memory. Phonemes were changed and substituted by a longer or shorter vowel, by another consonant or another syllable as in Dracula /dracola/, /gri:k/; Sergey Lavrov /sergi la:vro:v/; *snab shat, *Uzbakistan, *foks fagon, Ukraine /ʊkrɜ:rɪə/, /sinofa:rm/. The Arabic pronunciation was retained and overgeneralized in Eiffel Tower /i:fəl/ or /i:vəl/, *Ardoghan, *Anadol, and *Athina. A vowel was inserted to break the consonant clusters in *Beligrade, *Bangaladesh, *Barazil, *Danimark, *Kazakhistan, *Uzbakistan, *Shangahai, *Tarafalgar. Syllables were reversed in *Serbrenica and *ALESCO. Most pronunciation errors in interpreting are attributed to lack of knowledge of Proper Nouns commonly occurring in the media. Knowledge of the similarities and differences in Proper Noun pronunciation in English and Arabic and extra practice using online videos, podcasts, mobile apps, and TED Talks are needed in Liaison Interpreting instruction.

Keywords: Interpreting, student interpreters, pronunciation errors, proper noun pronunciation errors, Arabic-English interpreting, English-Arabic interpreting

Suggested Citation

Al-Jarf, Reima, Student-Interpreters’ Foreign Proper Noun Pronunciation Errors in English-Arabic and Arabic-English Media Discourse Interpreting (May 29, 2022). International Journal of Translation and Interpretation Studies (IJTIS), 2, 1, 80-90, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4123575

Reima Al-Jarf (Contact Author)

King Saud University ( email )

P.O. Box 2460
Riyadh, 11451
Saudi Arabia

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