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Durham University

Chinese Studies

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Publication details for Dr Binghan Zheng

2015 (co-authored with Xiang, X.) 'The impact of background information on the translation quality of metaphorical expressions: An analysis of products of English-Chinese sight translation', Foreign Languages and Their Teaching 1, pp. 69-80
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1004-6038
  • Keywords: background information; sight interpretation of metaphorical expressions; fluency; faithfulness; accuracy

Author(s) from Durham


This study aimed to explore the impact of background information( BI) on the interpreting quality of metaphorical expressions( MEs). We designed a between-subjects experiment in which 60 learners of interpreting were crossgrouped into a control group( CG) and an experiment group( EG). Both groups were asked to sight-interpreting a speech with ten MEs,but only EG members were given materials introducing relevant BI beforehand. The research triangulated data from the recordings of sight interpretation,the transcription of the recordings and the subjects’ retrospective interviews. The results showed that the EG produced remarkably less processing time on MEs and produced less pauses than the CG; meanwhile,the average evaluations of the interpreting products of MEs revealed that EG produced much less failed interpretations and more successful ones. The paper concludes with two major findings: 1) the acquisition of BI markedly betters the"fluency"of the EG’ delivery by shortening the processing time and reducing the silent and filled pauses; 2) the acquisition of BI discernibly reduces the difficulties of the comprehension and reformulation of MEs,and thus increases the"faithfulness"and "accuracy"of the interpreted products.