A Master of Arts thesis in Translation and Interpreting MATI (English/Arabic/English) by Jenan J. N. Ali entitled, “Simultaneous Interpreting of Cultural References”, submitted in November 2017. Thesis advisor is Dr. May Zaki. Soft and hard copy available.
Cultural misunderstandings can lead to serious problems especially when dealing with the political discourse of iconic leaders, such as Former President Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Inaccurate rendition for any political speech might influence the lives of millions of people around the world. This thesis examines the strategies adopted in interpreting cultural references. The data collected for the study comes from the interpreting attempts adopted by two professional interpreters, Gaddafi's personal interpreter and a Libyan T.V. channel interpreter, of the famous historical speech delivered by the Former Libyan leader president Muammar Gaddafi on September 23, 2009 at the United Nations in New York. Both interpretations were analyzed in order to identify culture-bound elements. These elements were divided into three main categories: sarcasm, metaphors, and religious references. The examination of the interpreting strategies shows that the adoption of some approaches results in unidiomatic and awkward renditions. The results show that six strategies were applied when rendering culture references namely: error correction, summarizing, transcoding, simplification, reformulation, and omission. Three main strategies were applied by the interpreters of the total strategies of interpreting, namely: reformulation (46.6%), omission (33.3%), and transcoding (53.3%). The most dominant techniques used by the interpreters are reformulation (46.6%) and transcoding (53.3%).