Interpreted Ideologies in Institutional Discourse: The Case of the European Parliament
Abstract. This article investigates the impact of simultaneous interpretation on ideology in the European Parliament, drawing on a larger empirical study (Beaton, in progress). The traditional Marxist definition of ideology is first rejected before a broader definition of ideology as ‘common sense’ is employed. The concepts of hegemony and axiology are then introduced to account for the struggle between the dominant institutional ideology and subjective interpreter beliefs and ethics. Comparative data analysis of German source texts and English target texts from European Parliament plenary sessions focuses on lexical repetition of key terms and hegemonic conceptual metaphor strings. The findings suggest that EU institutional hegemony is strengthened by simultaneous interpreters, primarily through extensive use of conceptual metaphor strings in the interpretation. In addition, contrary to conduit views of communication, this study provides evidence of interpreter mediation and agency and demonstrates that the simultaneous interpreter is an additional subjective actor in heteroglot communication.