Sign language interpreting

the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and the production of interpreting omissions

Jemina Napier*, Roz Barker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the findings of the first linguistic analysis of sign language interpreting carried out in Australia. A study was conducted on ten Australian Sign Language/English interpreters to determine the rate and occurrence of interpreting omissions and the interpreters' level of metalinguistic awareness in relation to their production of interpreting omissions. After videotaping interpretations, analyzing the interpreters' output, and conducting postinterpreting task reviews and retrospective interviews, the authors report that all the interpreters appeared to have high levels of metalinguistic awareness with regard to their production of interpreting omissions. This finding led to the definition of five categories of interpreting omissions: conscious strategic, conscious intentional, conscious unintentional, conscious receptive, and unconscious omissions. The findings of this study can be applied in the education of signed and spoken interpreters not only in Australia but also worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-393
Number of pages25
JournalSign Language Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


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