The Significance of Non-Verbal Communication in Oral Translation – SUE Conferences

The Significance of Non-Verbal Communication in Oral Translation

Ahmed Qader Mohamedamin
Kurdistan Higher Council of Medical Specialties
Presidency Office
International Relations



This research aims to discover a different definition of interpretation and to prove that non-verbal communication is a fundamental part of interpretation. Therefore, an interpreter without a good knowledge of non-verbal communication cannot be a complete interpreter. The interpretation process is not only the process of meaning transference from one language to another; it is also the transference of the meaning of non-verbal communication such as; facial expression, tone of voice, eye contact etc.

The problem of this study is that most interpreters do not take non-verbal communication into consideration, and they do not have enough information about it. This will be proved through an incident occurred while USA president Joe Biden delivered a speech in April this year for which all details of the reason illustrated clearly. The lack of knowledge about non-verbal communication can cause problems while interpreting or analyzing a speech of a president or a government official or speaker. It leads to misunderstanding and misinterpretation that might be embarrassing for the interpreter and the organization or the Media network they are working for.

Non-verbal communication can be used in different forms, each illustrating or replacing a specific part of verbal communication. It contains many more figures than anyone might think in the first place. So non-verbal signs/Communications play a significant role in the interpretation. It is the essential base in the interpretation process; interpreters have to concentrate on these elements to carry out a successful interpreting process and achieve great interpretation results.

The data of this study is mainly taken from books and articles about translation, Interpretation and Nonverbal Communication. The exemplification is primarily drawn from English sources, books and articles that have partly been opted out depending on self-experience. Therefore, it is analyzed through a questionnaire in which eighteen professional translators/interpreters are asked seven questions regarding the importance of Non-Verbal Communication in Oral Translation. In conclusion, the outcome of this manuscript reiterated that interpretation and Non-Verbal Communication complete each other; the latter cannot be perfect without the former.

Keywords: Oral Translation, Non-Verbal Communications, Interpretations, Facial Expression, Interpretation.

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