Book Title: Introducing Interpreting Studies Author: Franz Pöchhacker Publisher: Routledge Publication date: 2004 Pages: 252

ISBN 0-415-26886-9 (hardback) ISBN 0-415-26887-7 (paperback) First edition In his new book, Franz Pöchhacker undertakes the task of drawing a sweeping picture of the field of interpretation. Though this is an ambitious goal, the author who is a prominent researcher in this discipline, provides a comprehensive framework that will, on the one hand, introduce the field to novices and, on the other, review the major developments for budding researchers. The book is organized in a reader-friendly way to ensure that the reader never gets lost. At the beginning of each chapter, the main points to be covered in the chapter are summarized, and at the end, there is a short summary as well as sources and further reading. The ‘suggestions for further study’ also found at the end of each chapter can be especially useful for future researchers who are at a loss for a research topic. Within the chapters themselves, there are numerous cross-references to The Interpreting Studies Reader which the author co-authored with Miriam Shlesinger. For a serious researcher who needs further elaboration on a given point, the cross-references are constructive. In addition, there are several handy features that facilitate the task of finding information: references appear in parentheses when the same topic appears elsewhere in the book; there is an author index and subject index; the Internet links cover bibliographic collections, journals, international associations and institutions as well as national associations and centers; and the extensive bibliography would make any researcher happy. The book is divided into three parts, beginning with ‘Foundations’ which describes the major concepts, the historical development of interpreting studies as a discipline in


its own right, the methodological approaches, research paradigms, closing with the models of interpreting. In the second part, the author discusses some selected topics and research. This part is like a sweeping literature review of the research that has been conducted thus far in interpreting studies. The third part is aptly entitled ‘Directions’ and indicates the future road for interpreting studies in the future. In the introduction of the book, the author lays the groundwork and states his hopes that the book would be a useful ‘map’ and ‘roadmap’ for students of interpretation. The author describes not only conference interpretation but also legal, community and sign language interpretation together with different research approaches. However, because so much distance is covered, it will probably be disconcerting for those students who attempt to go it alone. The book could benefit from a guide who knows the landscape and is able to explain the configuration in more detail. It is understandable that because so much area needs to be covered, the book could not provide in-depth explanations. This is precisely where the guide comes in. If a given research topic or researcher is of particular interest to a class or aspiring researcher, the guide can provide further information and fill in the gaps. If one were to mention two minor flaws, the chapter on research methodology is applicable to all areas of research and not just to interpretation research. As such, the contents of that chapter will be helpful to students preparing a dissertation but since not all students in interpretation schools at the graduate level are required to write a thesis, such a lengthy explanation might detract from the overall understanding of the field. In other words, the objective of the book is stated to be an introduction of interpreting studies, while the target audience would probably not need such a detailed elaboration of research methodology. The second minor flaw is that the research covered is mainly Western. A slight mention is made about research in Asia, but further elaboration could have done some justice to the proliferation of interpretation research in the area. All in all, this book will undoubtedly become a fixture in the recommended literature of students of interpretation around the world. Hyang-Ok Lim Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation Hankuk University of Foreign Studies