Pragmatic Competence in Political Discourse Interpreting


  • Halyna Onyshchak Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor at the Department of English Philology, Uzhhorod National University, Uzhhorod, Ukraine
  • Nataliia Liutko Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Social and Humanitarian Sciences, Khmelnytskyi National University, Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
  • Alla Yarova Candidate of Philological Sciences, Аssociate Professor of the Department of Journalism and Philology, Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine
  • Roksolana Povoroznyuk Doctor Habilitatus in Translation Studies, Associate Professor, Professor of the Department of Theory and Practice of Translation from English, Educational and Scientific Institute of Philology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Inna Kolоmiiets Ph. D. of Philological Sciences, Аssociate Professor, Associate Professor of Ukrainian Language and Methodology Department, Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University, Uman, Ukraine
  • Iryna Gontsa Ph. D. of Philological Sciences, Аssociate Professor, Associate Professor of Ukrainian Language and Methodology Department, Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University, Uman, Ukraine



translation strategy, political speech, semiotic and communicative-pragmatic approaches, interpreting, pragmatic competence


The paper aims to give a comprehensive account of translation strategies for English-Ukrainian interpretation of Joseph R. Biden’s speech in Poland. Political speeches serve as a multi-purpose tool, shaping people’s consciousness and reinforcing political practices and firmly held beliefs. Therefore, the appropriate translation methods are needed to retain such a communicative effect on the recipient audience. Political discourse interpreting requires a high level of pragmatic competence, and interpreters must have the skills and knowledge to effectively convey the speaker’s intended meaning in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way.  The current research is based on the semiotic and communicative-pragmatic approaches to the study of political discourse interpreting. In this regard, the comparative method and contextual analysis proved efficient in comparing the source language text with the target one. The study results show that interpreting political discourse sets to provoke similar reactions in the source and target text addresses. The studied speech in English is abundant in stylistic devices and expressive means to exert a pragmatic effect. It has been proven that linguo-stylistic features are retained in the interpreted message by incorporating formal correspondences and various transformations. The interpreter of the political speech in question has the ability to adjust the language, style, and delivery of the interpreted message to fit the cultural and linguistic context of the target audience.


Baraldi, C. (2018). Interpreting as Mediation of Migrants’ Agency and Institutional Support: A Case Study. Journal of Pragmatics, 125, 13–27.

Bassnett, S. (2013). Translation Studies (4th ed). Routledge.

Best, S. (1994). Foucault, Postmodernism, and Social Theory. In D. R. Dickens & A. Fontana (Eds.), Postmodernism and Social Inquiry (pp. 25–52). Routledge

Bielsa, E., & Bassnett, S. (2009). Translation in Global News. Routledge.

Boase-Beier, J. (2020). Politics. In M. Baker, & G. Saldanha (Eds.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (pp. 415-419. Routledge.

Browse, S. (2018). Cognitive Rhetoric: The cognitive poetics of political discourse. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Cap, P. (2015). Crossing Symbolic Distance in Political Discourse Space: Evaluative Rhetoric within the Framework of Proximization. Critical Discourse Studies, 12(3), 313–329.

Chandler, D. (2017). Semiotics: The Basics (3rd ed). Routledge.

Chouarfria, F. Z. (2018). Understanding, Interpretation and Engagement in Translation of Political Discourse. Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, 20, 71–82.

Cruz, M. P. (2013). Understanding and Overcoming Pragmatic Failure in Intercultural Communication: From Focus on Speakers to Focus on Hearers. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 51, 23-54.

Dayter, D. (2021). Dealing with Interactionally Risky Speech Acts in Simultaneous Interpreting: The Case of Self-praise. Journal of Pragmatics, 174, 28−42.

de la Fuente, I., Holler, A., & Suckow, K. Structuring Information in Discourse: Topics and Methods. In A. Holler, K. Suckow, & I. de la Fuente (Eds.), Information Structuring in Discourse (pp. 1−23). BRILL.

Dicerto, S. (2018). Multimodal Pragmatics and Translation: A New Model for Source Text Analysis. Palgrave Macmillan.

Furko, P. B. (2020). Discourse Markers and Beyond Descriptive and Critical Perspectives on Discourse-Pragmatic Devices across Genres and Languages. Palgrave Macmillan.

Gorlee, D. L. (2012). Wittgenstein in Translation: Exploring Semiotic Signatures. Mouton de Gruyter.

Guo, Y. (2015). The interpreter’s political awareness as a noncognitive constraint in political interviews: A perspective of experiential meaning. Babel, 61(4), 573–588.

Halualani, R. T. (2019). Intercultural Communication: A Critical Perspective. Cognella Academic Publishing.

House, J. (2008). Using Translation to Improve Pragmatic Competence. In E. Alcón Soler & A. Martínez-Flor (Eds.), Investigating Pragmatics in Foreign Language Learning, Teaching and Testing (pp. 135–52.). Multilingual Matters.

House, J. (2016). Translation as Communication across Languages and Cultures. Routledge.

Hovoryt velykyi Lviv [The great Lviv speaks] (2022, March 26). Zvernennya Bajdena do ukrayinciv za pidsumkamy vizytu u Pol`shhu [Biden's address to Ukrainians following his visit to Poland] [Video]. YouTube.

Jabali, O. (2021). Translating Political Speeches Using a Skopos – Theoretical Approach. International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE), 8(1), 81−91.

Karpinski, E. C., & Basile, E. (2021). “At the Oblique Angle”: Figures and Vectors of Translation across Continents. In E. C. Karpinski, & E. Basile (Eds.), Translation, Semiotics, and Feminism: Selected Writings of Barbara Godard (pp. 51−136). Routledge.

Lauerbach, G. E., & Fetzer, A. (2007). Political discourse in the media: Cross-cultural perspectives. In G. E. Lauerbach, & A. Fetzer (Eds.), Political Discourse in the Media: Cross-cultural Perspectives (pp. 3−30).

Lee, K. (2021). Pragmatic Aspects of Translation: A Contrastive Analysis of Contrastive Processes Illustrated by

Inductive-Empirical Eye-Tracking, Writing Process Analysis and a Questionnaire. In M. Kirner-Ludwig (Ed.), Fresh Perspectives on Major Issues in Pragmatics (pp. 181−202). Routledge.

Li, E. S-H., Lui, P. L-T., & Fung, A. K-C. (2020). Systemic Functional Political Discourse Analysis: A Text-based Study (1st ed.). Routledge.

Lu, L. (2019). Pragmatic Failure in Interpretation and the Development of Students’ Pragmatic Competence in Interpreting. English Language Teaching, 12(3), 37−45.

Lytra, V. (2016). Categories and Dimensions of Identity. In S. Preece (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity (pp. 131−145). Routledge.

Marais, K. (2019). A (Bio)Semiotic Theory of Translation: The Emergence of Social-Cultural Reality. Routledge.

Matsushita, K., & Schaffner, C. (2018). Multilingual collaboration for news translation analysis: Possibilities and limitations. Across Languages and Cultures, 19(2), 165–184.

Mey, J. L. (2016). Pragmatics Seen through the Prism of Society. In A. Capone, & J. L. Mey (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Studies in Pragmatics, Culture and Society (pp. 15−42). Springer International Publishing.

Mokshev, A., & Nurmanbetova, D. N. (2018). Heuristic Potential of Postmodern Philosophy. Xlinguae: European Scientific Language Journal, 11(4), 78-85.

Morris, Ch. (1938). Foundations of the Theory of Signs. University of Chicago Press.

Nerubasska, A., & Maksymchuk, B. (2020). The Demarkation of Creativity, Talent and Genius in Humans: a Systemic Aspect. Postmodern Openings, 11(2), 240-255.

Nerubasska, A., Palshkov, K., & Maksymchuk, B. (2020). A Systemic Philosophical Analysis of the Contemporary Society and the Human: New Potential. Postmodern Openings, 11(4), 275-292.

Nykytchenko, K. (2019). Nonce Words in Mass Media Discourse (A Case Study of Travel Journalism Innovations). Communication Today, 10(1), 62−75.

Onyshchak, H. (2021). Translation strategies in political speeches : a case study of Ukrainian translation of President Joseph R. Biden’s inaugural address. Reality of Politics, 17(3), 132−144.

Onyshchak, H., Koval, L., Vazhenina, O., Bakhov, I., Povoroznyuk, R., & Devitska, A. (2021). Cognitive and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Interpreting. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 12 (4), 224−237.

Pan, L., & Huang, C. (2021). Stance mediation in media translation of political speeches: An analytical model of appraisal and framing in news discourse. In B. Wang, & J. Munday (Eds.), Advances in Discourse Analysis of Translation and Interpreting: Linking Linguistic Approaches with Socio-cultural Interpretation (pp. 131−149). Routledge.

PBS NewsHour. (2022, March 26). President Biden Delivers Address from Poland [Video]. YouTube.

Pöchhacker, F. (2004). Introducing Interpreting Studies. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Presner, R., Tsolyk, N., Vanivska, O., Bakhov, I., Povoroznyuk, R., & Sukharieva, S. (2021). Cognitive and Semiotic Model of Translation. Postmodern Openings, 12(3Sup1), 125−142.

Rafieyan, V. (2016). Bridging Pragmatic Gap in Translation Process through Developing Pragmatic Awareness. Journal for the Study of English Linguistics, 4(1), 98–110.

Sagadiyeva, Z., Satenova, S., Yeskindirova, M., Alshinbayeva, Z., & Konyratbayeva, Z. (2021). Political Discourse: The Translation Aspect. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(3), 1615−1627.

Setton, R., & Dawrant, A. (2016). Conference Interpreting: A Trainer’s Guide. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Shapoval, M., Povoroznyuk, R., Novytska, O., Golikova, O., Nykytchenko, K., & Myroshnychenko, V. (2022). The Semiotic Approach to Literary Translation. Postmodern Openings, 13(1Sup1), 377–394.

Tahiri, L., & Capriqi, S. (2020). Lost in Translation: Narrative Perspective Silenced by the Voice of the Translator. Respectus Philologicus, 38(43), 202–213.

Toury, G. (2012). Descriptive Translation Studies – and beyond. John Benjamins Publishing Company.




How to Cite

Onyshchak, H. ., Liutko, N. ., Yarova, A. ., Povoroznyuk, R. ., Kolоmiiets I. ., & Gontsa, I. . (2023). Pragmatic Competence in Political Discourse Interpreting. Revista Romaneasca Pentru Educatie Multidimensionala, 15(3), 376-399.



Reform, change and innovation in education

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now