Marianne Lederer

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Marianne Lederer, born in Paris in 1934, is a French translation scholar. Lederer further developed The Interpretive Theory of Translation[1] together with Danica Seleskovitch, who first proposed the theory. Lederer also published several works on translation and interpreting pedagogy. Her works have greatly influenced interpreting and translation research and teaching internationally[2].


After studying literature at the Sorbonne and after several language stays in United Kingdom and United States, she obtained her diploma as a French-English-German conference Language interpretation from the School of Translators and Interpreters, which was then located at the HEC Paris. She worked as a freelance conference interpreter from 1959 to 1985. She is also a member of International Association of Conference Interpreters.

University career

In 1978, Lederer obtained a doctorate from the University of Paris 4-Sorbonne University: Theoretical foundations (La traduction simultanée - Experience et Théorie)[3]. She was appointed professor at the Paris-East University of Paris XII-Val de Marne in 1979, where she founded the Department of Foreign Languages Applied to Foreign Trade, which she headed until 1985. In 1985 she took up a position at the Ecole Supérieure d'Interprètes et de Traducteurs (ESIT) at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University Paris 3, where she had been teaching since 1969. She was the head of ESIT from 1990 to 1999. Until her retirement in September 2002, she directed the Centre for Research and Translatology at the Université Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle.


The launch of the The Interpretive Theory of Translation,[4] in the 1970s promoted translation as a triangular process rather than a linear coding. The theory has heavily influenced translation and interpretation pedagogy throughout the world[5]. Marianne Lederer's work on the Interpretive Theory has been widely used in teaching of interpreting, and her works have been translated into English, Chinese, Georgian, Arabic, Serbian, Korean, Hungarian, Dutch, Spanish and Farsi.[6]

Together with Danica Seleskovitch, she was one of the first translators to break away from the structural linguistics, which still dominated in the 1970s. This was done by placing the translator at the centre of the process, and to turn to other disciplines, such as psychology and neuropsychology, to explain the Cognition process of interpreting and translation. She is also one of the founders and promotors of the so called Paris-school of interpreting which promotes interpreting into a Mother-tongue|mother tongue or L1[7].

Lederer is co-editor of Forum, international journal of translation and interpretation published by John Benjamins Publishing Company, member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), and the European Society for Translation Studies (EST). In 2002, she received the Danica Seleskovitch-prize[8] for for prominent work for interpreters and research into interpreting.

Main publications

  • 1978: Simultaneous Interpretation — Units of Meaning and other Features. In: Gerver D., Sinaiko H.W. (eds) Language Interpretation and Communication. NATO Conference Series, vol 6. Boston, MA: Springer.
  • 1981: La traduction simultanée - Experience et Théorie, [Simultaneous translation: Experience and Theory]. Paris: Minard Lettres Modernes. ISBN 2-256-90799-6
  • 1984: Interpréter pour traduire, [Interpreting to translate] with D. Seleskovitch, Paris: Didier Erudition. 5th edition by Les Belles Lettres in 2014 ISBN 9782251700045
  • 1990: The role of cognitive complements in interpreting. In Bowen, D. and Bowen, M.(eds) Interpreting–Yesterday. Today, and Tomorrow. Binghamton: American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series, 4, 53-60.
  • 1995: A Systematic Approach to Teaching Interpretation, with D. Seleskovitch, (translated by Jacolyn Harmer). Washington: RID. ISBN 9780916883133
  • 2003: Translation – The Interpretive Model, (translated by Ninon Larché). London: Routledge. ISBN 9781900650618
  • 2007: Can Theory Help Translator and Interpreter Trainers and Trainees? The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 1 (1), 15-35.


  1. Lederer, Marianne (2010). "Interpretive approach". int3. doi:10.1075/hts.1.int3. Retrieved 2022-03-08.
  2. Pöchhacker, Franz (2016). Introducing interpreting studies (2 ed.). London: Routledge. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-317-30441-8. OCLC 936040253.
  3. Lederer, Marianne (1981). La traduction simultanée : expérience et théorie. Paris: Lettres modernes. ISBN 2-256-90799-6. OCLC 8594508.
  4. Lederer, Marianne (2014). Translation : the Interpretive Model. Routledge. ISBN 1-306-58071-4. OCLC 877033671.
  5. Kang, Qiang (2013). "Application of the Interpretive Theory of Translation in Interpreting Practice". Canadian Social Science. 9 (6): 236–241. doi:10.3968/j.css.1923669720130906.2903. ISSN 1712-8056.
  6. Whitfield, Agnès (2019-10-30). "The Circulation in English of Voices Theorizing Translation in French: Which Voices, When, and Why (or Why not)". Palimpsestes. Revue de traduction (33): 154–170. doi:10.4000/palimpsestes.4373. ISSN 1148-8158.
  7. Pöchhacker, Franz (2016). Introducing interpreting studies (2 ed.). London: Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-317-30441-8.
  8. "Marianne Lederer". Retrieved 2022-03-07.

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