What is it about?

Bilingual family members, bilingual co-workers and professional interpreters translate for others in various settings. The difference is that family members and co-workers have not undergone training or certification to work as an interpreter, while a professional interpreter has. This study looks at real-life instances of all three groups and the language they use when interpreting for others.

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Why is it important?

Few studies look at the way that family members, bilingual co-workers and professional interpreters work. This study shows how when family members interpret, what they convey to another family member can be challenged or even lost. Bilingual co-workers can allow their other role to take over which can result in them not interpreting for others. Only professional interpreters consistently convey what each person is saying into the other language.

Perspectives

Having witnessed family members and co-workers interpret for others dozens of times, I analyse on the basis of real-life examples what they actually interpret, and match this with how professional interpreters work. While there are considerable differences in this, the message from this is that there are many bicultural bilinguals who are excellent candidates for interpreter training. The lived skills that they have acquired as children growing up bilingually are valuable ones on which formal interpreter training can build.

Dr Jim Hlavac
Monash University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Brokers, dual-role mediators and professional interpreters: a discourse-based examination of mediated speech and the roles that linguistic mediators enact, The Translator, April 2017, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/13556509.2017.1323071.
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