Interpreter-mediated interaction in healthcare and legal settings
Studies of dialogue interpreting have shown that interpreters are active participants in interpreter-mediated interaction and that their contributions are not simply a gloss of the interlocutors’ turns. Wadensjö (1998), in particular, has underlined the coordinating and mediating functions of dialogue interpreters. In this paper we analyse the activity of interpreters in the interaction by looking at different ways of organizing sequences of turn-taking and theireffects on intercultural mediation. We analysed a sample of 65 encounters in healthcare and legal settings in Italy, involving (Italian) institutional representatives, (English speaking) patients/defendants from West African regions and an interpreter. We note that different types of interpreter-mediator contributions are promoted or prevented in different ways in the medical and in the legal sets of data, respectively, in line with different contextual expectations, and with different results for the involvement of participants, particularly the “laymen”.
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