1 Translation and Interpreting, Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Language and Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
A case study
This paper is part of the initial stage of a larger empirical research project on court interpreting seen as a complex interaction between (at least) three co-participants. The empirical material consists of recordings of interpreted interrogations in court room settings and questionnaires filled in by the participants almost immediately after the interrogations and supplemented by interviews. The main objective of the project is to explore the interpreters' own perception of the quality of the service they render as well as the professional users´ and the other language users' perception of the quality of the service they receive. Ultimately, the findings will be used for training purposes. Future - and, for that matter, already practising - interpreters as well as the professional users of interpreters ought to take the reality of the interpreters' work in practice into account when assessing the quality of the service rendered/received. The paper presents a small-scale case study based on an interpreted witness interrogation. Recent research on the interpreter's role has shown that interpreters across all settings perceive themselves as "visible" (Angelelli 2003, 2004). This has led us to focus on the interpreter's interpersonal role and, in particular, on signs of the interpreter's visibility, i.e. active co-participation. At first sight, the interpreting assignment in question seems to be a short and simple routine task which would not require the interpreter to deviate from the traditional picture of the interpreter as an invisible language switcher. However, a closer look at the data shows that, even in a less complex constellation like the one analysed here, there is clear evidence of the interpreter's visibility. We shall identify various forms of visibility based on the discourse data, such as the interpreter's engagement in explicit co-construction of meaning. In addition, we shall include social factors which must be assumed to have a bearing on the interpreter's behaviour. Here we can, at least to some extent, draw upon the questionnaires and interviews mentioned above. Finally, we shall discuss the interpreter's visibility from a quality perspective.
Main Research Area:
Critical Link 5 - Quality in Interpreting: A shared responsibility, 2007