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Understanding Interpreters’ Actions in Context

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1. Title Title of document Understanding Interpreters’ Actions in Context - Interpreter-Mediated Healthcare Communication
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Galina Bolden; Rutgers University;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Linguistics
4. Subject Keyword(s) conversation analysis; interpreter-mediated interaction; medical encounter; physical examination; repair; Russian
5. Subject Subject classification Healthcare Communication; Applied Linguistics
6. Description Abstract This article examines the organization of interpreter-mediated communication and demonstrates that interpreters, as autonomous social actors, continuously monitor and analyze the unfolding interaction and make moment-by-moment decisions about their actions. Drawing on a larger conversation-analytic study of audio- and video-recorded consultations (24 in total) between English-speaking doctors, their Russian-speaking patients, and bilingual interpreters (ad hoc and professional), I present a close examination of short segments from two such consultations and show that interpreters’ involvement is not limited to translation. The article demonstrates that interpreters’ actions are shaped by the demands of the interactional and medical activities they are engaged in. The analysis focuses on two kinds of interpreter involvement: first, their management of situations in which participants experience difficulties in understanding each other; and, second, their participation in a physical examination that requires a close coordination of bodily actions. In the first case, interpreters’ orientations to their normative responsibilities as translators may compel them to act in ways that are divergent from doing translation per se. In the second case, we see that interpreters’ participation in the interaction may be primarily constrained by the demands of the ongoing physical examination and so be only minimally responsive to the talk produced by the other parties.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 30-Jun-2023
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.44096
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Interpreter-Mediated Healthcare Communication
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd