English as a Lingua Franca in telephone interpreting: representations and linguistic justice
Määttä, Simo K.
This paper analyzes the general impact and the potentially adverse effects of the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in a telephone-interpreted police interview in Finland, which was recorded and transcribed. The data were analyzed manually, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The analysis focuses on issues of mutual understanding and the organization of discursive flow from the interpreter’s perspective, using theoretical and methodological tools from conversation analysis, critical sociolinguistics, and critical discourse analysis. Examples of repair initiations and candidate understandings in the data, divided into three categories based on the degree of interpreter intervention in interaction, illustrate the interpreter’s prominent role as a coordinator of discursive flow and repairer of communication problems. However, while the ELF-speaking interpreter shows accommodation to the ELF-speaking migrant’s linguistic resources, the outcome is not necessarily beneficial to the migrant. The service provider’s command of English complicates the interaction. Thus, in dialogue interpreting, ELF may function as an instrument of linguistic unfairness in ways that are often unpredictable. The representations that the interpreter constructs of the other participants as persons with limited linguistic and discursive resources play an important role in such processes. The peculiar features of telephone interpreting intersecting with issues related to ELF intensify such phenomena.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Simo K. Määttä, "English as a Lingua Franca in telephone interpreting: representations and linguistic justice", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter n. 22 (2017), Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017, pp. 39-56
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