Public Service Translation has for long been the ‘forgotten voice’ in PSI studies but it is
arguably a valuable linguistic support for legal institutions and for training interpreters
in the legal sector. Given that interpreters in the legal system in Italy often tend to
‘double-up’ as legal translators (to make a living) the line between the two is often hazy.
Hybrid modalities like sight translation of legal and administrative documents is also
a ‘borderline’ feature of these intertwined professions. The main aim of this paper is to
describe how parallel and monolingual corpora can be used to train public service interpreters
in double roles (translators, interpreters), namely by using corpora to translate,
in multiple community languages. To this purpose, a computerized corpus has been constructed
as a representative sample of learners’ renditions of legal texts. Then, other two
corpora, monolingual and parallel corpora, have been used to verify the stumbling blocks
dialogue interpreters struggle with, e.g. discourse markers and phraseological constructions.
Corpus data are used descriptively (analyzing data) and prescriptively (providing
examples of correct phraseological language usage in the languages at issue). In other
words, I will describe how this methodology – through the collection of voice-recorded
parallel corpora – is an invaluable tool in the training of legal (dialogue) interpreters. My
ultimate aim is to provide concrete tools for legal interpreters and their trainers to facilitate
their task primarily by constructing a multilingual parallel corpus as a resource for
both academic research and PSIT practitioners.
In cross-examination, witnesses’ face is frequently threatened by legal professionals.
Face-threatening acts (Brown/Levinson 1987) are considered powerful institutional tools
for lawyers; however, in a bilingual courtroom where all the interactions are mediated by
a third party, the interpreter, this is often complicated. Drawing on a small-scale corpus,
five bilingual moot court cross-examinations interpreted by Interpreting and Translation
(I&T) Master’s students at UNSW Sydney, this paper investigates facework strategies
embedded in cross-examining questions and in their Mandarin interpretation based on
Penman’s (1990) facework schema. More specifically, it examines the way facework strategies
are used in cross-examination questions, the extent to which they are maintained or
modified in the interpretation, and how that may affect the pragmatics of the courtroom
questions. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the pragmatics of interpreted
courtroom questions and to legal interpreter training.