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Title: English as a Lingua Franca in telephone interpreting: representations and linguistic justice
Authors: Määttä, Simo K.
Keywords: Telephone interpretingEnglish as a lingua franca (ELF)legal interpretingcommunity interpretinginterpreter-mediated police interviews
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: 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
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.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1591-4127
eISSN: 2421-714X
DOI: 10.13137/2421-714X/20737
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:The Interpreters' Newsletter n. 22 - 2017

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