This paper describes the operation and outcomes of the Promoting Equal Access to Services project, which had two aims. The first was to reduce the gap between training and work for sign language interpreters by offering a six-month structured internship, including placements in the Police and National Health Service, alongside mentoring, supervision and coaching. The second aim was to further the integration of interpreting into the institutional practice of the Police and National Health Service. The paper describes the background of the project and the organisationally-centred theoretical framework, based on the work of Dong (Dong 2016; Dong/Turner 2016) and Downie (2016), before outlining the support package offered and examining intern experience and the effects on each of the organisations, before discussing the relevance of the results for future similar projects and for the theorisation of interpreting. It concludes by arguing that, to ease the transition between interpreting and work and to create environments conducive to excellent interpreting, close co-operation between training providers and organisations that use interpreting regularly will be needed.
The sudden shift from a traditional to a virtual classroom in the COVID-19 era has resulted in a radical re-organisation of courses not conceived initially as online learning. The Internet availability of materials and tools has been an excellent resource for the so-called “emergency remote teaching” (ERT); however, the passage was somewhat problematic. This paper presents our experience of teaching dialogue interpreting (DI) by distance mode in two beginner interpreter classrooms during the COVID-19 era. We present three different kinds of data: a questionnaire concerning our first ERT experience (2020), observation sheets, and two excerpts of transcriptions (made after recording the students’ role-play performances in 2021). Our aim is to analyse how ERT can affect course delivery and design and to evaluate whether the pedagogical measures we took to mitigate the drawbacks of ERT were effective. In essence, we were faced with the paradox of using distance learning methods for training students to work as dialogue interpreters in face-to-face interactions. Needless to say, some problematic aspects emerged during our lessons. Therefore, the present study is also intended to highlight strengths and weaknesses in teaching dialogic interpreting by remote.
Despite the growing research in telephone interpreting, there are still few studies addressing it systematically from a linguistic point of view, since the work that has been carried out focuses on aspects related to quality, the satisfaction of those involved, the working conditions of interpreters and the skills they must possess in order to carry out training proposals. The aim of this piece of research is, based on the pragmatics of language, to analyse the prevalence and characteristics of face-threatening acts addressed to interpreters. Telephone conversations constitute an example of distance communication as opposed to face-to-face communication. Besides, interpreted interactions can be considered as indirect since the recipient does not receive the source speech but the translation of it after an interpreter has rendered it in the required language. According to literature, in distance and indirect communication there is a high prevalence of face-threatening acts (FTAs). It is thus hypothesised that telephone-interpreted conversations, as an example of distance indirect communication, will contain a high number of FTAs. The high prevalence and difficulties of FTAs for telephone interpreters have been already signalled but existing studies have analysed FTAs broadly, without making speakers and addressees a variable of analysis. In this paper, we focus on speech acts that threaten the face of interpreters and describe the most frequent ones in our study.
For a while now, interpreter-mediated talk has been analysed as a form of interaction under the lenses of approaches based on recorded and transcribed data. These studies converge on the idea that making sense of the participants’ contributions puts constraints on the interpreters’ activity, leading them to choices of action like explaining, clarifying, making explicit what is implicit. This paper focuses on sequences involving clinicians, migrant patients and intercultural mediators and deals with instances in which clinicians’ contributions heavily limit the interpreters’ choice of action. The cases in question are sequences where clinicians comment on patients’ different behaviour or habits. Our analysis looks at four types of mediators’ reaction that we found in the data, all showing the challenges these comments create for the mediators’ choice of action. We conclude that rendering is hardly an option and that while non-rendition may serve the purpose of protecting the patients from possibly offensive talk, it also hinders their involvement in the interaction, or their possibility of replying.