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Interpreting in Legal Settings

Debra Russell and Sandra Hale, Editors

Publication Year: 2008

The work of interpreters in legal settings, whether they are spoken or signed language interpreters, is filled with enormous complexity and challenges. This engrossing volume presents six, data-based studies from both signed and spoken language interpreter researchers on a diverse range of topics, theoretical underpinnings, and research methodologies. In the first chapter, Ruth Morris analyzes the 1987 trial of Ivan (John) Demjanjuk in Jerusalem, and reveals that what might appear to be ethical breaches often were no more than courtroom dynamics, such as noise and overlapping conversation. Waltraud Kolb and Franz Pöchhacker studied 14 asylum appeals in Austria and found that interpreters frequently aligned themselves with the adjudicators. Bente Jacobsen presents a case study of a Danish-English interpreter whose discourse practices expose her attempts to maintain, mitigate, or enhance face among the participants. In the fourth chapter, Jemina Napier and David Spencer investigate the effectiveness of interpreting in an Australian courtroom to determine if deaf citizens should participate as jurors. Debra Russell analyzed the effectiveness of preparing sign language interpreter teams for trials in Canada and found mixed results. The final chapter presents Zubaidah Ibrahim-Bell’s research on the inadequate legal services in Malaysia due to the fact that only seven sign interpreters are available. Taken together, these studies point to a “coming of age” of the field of legal interpreting as a research discipline, making Interpreting in Legal Settings an invaluable, one-of-a-kind acquisition.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xvii

The work of interpreters in legal settings, whether they are spoken or signed language interpreters, is filled with enormous complexity and challenges. Not only do interpreters have to manage the specialized discourse that frames legal interactions, but they must also possess...

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Taking Liberties? Duplicity or the Dynamics of Court Interpreting

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pp. 1-25

The charge of treason or duplicity is often leveled at interpreters. If honest, no practitioner can claim that an innocent error has never been made or that the speaker’s intention has been never inadvertently betrayed. The legal setting introduces an additional complication—the justification...

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Interpreting in Asylum Appeal Hearings: Roles and Norms Revisited

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pp. 26-50

The involvement of interpreters in legal proceedings with speakers of other languages has a long history, as illustrated by the sixteenth-century laws regulating judicial interpreting in the Spanish colonies. Though it received relatively little attention as a field of practice and research...

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Court Interpreting and Face: An Analysis of a Court Interpreter’s Strategies for Conveying Threats to Own Face

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pp. 51-71

The study presented in this article is part of an empirical study (Jacobsen, forthcoming) of face in an interpreter-mediated speech event in an adversarial courtroom: a prosecutor’s questioning of a defendant in a criminal trial in a Danish district court.1 ...

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Guilty or Not Guilty? An Investigation of Deaf Jurors’ Access to Court Proceedings Via Sign Language Interpreting

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pp. 72-122

In most English-speaking countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, non-English speakers are not allowed to serve as jurors as they cannot access the language of the court. So what about deaf people? Some may be competent English users, but not able to access the...

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Interpreter Preparation Conversations: Multiple Perspectives

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pp. 123-147

In recent years there has been a trend to employ teams of signed language interpreters in a number of contexts in order to best address the needs of the interpreting assignment. There have been a number of factors identified that necessitate the need for teams of interpreters. ...

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Legal Interpreting and the Deaf Community in Malaysia

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pp. 148-169

In the more economically developed countries of the world, a good deal of progress has been made in raising social awareness of the nature and functions of signed languages and signed language interpreting (SLI), providing signed language courses and signed language interpreter...

Contributors

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pp. 171-173

Index

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pp. 175-180


E-ISBN-13: 9781563684319
E-ISBN-10: 1563684314
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563683961
Print-ISBN-10: 1563683962

Page Count: 198
Illustrations: 6 tables, 7 figures
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Studies in Interpretation
Series Editor Byline: Melanie Metzger

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Sign Language -- Translating.
  • Conduct of court proceedings.
  • Law -- Translating.
  • Court interpreting and translating.
  • Interpreters for the deaf.
  • Deaf -- Legal status, laws, etc.
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