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POLICE INTERPRETING - AN OVERVIEW Prof Dr Ursula Böser CTISS (Center for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland) Department of Languages and.

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Presentation on theme: "POLICE INTERPRETING - AN OVERVIEW Prof Dr Ursula Böser CTISS (Center for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland) Department of Languages and."— Presentation transcript:

1 POLICE INTERPRETING - AN OVERVIEW Prof Dr Ursula Böser CTISS (Center for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland) Department of Languages and Intercultural Communication School of Management and Languages Heriot-Watt University EDINBURGH

2 MUTICULTURAL SOCIETIES AND THE GROWING LINGUISTIC DEMAND – THE SCOTTISH EXAMPLE Scotland has a population of 5.2 million 3 official languages: English, Gaelic and BSL (British Sign Language) An estimated 150 languages are spoken. Most heavily represented: Bengali, Chinese (Cantonese), Punjabi, Urdhu, Polish and Italian, less frequently French.

3 Evidence of Problems Encountered Concerns over Court translations – BBC news, Highlands and Islands, 28 June 2006 Failure to use qualified interpreters is resulting in justice failures, Trade Union Amicus, 26 September 2006 Lack of Interpreters leads to miscarriages of justice – Workforce language, 29 September 2007 Unqualified interpreters used by Courts & Fiscals causing miscarriage of justice – Scottish Law Reporter, 25 May 2008 Justice system compromised by unqualified interpreters – The Sunday Herald, 4 March 2009

4 Spending by police forces on interpretation services in the UK £ 13,580,599 £ 22,178,040 Average rise within this period in Scotland = 205% (Donnelly 2010: 266)

5 OVERVIEW OF TALK 1 DEFINITNG POLICE INTERPRETING AS OBJECT OF RESEARCH 2 INTRODUCING AN EMERGING RESEARCH PROGRAMME 3 THE CONDUIT MODEL, THE MYTH OF THE INTERPRETERS INVISIBILITY AND DEGREES OF INTERVENTION 4 WHATS IN A WORD? – PRAGMATIC VERSUS LITERAL MEANING 5 POLICIES AND CONTEXTS – TRAINING, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AND WORKING CONDITIONS

6 CHARACTERISTICS OF FACE-TO-FACE INTERPRETING Dialogue Spontaneous speech Short turns at talk Bi-directionality of interpretation

7 POLICE INTERPRETING – AN EMERGING RESEARCH AREA Main focus within PSI (Public Service Interpreting): Medical and Legal Interpreting Main focus within legal interpreting: Court interpreting This research priority has been shaped by - perceptions of relative significance - availability of data

8 OVERVIEW OF ISSUES IN AN EMERGING FIELD OF RESEARCH THE EARLY PHASE: THE CONDUIT MODEL AND THE MYTH OF INVISIBILITY

9 The interpreter as active participant… …using Goffmanns (1981) participation framework and speaker roles/production formats: animator (witness: Yes interpreter: Yes) author (witness: Well, Id say yes, interpreter: Yes) principal (witness: Yes, interpreter: Sorry what did you say?)

10 The interpreter as active participant… initiates communicational repairs (e.g. Could you speak up, please? What does that mean?) gate-keeps (e.g. allocation of speaking rights) explains cultural references

11 The interpreter as active participant – an example (Nakane, 2009: 13) 1 P2A ENGLISH SOURCE TEXT Had you paid for your ticket. 2 I2 Hikōki no okane wa mō harai mashita ka. BACK TRANSLATION Have (you) already paid the airfare ? 3 S2 JAPANESE SOURCE TEXT Mō sore wa, kuru mae kara haratteru (0.4) to omoimasu. (0.5) Mō. BACK TRANSLATION Already that, had been paid before coming here I think. Already. 4 I2 JAPANESE SOURCE TEXT Dare ga haraimashita ka? BACK TRANSLATION Who paid? 5 S2 JAPANESE SOURCE TEXT Hikōki no okane desu ka? BACK ANSLATION For the flight? 6 I2 Hai. BACK RANSLATION Yes 7 S2 JAPANESE SOURCE TEXT Hikōki no okane wa yōsuruni saisho mō nihon ni iru toki haratte, haratte, 8 haraiowatte BACK TRANSLATION The airfare, in short, was already paid initially when we were in Japan, paid, payment was done. 9 I2 Ah, the airfare was paid, (0.2) in Japan, (1.2) 10 I2 In Japanese, the subject of a sentence is often omitted, 11 P2A Mm. 12 P2B Alright, 13 I2 and (you said that) who paid for that, 14 P2A Right. 15 I2 he just said, (0.2) it was paid 16 (1.7) 17 P2A Who – who paid, (0.2) who paid (0.2) for the ticket. (I2 = interpreter, S2 = suspect, P2A= Police officer 1, P2B = Police Officer 2)

12 Turn-Taking in bilingual, mediated communication: the interpreter as co-ordinator In interpreter-mediated face-to-face interaction other speakers …..do not know possible transition points in other languages, nor can they know what pauses are or how turns end. They participate only in their own language. Thus two turn- taking systems are operating independently of each other while yet another system, a discourse exchanges system, is controlled by the interpreter. (Roy, 2000:99)

13 LATITUDES OF INITIATIVE - INTERPRETER ROLES CONDUIT CO-ORDINATOR ADVOCACY invisible highly visible

14 WHATS IN A WORD? PRAGMATIC VERSUS LITERAL MEANING Translating language use in context versus just do it word for word

15 Translating language use in context How would the original utterance (in the given context, with the given participants) be appropriately phrased in the target language and culture in order to reflect the authors intention and achieve a similar reaction in the listener as the original might have?. (Hale, 2007: 7)

16 Main areas of investigation so far: Politeness Register Speech Style Style of Questioning Asymmetrical Power Relations – In-group Loyalties Face Work

17 POLICIES AND CONTEXTS – ROFESSIONAL CONTEXT, TRAINING

18 The Context of Professional Practice Interpreter Training Codes of Professional Conduct Accreditation Sourcing User Training

19 A vicious circle of under- professionalisation If the need for training is not recognised, compulsory training will never be enforced. If training is not compulsory, the demand for courses will be limited, hence reducing their availability. If courses are few in numbers and short in duration, their content will be compromised, impinging on their quality. This in turn effects their effectiveness in improving practice, thus reinforcing the fallacy that training is not essential. (Hale, 2007:164)

20 TRAINING THE USERS: WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS At the booking stage - ensure an appropriate match of interpreter and interviewee At the pre-interview stage - brief the interpreter about the case, their role, the objective - let interpreter have sight of documents to be sight-tanslated During the interview Issues of role - is the interpreter expressing their own views? - is the interpreter slipping between 1st and 3rd person? - is the interpreter ashamed of what s/he is discussing? - are there long stretches where turns are exchanged between the interpreter and one interlocutor while the other(s) remain unadressed?

21 WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS Interaction - do not ask interpreter for advice or address them directly - do not leave interpreter alone with interviewee - hold eye contact with interviewee, address interviewee directly Ways of speaking - avoid making asides - avoid and stop overlapping speech - summarise discussion periodically to check consensus of understanding - be aware of culturally specific concepts and references - do not switch off while the Foreign Language is spoken - cautiously assess visual information such as facial expression During the debriefing - give the interpreter an opportunity to state where interpreting problems occurred - give the interpreter the possibility to raise concerns about their safety

22 The future - bright and Orange? Some initial findings on the uses and impact of Telephone Interpreting

23 In conclusion: … there are no absolute and unambiguous criteria for defining a mode of interpreting which would be good across the board. Different activity-types with different goal structures, as well as the different concerns, needs, desires and commitments of primary parties, imply various demands on the interpreters. (Wadensjö,1998: 287)

24 More research on the basis of authentic data is needed to establish trends. The task is to link observation of the process to pragmatic constraints such as power, distance and face-threat and to semiotic constraints such as genres and discourses as socio-textual practices of particular cultural communities (Mason 1999:160) The definition of quality in police interpreting settings must emerge out of a dialogue between practitioners, researchers and those who are experts in the institutional practices within which police interpreting occurs. THANK YOU!


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