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Presentation on theme: "Www.videoconference-interpreting.net AVIDICUS Video-Mediated Interpreting in Criminal Proceedings: Research Findings and Initial Recommendations Dr Sabine."— Presentation transcript:

1 AVIDICUS Video-Mediated Interpreting in Criminal Proceedings: Research Findings and Initial Recommendations Dr Sabine Braun Centre for Translation Studies University of Surrey Ljubljana, 25 th November 2011 Ljubljana, 25 th November 2011 TRAFUT – Training for the Future

2 AVIDICUS Use of video-mediated interpreting (VMI) in legal proceedings (national and cross- border) is increasing to meet demand for interpreting, speed up proceedings, reduce costs The Stockholm programme, the Procedural Rights Roadmap and the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings (Art 2.6) make reference to videoconferencing to gain access to a qualified legal interpreter But initial experience and research shows Video-mediated interpreting is challenging Fragmentation of knowledge Room for improvement Need for guidance Current situation

3 AVIDICUS Identification of the extent of current and future demand; relevant settings Investigation of the effect of videoconferencing on the quality of interpreting Investigation of the effect of combining of videoconferencing and interpreting on the dynamic and goals of legal communication Identification of adaptated communication/interpreting strategies, best practice as well as long-term problems Design of solutions to mitigate problems Development of training Definition of boundaries for the use of videoconferencing and interpreting Research issues

4 AVIDICUS = Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice Services Aims: Identify the situations where videoconference/remote interpreting would be most efficient from a criminal proceedings point of view Assess the viability and quality of videoconference/remote interpreting in these situations from an interpreting point of view Formulate a set of recommendations for Criminal Justice Services on the use of videoconference/remote interpreting Develop and implement training modules on videoconference/remote interpreting Partners: University of Surrey (UK), Lessius University (BE), Local Police Antwerp (BE), Institut Télécom (FR), Dutch Ministry of Justice (NL), Dutch Legal Aid Board (NL), Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators TEPIS (PL), Ann Corsellis (internal evaluator) AVIDICUS 1 and

5 AVIDICUS = Assessment of Video-Mediated Interpreting the Criminal Justice System Work conducted: Review of current practice and future demand of video-mediated interpreting (VMI) Available reports/literature on VMI in legal and other contexts European survey among legal institutions (32 responses from 14 EU countries) European survey amond legal interpreters (201 responses from 22 EU countries and 9 countries outside the EU) Comparison of traditional interpreting and video-mediated interpreting Comparative studies: assessment of interpreting quality, dynamics of communication. Recommendations for use of video-mediated interpreting Training for legal practitioners and interpreters AVIDICUS 1 and

6 AVIDICUS Review of current practice and future demand

7 AVIDICUS 1. Settings, extent, reasons for use Video-mediated interpreting has become common practice in many areas of criminal justice and in other settings; indications that the practice is growing. Wide variety of communication settings to which both interpreters and legal practitioners need to adapt if the implementation of VC facilities proceeds. This is complemented by a wide variety of technical standards among and within countries, which is likely to make this adaptation process unnecessarily difficult. In addition, the continued use of low-quality equipment and connections jeopardises both the quality of interpreting and the acceptance of video links among legal practitioners and interpreters. Review of current practice and future demand

8 AVIDICUS … a variety of settings Videoconference interpreting (A) The primary participants are at two different locations (e.g. court room and prison) The interpreter is at the main site (e.g. in the court room) Review of current practice and future demand

9 AVIDICUS … a variety of settings Videoconference interpreting (B) The primary participants are at two different locations (e.g. court room and prison) The interpreter is with the non-native speaker (e.g. in prison) Review of current practice and future demand

10 AVIDICUS … a variety of settings Remote interpreting All primary participants together in a single location (e.g. in a police station) Interpreter at a different location (e.g. in another police station) Review of current practice and future demand

11 AVIDICUS Total: 166 interpreter responses; done VCI and/or RI: 150; never done VCI or RI: 16 (multiple answers possible) Review of current practice and future demand Growing practice

12 AVIDICUS When you worked in VCI/RI settings in the criminal justice system, in which of the following stages was a video link used? Review of current practice and future demand Total: 150 interpreter responses (multiple answers possible) Growing practice

13 AVIDICUS 2. Stakeholder views Discrepancies between the views of judicial services and interpreters. Judicial institutions cite a number of reasons for the use of VC-based interpreting, interpreters mostly see it as a cost-cutting exercise. Respondents from judicial services accept that video-mediated interpreting is unlikely ever to be as good as face-to-face interpreting but are more willing to embrace video-mediated interpreting than interpreters; lack of knowledge; challenges of video-mediated interpreting are underestimated. Interpreters responses reveal a marked tension between objective difficulties of video-mediated interpreting and resistance to change. Interpreters feel excluded from discussions about VC use; fear of loss in interpreting quality, pay losses and dogged dependence on technology. Very little is known about the views of the defendants, victims, witnesses (non- native speakers). Legal representatives have voiced concerns over VC use. Review of current practice and future demand

14 AVIDICUS Legal practitioners Why do you use/consider to use VCI/RI? "witness or expert has difficulty travelling" "cost of travel would be disproportionate" "to speed up legal proceedings" "convenient for prisoners" "more efficient use of resources" "reduced interpreter travel and waiting time" "to overcome interpreter shortages" "timely conclusion of cases" "reduce costs" Interpreters In a criminal justice setting, has it ever been explained to you why an interpreting assignment needs to involve VCI or RI? the argument is always money. they just say Get on with it Sometimes I am just asked to interpret without any explanations No explanations are given to the interpreter, but we can ask for a briefing I usually find out the reason(s) through asking You can ask the court official for some guidance Review of current practice and future demand Discrepancies

15 AVIDICUS Review of current practice and future demand dont agree = 5 = totally agree Interpreters responses

16 AVIDICUS Review of current practice and future demand How would you rate your RI performance (in CJ) – by age range? Interpreters responses

17 AVIDICUS 3. Research and guidance Conspicuous absence of clear rules and procedures, guidelines or policies on the use of video-mediated interpreting. At the same time, important European initiatives are under way to improve videoconferencing in the CJS, e.g. specification of minimum standards for technology including the audiovisual environment, lighting, seating arrangements, duration of VC use and other aspects (research in the Netherlands, videoconferencing guidelines on the European e-Justice portal). Judicial institutions or those who conduct pilot and evaluation studies on their behalf are often unaware of prior research, evaluation exercises and pilot studies. Research on video-mediated interpreting is scarce, but a recurring result is a discrepancy between objective measures (e.g. interpreters performance) and the interpreters individual perceptions (the human factor). Review of current practice and future demand

18 AVIDICUS 4. Conclusions Some caveats: some adaptation and familiarisation with video-mediated interpreting is yet to take place; hence initial reports on problems may be as exaggerated as the oversimplified claim made by some legal practitioners, court clerks or other administrators that there are no problems at all. Crucial task for further research: disentangle subjective perceptions and their sources from actual interpreting quality in video-based interpreting. Urgently required: informed dialogue between all parties involved; awareness- raising, education and training Review of current practice and future demand

19 AVIDICUS Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

20 AVIDICUS 1. Method Eclectic approach to the collection and analysis of the data, albeit with a common core, which consisted of the following elements: 1) All comparative studies – comparing the various forms of video-medited interpreting with traditional interpreting 2) All studies based on simulations, using legal practitioners, interpreters and role players as suspects or witnesses. 3) Focus on the early stages of proceedings 4) Focus should be on small-group communication as a first step A total of 41 interpreting sessions was conducted, of which 12 included remote interpreting, 14 used the two variants of videoconference interpreting and 15 involved face-to-face interpreting. Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

21 AVIDICUS 2. Outcomes Generally speaking, in spite of using partially different methodologies and assessment methods, the three comparative studies came to very similar results with regard to the interpreting quality. All forms of video-mediated interpreting found to magnify known problems of (legal) interpreting to a certain extent. E.g. linguistic and cultural problems (terminological issues, culture-bound references, problems with regional accents and culture-specific behaviour) as well as problems associated with processing capacity (e.g. hesitations and repairs). The videoconference condition generated a number of additional problems, e.g. omissions, additions, distortions, lexical/terminological problems, paralinguistic problems, turn-taking problems. Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

22 AVIDICUS Main results Surrey : 16 police interviews (8 in face-to-face and 8 in remote mode; words in total) ; distribution of problems (in brackets: average per interview) FTFRI RI / FTF FTF=100% Inaccuracies89 (11.1)110 (13.8) 124% Omissions68 (8.5)108 (13.5) 159% Additions10 (1.3)29 (3.6) 290% Linguistic problems: lexis/terminology, idiomaticity, grammar, style/register, coherence, language mixing 204 (25.5)260 (32.5) 127% Paralinguistic problems 1: articulation, hesitation, repetition 316 (39.5)417 (52.1) 132% Paralinguistic problems 2: false start, self-repair 261 (32.6)287 (34.9) 110% Synchronisation problems (turn-taking)34 (4.3)110 (13.8) 324% Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

23 AVIDICUS Inaccurcies Conceptual misunderstandings of what was said (PO: I want you to confirm what happened. INTP: Je voudrais vous en parler. [I would like to talk to you about this]) Mishearings (DET: Elle m'accusait devant tout le monde. [She was accusing me in front of everybody]. INTP: And she was abusing me in front of everybody.) Misrenderings, i.e. apparently correct understanding but wrong rendition in the target text (PO: This is the ruler that was seized today. INTP: C'est donc la règle qui a été utilisée aujourd'hui. [This is the ruler that was used today] Misrepresentation of the speakers intentions (PO: Is there anything else you want to know before we start? INTP: Est-ce que vous voulez, euh, est-ce que vous me comprenez bien? Est-ce que vous m'entendez bien? [Would you like... can you understand me well? Can you hear me well?] Summary renditions (PO: Then I said, The people at the cab office said you did [hit Ms Jones]. INTP: Ensuite-, ensuite, euh, j'ai dit, euh, ce que les employés à la station de taxi ont dit. [Then I said what the employees at the taxi stand said] Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

24 AVIDICUS Correlations between categories Strong correlation between turn-taking problems (overlapping speech) and omissions; stronger in RI. Surrey study: Traditional interpreting: 3 of the 34 turn-taking problems (i.e. 9%) entailed an omission of information in the target text. Remote interpreting: at least 16 of the 110 turn-taking problems (i.e. 15%) caused an omission. Det:Et je travaillais à H et M l'année passée, à *mi-temps* [And I worked for H and M last year part-time.] Intp:*Last year*, I, I worked with H and M. Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

25 AVIDICUS 2. Outcomes Familiar interpreting strategies (e.g. use of visual signs to stop speaker) do not always work well in a VC. At the same time, verbal intervention, e.g. to stop the speaker and clarify something, is more disruptive in a VC. Interpreters also face additional challenges from the changing communicative behaviour of the primary interlocutors (e.g. uncertainty). Additional problems: gaze and eye contact, communication management (absence of procedures), co-ordination of the talk, and rapport with the remote interlocutors Video-mediated sessions took longer (on average 20%). The number of problems increased faster during the VC sessions, suggesting an earlier onset of fatigue of the interpreter. However, the outcomes also suggest a correlation between the interpreting quality and the audiovisual environment (quality of the technology, set-up). Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

26 AVIDICUS Distribution of problems: timeline Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

27 AVIDICUS 3. Conclusions Basic practical problems with video-mediated interpreting can be resolved quickly through initial training and familiarization, although the combined complexities of video mediation and interpreting may also create deeper-rooted behavioural and communication problems which have to be addressed in further research. The quality of technology and the technological/audiovisual environment seems to have an impact on the quality of the communication and interpretation; this also requires further investigation. The studies point to an urgent need for appropriate training and to the need for an incremental approach to the introduction of video-mediated interpreting with in- built pilot phases and a real commitment to adjustment as the need arises. The Directive emphasises training of legal practitioners in the particularities of communicating with the assistance of an interpreter (Art. 6) – training in VMI is important as VMI is becoming more prevalent, adding another layer of complexity. Comparison: traditional and video-mediated interpreting

28 AVIDICUS Recommendations for judicial services

29 AVIDICUS 1. Identify your needs Map out your setting – who talks to whom, who needs to see/hear whom, where are the main parties and the interpreter located (is the distribution flexible yes/no), how long is the interaction etc. 2. Involve expertise at the planning stage Involve interpreting/linguistic, public service and technological expertise to work out the specifics of your setting and to approve your solution. 3. Use the best available technology Provide high-quality sound and video for all parties involved and additional equipment for the interpreter as required (e.g. headphones); use a separate document camera (for the presentation of documents, images and other material that can facilitate interpreting) Recommendations for judicial services Inter- preting Legal Technological

30 AVIDICUS 4. Provide an appropriate work environment for the interpreter Provide an ergonomic and quiet work environment for the interpreter, allow the interpreter to control the equipment (e.g. volume control) 5. Allow a trial and error phase Run a pilot before large-scale purchase, implementation and roll-out of equipment Identify critical instances, make necessary adjustments 6. Allow for stage-by-stage introduction of new technology Start with low-impact communication, evaluate effect of technology at each stage, assess implications for the next stage Recommendations for judicial services

31 AVIDICUS 7. Use qualified participants and interpreters Use trained and experienced legal interpreters Use legal staff who is experienced in working with interpreters 8. Offer training to the interpreters and legal practitioners Offer an early-stage induction before roll-out of technology Provide continuous professional training (including awareness of wider context, mastery of technology, communicative situation and supportive techniques such as stress management) 9. Agree risk-assessment procedures Agree procedures for deciding whether or not a video link in combination with interpreting is appropriate, consult experienced interpreters Recommendations for judicial services

32 AVIDICUS 10. Develop guidelines/protocols for your procedures Who is responsible e.g. for booking, timing, testing, starting and controlling the connection; what is the procedure before, during and after the session (briefing of interpreter, beginning of session, introductions, rules during session, debriefing) 11. Make provisions for breakdown Develop a protocol for communication or technological breakdown; do not leave it to the interpreter to resolve breakdowns 12. Work towards a code of best practice Judicial services, legal practitioners and interpreter associations should cooperate to develop joint codes of best practice for video-mediated interpreting Recommendations for judicial services

33 AVIDICUS About us and contact AVIDICUS – Assessment of Video-Mediated Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System AVIDICUS 1 – EU Criminal Justice Programme, Project JLS/2008/JPEN/037, AVIDICUS 2 – EU Criminal Justice Programme, Project JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1558, Website: Publication: Braun, S. & J. L. Taylor (Eds.), Videoconference and remote interpreting in criminal proceedings. Guildford. Contact: Dr Sabine Braun, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey, Project consortium (AVIDICUS 1 and 2): University of Surrey (UK) (co-ordinator), Lessius University (BE), Local Police Antwerp (BE), Institut Télécom (FR), Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (NL), Dutch Legal Aid Board (NL), Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators TEPIS (PL), Ann Corsellis (UK) © 2012 AVIDICUS This presentation was produced with financial support from the Criminal Justice Programme European Commission - Directorate-General Justice. The views expressed in this material are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.


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