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Interpreter-mediated communication At the medical practice Teaching materials for the training of medical interpreters ITAT Graz 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Interpreter-mediated communication At the medical practice Teaching materials for the training of medical interpreters ITAT Graz 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interpreter-mediated communication At the medical practice Teaching materials for the training of medical interpreters ITAT Graz 1

2 Contents Video recordings of 2 mock interpreting situations with interpreting students Situations take place at a medical practice Interpreters were not given beforehand information about the situations (German – English) Length: approx. 15 min. each Transcription of recordings (EXMARaLDA) Discussion of key-topics and their coverage in the academic literature Analysis of the situations in general and detailed discussion of key-issues Recommendations for further training and/or reading 2

3 Mar Transcription with EXMARaLDA Extensible Markup Language for Discourse Annotation A tool for computer-assisted transcription and annotation of spoken language Free download at with manuals, links to relevant publications etc. 3

4 EXMARaLDA Main aims: Easy form of exchanging spoken language between researchers/users Long-term archiving of valuable resources Transcription in partiture (musical score) notation Example: 4

5 Free software – can be used by students to transcribe and analyse their own interpreting „products“ Advantages: + listen carefully to their own product + errors, problems, difficulties become more visible + „lingusitic behaviour“ can be analysed  facilitates comprehensive analysis of the whole product EXMARaLDA Advantages

6 Topics for discussion/analysis Role analysis Note-taking Nonverbal communication Clarifying questions 6

7 Role analysis General aspects Discuss possible roles of interpreters (different approaches in literature)  “pure messenger” vs. “broker” (cf. Bailey)  “non-person”: people present but treated as absent (cf. Goffman)  “animator” vs. “author” vs. “principal” (cf. Wadensjö) 7

8 Role analysis General aspects Discuss possible roles of listeners (different approaches in literature)  “reporter” vs. “responder” vs. “recapitulator” (cf. Wadensjö) Discuss involvement or non-involvement of interpreters. Which degree of involvement is appropriate in which settings? 8

9 Role analysis Situation 1 & 2  Listen to the recordings and analyse which role(s) the communication partners adopt.  Is the patient addressed directly (by doctor and/or interpreter)? Do they switch between addressing each other directly and indirectly? When? Why? Deliberately or not? Consequences? 9

10 Note-taking Relevant literature 10 Plenty of literature on note-taking available, one recommended hands-on approach: Andres, Dörte (2002) Konsekutivdolmetschen und Notation. Frankfurt am Main [u.a.]: Peter Lang

11 Note-taking General aspects 11 Do you think it is necessary to take notes in settings like hospitals/medical practice…? What is the purpose of note-taking, if any? Advantages/Disadvantages?

12 Note-taking Situation 1 & 2: Discussion Do the interpreters take notes? If yes, when? –during the whole conversation? –at some particular point, why? Do you think their note-taking supports the interpretation? Reasons for mistakes depite notes What could have been improved? 12

13 Which seating arrangements are possible? Advantages/Disadvantages? Does the seating arrangement have an influence on the communication situation? Do speakers have eye contact with the person addressed? Does this have consequences? 13 Nonverbal communication (NVC) Seating arrangements and eye contact

14 Non verbal communication  Discuss this seating arrangement! 14 Advantages/ Disadvantages? Consequences? Suggestions for improvement

15 Nonverbal communication (NVC) Guidelines Guidelines on NVC for interpreters (cf. Felgner): Ability to recognize -discrepancies between verbal and nonverbal communication and consider them when interpreting -function of NVC -and evaluate interdependency between VC and NVC of the message 15

16 Nonverbal communication (NVC) Guidelines Futhermore, interpreters should be -aware of own culture background when judging NVC of communication partners -able to communicate non-verbally in all situations in both cultures -able to recognize when NVC signals problems in the communication triad and resolve problems by NVC -able to recognize if NVC signals incomprehension or confusion 16

17 Nonverbal communication (NVC) Discussion Aspects to discuss: -Doctor must wait for interpretation and can thus concentrate on patient’s NVC (+/-) -NV information always comes „delayed“ -Possible misinterpretation due to separation of verbal and NVC -Should an interpreter verbalize NVC in his interpretation? (dis)advantages, risks? 17

18 Nonverbal communication (NVC) Situations 1 & 2 Watch the video files of both simulations: -Does NVC take place? -Eye contact? Who does the patient/doctor address? -Does it affect the verbal communication and if yes, in which way? 18

19 Clarifying questions General aspects 19 What consequences do clarifying questions have on the communication flow?

20 20 Is it admissable as an interpreter to ask questions? If so, for what reasons? Clarifying questions interrupt the communication. Is there a limit to the number of questions that can be asked? Clarifying questions asked by interpreter

21 Clarifying questions asked by doctor/patient 21 Do clarifying questions also have to be interpreted or can the interpreter reply directly if he/she knows the answer? Does a direct reply by the interpreter influence his/her impartiality?

22 Clarifying questions Situation 1 & 2 22 Who asks clarifying questions? What is the reason for their questions? –missing background information –terminological problems etc. –surprise Do the questions help to make the message clearer? Why (not)?

23 New situation - Simulation 23 Interpreter training according to “critical pedagogy”: no almighty instructor and no absolute solution (cf. Bahadir) Students should become aware of the complexity of an interpreting situation and of their threefold task: –observe –play –control/change

24 New situation - Simulation 24 The aim is not to replay a situation until the perfect constellation and perfect intpretation are achieved but to  try various constellations / ways of interaction  find different acceptable solutions

25 New situation - Simulation 25 Exercise 1: Resimulate both situations, considering the aspects discussed beforehand. Bear in mind that there is more than one possible solution!

26 New situation - Simulation 26 Exercise 2: Without discussion repeat the interpreting situation according to the Boal Method: Spectators are turned into spect-actors (they may intervene at any time they would like the interpreter to (re)act in a different manner).  Different results are discussed after the exercise!

27 New situation - Simulation 27 Exercise 2: (Modified for larger groups) Instead of using a given situation, students are divided into 2 groups and asked to perform a situation on the basis of the same predefined input. (In a second step, these situations could be modified according to the Boal Method.)  Differences are discussed after the exercise!

28 Boal Method  The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy -developed by Augusto Boal -method to tackle and remodel conflicts -spectators become „spect-actors“  can intervene actively at any time and change the situation For further reading:

29 Further reading Andres, Dörte (2002) Konsekutivdolmetschen und Notation. Frankfurt am Main [u.a.]: Peter Lang Bahadir, Sebnem (2007) Verknüpfungen und Verschiebungen. Dolmetscherin, Dolmetschforscherin, Dolmetschausbilderin. Berlin: Frank Timme. Bailey, Frederick Gerorge (1969) Stratagems and Spoils: A Social Anthropology of Politics. Oxford: Blackwell. Felgner, Lars (forthcoming) “Zur Bedeutung der nonverbalen Kommunikation im gedolmetschten medizinischen Gespräch”, in: Andres, Dörte/Pöllabauer, Sonja (in Druck) Im Bauch rauf runter. Germersheim, Meidenbauer. Gile, Daniel (1995) Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. Amsterdam [u.a.]: John Benjamins. Goffman, Erving (1961) Encounters: Two Studies on the Sociology of Interaction. Indianapolis/New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Knapp, Karlfried/Knapp-Potthoff, Annelie (1985) „Sprachmittlertätigkeit in der interkulturellen Kommunikation“, in: Rehbein, Jochen (ed.) Interkulturelle Kommunikation. Tu ̈ bingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, Wadensjö, Cecilia (1998) Interpreting as Interaction. London [u a.]: Longman. 29

30 Related Material Available on MedInt Homepage Situation 1 – Video File (WP8_ITAT_English1.mpg) Situation 2 – Video File (WP8_ITAT_English2.mpg) Transcription Situation 1 Transcription Situation 2 30


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