Telephone interpreting in lawyer-client interviews: An observational study
Keywords:telephone interpreting, interpreted lawyer-client interviews, interpreter code of ethics, interactional management, choice of pronouns
This paper presents the findings of an observational study of 17 telephone interpreted lawyer-client interviews in New South Wales, Australia. It focuses on the lawyers’ and interpreters’ interactional management approaches when they work together remotely. The study highlights a number of issues pertaining to this particular mode of interpreting, including a distinct lack of briefing, ignorance of existing protocols, poor working conditions and at times technical problems. The study found mixed results relating to interpreters’ compliance with the code of ethics. The vast majority of interpreters adhered to the normative practice by using the standard first-person pronoun, however instances of interpreters adopting extra roles were prevalent, which is most likely due to lack of training and adequate credentials. Interestingly, most interpreters were passive participants, who rarely initiated coordination functions. On the other hand, the lawyers seemed conversant with the role of the interpreter and demonstrated active coordination strategies to help interpreters overcome some of the inherent challenges of telephone interpreting. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).