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Interpreters' role perceptions in business dialogue interpreting situations

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journal contribution
posted on 02.06.2017, 02:15 by Takimoto, Masato
This paper aims to examine interpreters' perceptions regarding their role in business interpreting situations involving the Japanese and English languages in Australia. Australia has a nationwide accreditation system for professional interpreters, and accredited interpreters are in theory bound by the professional code of ethics and code of practice. The codes, for example, stipulate such aspects as accuracy, impartiality and confidentiality in interpreting assignments. In this paper, I report on a study of seven interpreters, all of whom value such codes and recognise their importance but who expressed the feeling that there are various occasions where some of the provisions in the codes come in conflict with effective and efficient communication between Australian and Japanese clients in business-related situations. Furthermore, it seems that interpreters are actually active participants in inter-cultural communicative situations as a whole, and that their function appears to be more dynamic and proactive than the traditional stereotype towards interpreters implies. In this paper, the professional interpreters are the main focus and their perceived behaviour in business interpreting situations is discussed. The study is based on interviews with seven accredited Japanese language interpreters. Norm theory developed in the field of translation studies, as well as Goffman's role concept, are applied in the theoretical framework for the study.


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