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Speak English or What?Codeswitching and Interpreter Use in New York City Courts$
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Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337569.001.0001

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Only Translating? The role of the interpreter

Only Translating? The role of the interpreter

(p.69) 4 Only Translating? The role of the interpreter
Speak English or What?

Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 focuses on the court interpreters and the institutional norms that govern their participation in court proceedings. A particular focus is the requirement to use direct translation—that is, speaking in the voice of the source speaker. Drawing on Goffman’s notion of footing and his participation framework model, the analysis shows that strict adherence to this rule prevents interpreters from identifying speaker and hearer roles when these cannot be inferred from the context. Expanding on earlier work, a quantitative analysis shows that some interpreters use reported speech when translating from English and thereby treat the speaker of a language other than English as their addressee, even when the source talk is addressed to someone else. These stylistic differences among interpreters correspond to differences in the understanding of their own role in relation to the other participants.

Keywords:   court interpreting, footing, participation framework, direct translation, reported speech

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