The focus of this article is interpreting for children and adolescents in the healthcare setting of Barretstown Camp, a therapeutic and recreational facility for children and adolescents suffering from chronic or serious illness that uses volunteer interpreters. The data collected will be discussed to highlight autonomous discourse moves made by interpreters that reveal their cultural competence and make communication with children more effective and affective. Interpreting for children poses a number of challenges for interpreters and the other professionals involved in the interaction. Any interpreter-mediated conversation poses a number of general challenges (such as bridging the gap between two different cultural worlds) and also more specific challenges related to both the setting (legal, medical, educational, etc.) and the beneficiaries of the interpreting (children, adults, doctors, lawyers, etc.). While interpreting for adults has been investigated quite extensively, interpreting for children is almost unchartered territory. In the first part of this paper, there is a short overview of the literature in this area, including a discussion of issues that may arise when interpreting for children. The first of these issues concerns whether it is the task of the interpreter or the other professionals to adapt the language spoken to the needs of the child, with the literature offering a number of different approaches, depending on the setting. The second issue concerns the role boundaries of interpreters when mediating a conversation involving a child. Another very important issue discussed is the difficulty in listening to the voice of children involved in interpreter-mediated encounters. In the second part of the paper, the focus is on the concept of subjective culture and its relevance in interpreter-mediated doctor-patient encounters. There are studies supporting the idea that not only individuals belonging to ethnic minority groups experience discrimination, but also ethnic majority individuals belonging to micro-cultural groups. This is something that should be taken into consideration by interpreters when working, for instance, with children and adolescents suffering from chronic illnesses as they, in fact, belong to one of these majority subgroups and may be subject to discriminatory behaviour. More generally, it is argued that the paediatric setting entails a subjective layer of culture that interpreters need to be aware of. Next, the different roles interpreters can fulfil in this field are discussed by presenting some of the classifications elaborated by authors who have investigated this topic. The implications of each individual role on the interaction and its participants are then discussed. In addition to identifying the different responsibilities each role entails for the interpreter, the perception that other professionals and users have of the interpreter’s role are also highlighted. In the final part of the paper, the focus is on an aspect that deserves particular attention on the part of interpreters when working with children: the use of child-friendly language by making references to the world of children. This aspect is discussed using examples taken from the data collected at Barretstown. The data are briefly described to provide the context for the analysis. Examples of references to the world of children produced by both professionals working at the camp and interpreters with autonomous additions in their renditions are discussed together with the pragmatic implications of these autonomous discourse moves.

Interpreting in a Recreational Paediatrics Setting: Displaying (Inter)cultural Competence with Children

Amalia Agata Maria Amato;
2020

Abstract

The focus of this article is interpreting for children and adolescents in the healthcare setting of Barretstown Camp, a therapeutic and recreational facility for children and adolescents suffering from chronic or serious illness that uses volunteer interpreters. The data collected will be discussed to highlight autonomous discourse moves made by interpreters that reveal their cultural competence and make communication with children more effective and affective. Interpreting for children poses a number of challenges for interpreters and the other professionals involved in the interaction. Any interpreter-mediated conversation poses a number of general challenges (such as bridging the gap between two different cultural worlds) and also more specific challenges related to both the setting (legal, medical, educational, etc.) and the beneficiaries of the interpreting (children, adults, doctors, lawyers, etc.). While interpreting for adults has been investigated quite extensively, interpreting for children is almost unchartered territory. In the first part of this paper, there is a short overview of the literature in this area, including a discussion of issues that may arise when interpreting for children. The first of these issues concerns whether it is the task of the interpreter or the other professionals to adapt the language spoken to the needs of the child, with the literature offering a number of different approaches, depending on the setting. The second issue concerns the role boundaries of interpreters when mediating a conversation involving a child. Another very important issue discussed is the difficulty in listening to the voice of children involved in interpreter-mediated encounters. In the second part of the paper, the focus is on the concept of subjective culture and its relevance in interpreter-mediated doctor-patient encounters. There are studies supporting the idea that not only individuals belonging to ethnic minority groups experience discrimination, but also ethnic majority individuals belonging to micro-cultural groups. This is something that should be taken into consideration by interpreters when working, for instance, with children and adolescents suffering from chronic illnesses as they, in fact, belong to one of these majority subgroups and may be subject to discriminatory behaviour. More generally, it is argued that the paediatric setting entails a subjective layer of culture that interpreters need to be aware of. Next, the different roles interpreters can fulfil in this field are discussed by presenting some of the classifications elaborated by authors who have investigated this topic. The implications of each individual role on the interaction and its participants are then discussed. In addition to identifying the different responsibilities each role entails for the interpreter, the perception that other professionals and users have of the interpreter’s role are also highlighted. In the final part of the paper, the focus is on an aspect that deserves particular attention on the part of interpreters when working with children: the use of child-friendly language by making references to the world of children. This aspect is discussed using examples taken from the data collected at Barretstown. The data are briefly described to provide the context for the analysis. Examples of references to the world of children produced by both professionals working at the camp and interpreters with autonomous additions in their renditions are discussed together with the pragmatic implications of these autonomous discourse moves.
Amalia Agata Maria Amato; Giorgia Mangoni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/851510
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