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Title: Caution and compliance in medical encounters : non-interpretation of hedges and phatic tokens
Authors : Albl-Mikasa, Michaela
Glatz, Elisabeth
Hofer, Gertrud
Sleptsova, Marina
Published in : Translation & Interpreting
Volume(Issue) : 7
Issue : 3
Pages : 76
Pages to: 89
Publisher / Ed. Institution : University of Western Sydney. Interpreting & Translation Research Group
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Sydney
Issue Date: 2015
Language : Englisch / English
Subjects : Cultural expressions; Hedges; Phatic tokens; Medical interpreting
Subject (DDC) : 418.02: Translationswissenschaft
Abstract: The paper is based on the Swiss research project ‘Interpreting in Medical Settings: Roles, Requirements and Responsibility’, which was supported by a grant of the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI) and carried out by an interdisciplinary team comprising medical specialists from the University Hospital of Basel (Marina Sleptsova and colleagues) and interpreting studies/applied linguistics researchers from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) (Gertrud Hofer and colleagues). It explores 12 transcribed video-taped interpreted authentic conversations between German speaking doctors/medical staff and patients of Turkish or Albanian origin. The analysis finds that culture-specific expressions produced by the patients occur rarely and do not pose any interpreting problems. By contrast, phatic tokens and hedges play an important role in medical personnel’s presentation of their interactional, trust building, diagnostic and therapeutic intentions. Although essential elements in communication in that they are geared at building patients’ compliance and establishing doctors’ safeguards, these expressions are rarely or inconsistently rendered by the interpreters. It is argued that, while medical interpreters may have plausible reasons not to render these expressions, they would still need to be made aware of the significance of such pragmatic aspects of communication in training courses and/or pre-encounter briefings. More generally, empirical research – similar to that on questioning style and questioning techniques – should focus more on the exploration of discourse markers, meta-discourse comments and rapport-building expressions of different types of utterance and discourse practices in healthcare interpreting settings.
Departement: Angewandte Linguistik
Organisational Unit: Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen (IUED)
Publication type: Beitrag in wissenschaftlicher Zeitschrift / Article in scientific Journal
Type of review: Peer review (Publikation)
DOI : 10.21256/zhaw-4060
ISSN: 1836-9324
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY 4.0: Namensnennung 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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