From invisible machines to visible experts

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Traditionally, court interpreting arrangements in Spain have been less than adequate, with few enforceable requirements regarding the training and accreditation of those involved. However, the high profile trial of those accused of perpetrating the 2004 Madrid train bombings marked a turning point in the history and development of court interpreting in Spain. The interpreters were experienced professionals who spoke different dialectal variations of Arabic and the simultaneous mode was used. In this paper we will analyse the role of the interpreters in this trial, as perceived by the legal professionals involved. We will follow the evolution of such perceptions over the four months the trial lasted, as the participants adapted and adjusted to the interpreting process.


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