From role-playing to role-taking
Against the background of the current literature on (interpreter-mediated) doctor-patient interactions, and of a study of real interpreting situations recorded in Italy and Belgium, this paper presents an analysis of medical role-plays recorded in one of the major Italian universities training interpreters. The paper sets out to check to what extent participants fulfil the “ideal template” of dialogue interpreting (AIBIA turn pattern), locating departures and raising questions like: who initiates them and how do the interlocutors position themselves? Are there any differences with departures in real data? Is role-playing a good way of introducing students to role-taking in healthcare? Combining notions from Conversation Analysis and Interpreting Studies, this paper discusses what works and what is missing in role-plays.