11. Triadic discourse

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Interpreters of bilingual/bicultural interactions assume several overlapping communicative and social roles. Formal verbal exchanges in legal and healthcare settings are characterized by question-and-answer scripts. The meaning of these mediated messages, as relayed by the interpreter, reflects linguistic, cultural, contextual and institutional considerations. Adapting Wadensjö’s model of dialog interpreting to U.S. practices, the interpreter operates both as a transmitter of messages and as a communications coordinator. The former role treats utterances as parallel texts to be translated, while the latter considers the dialogue as a mediated interpersonal transaction. These concepts are applied to authentic samples of interpreted discourse and offer an overview of the legal, ethical and professional constraints to which interpreters are subject.


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