4. A discourse of danger and loss

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Community and conference interpreters are concerned by misunderstanding and for the preservation of linguistic diversity. Rather than emphasizing differences in context or mode, this chapter seeks to deepen parallels and similarities across the spectrum of professional simultaneous interpretation by describing a discourse of simultaneous interpreters within “the largest professional interpreting community in the world” (Interpreter #2). The multilingual and democratic institution of the European Parliament (EP) provides a unique venue to explore shared responsibility between interpreters and interlocutors. As policy makers who regularly use interpreters, the effectiveness of interpreted communication in the EP is of imminent interest to all participants in interpreted interaction. Because codes of ethics typically constrain interpreters’ ability to provide coherent feedback to the interlocutors with whom we work; this paper summarizes one specific and situated interpreter concern. A contrast between the ritual and transmission views for conceptualizing the purpose of communication is used to illuminate the struggle in Interpreting Studies to clearly distinguish linguistic meaning from socially-emergent meaningfulness.


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