12. Quality in healthcare interpreter training

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This paper presents an interpreter training program recently implemented at an Italo-American healthcare facility and illustrates how the notion of “norm”, as developed within Descriptive Translation Studies, successfully shifted the trainees’ attention away from externally imposed instructions onto internally generated behavioural patterns. The process of critical rethinking was carried out through guided self-assessment of both authentic and simulated interpreting performances, based on transcript analysis. Exemplification is provided here by the use of first vs. third person. Given the highly specific context of the medical institution in question, the experience described in this study is significant only insofar as it indicates how to make rigid and undifferentiated rules superfluous while, at the same time, assuring quality services and enhancing the professionalisation of healthcare interpreting.


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