Conversational dynamics as an instructional resource in interpreter-mediated technical settings

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Knowledge about interactional patterns community interpreters are involved in is increasingly recognized as being of crucial importance for the successful management of dialogically organized settings. It has been argued that interpreters as well as primary parties systematically and necessarily co-orient toward communicative tasks such as signaling changes in footing, i.e. managing different ways of production or reception of utterances. Focusing on communicative skills concerning the coordination of talk seems to improve role performance not only in typical institutional settings community interpreters are involved in but also in a variety of related professional contexts such as international business negotiations or cross-cultural technical meetings. Samples from a videotaped German-French technical interpreting training session are analyzed in this paper as to how setting-specific tasks such as negotiating technical terms are interactionally achieved and how the conversational dynamics of repair activities can be used as an instructional resource in interpreter training more generally.


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