Doing Justice to Court Interpreting
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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This article reports on an investigation of face in a triadic speech event, a prosecutor’s interpreter-mediated questioning of a defendant in a criminal trial at a Danish district court. The power differential of this particular speech event makes it inherently threatening for the less powerful individual, the defendant, who by consenting to make a statement potentially puts his face at risk in multiple ways. Moreover, his face-protecting strategies may result in the prosecutor’s face being threatened. Simultaneously, while attending to the face-work of the primary participants, the interpreter has her own face to attend to as a professional. Consequently, the aim of the investigation was to explore face-work in the speech event and the interpreter’s strategies for translating and coordinating face-work. The analysis revealed that the interpreter frequently modified face-threatening and face-protecting utterances in an attempt to protect her own face and/or the face of one of the primary participants.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): court interpreting; face; power relationship; pragmatics; triadic speech event
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