Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Text drafting is an essential component of many of the contexts in which interpreters are called in to ensure communication (Määttä 2015). As Komter (2006) shows, the drafting process itself can be considered a turn in the interaction. Interpreters involved in such contexts thus perform a communicative , crossing not only the language divide, but also the modal divide (oral vs. written). In this paper, we analyse how an interpreter in a Belgian police interview handles this complex task. It appears that she procedurally and declaratively recognises a written turn in the interaction and uses its authoritative voice to silence the witness by sight-translating the turn as it is being typed on the screen. In line with previous research on interpreters’ handling of dialogues (Hale 1997), the interpreter also shapes turns, including the written turn, to the needs of the addressees: upgrading the register properties of the interviewee’s talk and downgrading those of the written turn.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): dialogue interpreting; police interview; written turn
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