Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
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This contribution deals with the use of Google Translate as one among many resources that participants mobilize to overcome the language barrier in plurilingual medical consultations. It is grounded on a two-hour interaction involving a family of Albanian asylum seekers newly arrived in France and a French general practitioner. To reach mutual comprehension, participants rely on the mediation of a lay interpreter (one of the family’s children) who translates for the doctor and the other family members. In this interaction, English is used as a lingua franca, while machine translation is conducted between French and Albanian. The analysis will focus on the interactional work that participants accomplish in order to: (1) propose or solicit the use of Google Translate and make the computer accessible to all participants; (2) detect and repair misunderstandings caused by an unsuitable translation.


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