Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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There is a growing body of academic research that suggests that we are living in an increasingly superdiverse society, where multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual peoples cohabit on a daily basis. Superdiversity challenges any nation state’s ideological claim of being representative of only one culture and one language, and indeed, in relation to the latter, highlights the increasing phenomenon of translanguaging, both in the wider world of social interactions and in the classroom.

In this context, it is argued here that interpreter training needs to respond to superdiversity and translanguaging, as future interpreters are part of the same social world, and will undoubtedly encounter translanguaging in their future professional life. In superdiverse and translanguaging societies, source and target languages are no longer a one-to-one linguistic and cultural translation, but a far more fluid, dynamic and multiple interchange of repertoires and resources that people access in multi-varied and multi-functional ways.

In this increasingly complex scenario, languages are not seen as bounded entities, but rather as fluid and interchangeable in the situated moment, and this, it is argued, needs to be reflected in pedagogy. Moreover, translanguaging (between bi/multilinguals) has been shown to promote greater cognitive development when tackling complex issues and rationalising processes. Also, translanguaging aids social and professional identity work, as interpreter students develop their understandings of the role their future interpreter life can and need to play in their career. Drawing on my own research and the observations made on the present and future needs of interpreting studies, a ‘translanguaging space’ (Li Wei 2011) is proposed for curriculum design in interpreter training.


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