Article published in:New Insights in the History of Interpreting
Edited by Kayoko Takeda and Jesús Baigorri-Jalón
[Benjamins Translation Library 122] 2016
► pp. 247–268
Risk analysis as a heuristic tool in the historiography of interpreters
For an understanding of worst practices
The specificities of the interpreter’s work can be considered in terms of the way people interact in spoken encounters. Underlying the competing interests and implicit search for cooperation, there is always the relative proximity of alternative non-linguistic action. This gives mediated encounters an element of potential danger, at the same time as it makes them particularly suitable for risk analysis. Study of an extreme example of proximate alternative action, a mediated military encounter in Afghanistan, shows that an interpreter’s failure to render significant material may be considered rational in terms of his possible distribution of risk priorities. Indeed, risk analysis can enable us to understand multiple cases of what would otherwise appear to be unethical or non-standard practices.
Keywords: interpreting, spokenness, risk management, proximate action, conflict situations
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Published online: 10 March 2016