Chapter published in:Non-professional Interpreting and Translation: State of the art and future of an emerging field of research
Edited by Rachele Antonini, Letizia Cirillo, Linda Rossato and Ira Torresi
[Benjamins Translation Library 129] 2017
► pp. 107–130
Chapter 6More than mere translators
The identities of lay interpreters in medical consultations
Lay interpreters participating in medical consultations engage in several activities that go beyond the mere translation of talk. This study aims to identify some of such activities and the participants’ associated identity categories as they emerge and are made relevant in these social encounters. The analysis of a large corpus of video-recorded medical consultations in a rural clinic in Yucatan (Mexico), where both Spanish and Yucatec Maya are spoken, shows that lay interpreters engage not only in oral translation, which is the expected activity, but also in other activities. In so doing, they display further social identities, such as that of a “social peer” or an “expert,” with which their co-participants might align or misalign. This study thus sheds lights on how lay interpreters navigate through the medical consultation and on how they adjust to local needs and their co-participants’ expectations as to their role in a given situation during an encounter.
Keywords: conversation analysis, video recordings, lay interpreting, medical consultations, identity, misalignment, positioning
- 2.Identity in interaction: An emergent phenomenon
- 3.Lay interpreters in medical consultations
- 4.The setting, the data and the method
5.Activities revealing the lay interpreter’s identities
- 5.1The lay interpreter as a “translator”
- 5.2The lay interpreter as an “expert”
- 5.3The lay interpreter as a social “peer”
- 5.4Participants’ misalignment from the lay interpreter’s activity
- 5.4.1The patient’s misalignment
- 5.4.2The doctor’s misalignment
Published online: 19 June 2017
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