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. 359–380
Chapter 18Language brokering
Mediated manipulations, and the agency of the interpreter/translator
Language brokering is a common phenomenon among children of migrants, whereby the child mediates between a parent and a different language speaker. This paper uses data from a UK study to explore the retrospective childhood experiences of adults who grew up interpreting and translating for their parents. It examines the ways in which children perform as agents during language brokering, converting meanings in one language into meanings in another in order to achieve particular goals. The paper analyses ways in which adults report that they exercised this form of agency in childhood, and how they feel this influenced their adult identities.
Keywords: children, language brokers, agency, benefits, censorship, identity, manipulation, family settlement
- 2.Agency: A theoretical framework for analysing child language brokering
- 2.1Agency: Achieved in the process of social interaction
- 3.1Language brokers as agents
- 3.2Manipulating information during mediation
- 3.3Translating documents
- 3.5Censoring information
- 3.6Disagreements during language brokering
4.Why manipulate and censor
- 4.1Lack of vocabulary, knowledge, understanding and too much information
- 4.2Frustration, embarrassment and fear of reprimand
- 4.3Protecting parents from stress and worry, and from discrimination
- 5.Consequences resulting from children’s manipulation and censoring during language brokering
- 6.Benefits of language brokering
- 6.1Benefits for the child
- 6.2Benefits for parents
- 7.Summary and conclusions
Published online: 19 June 2017
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