Signed and spoken interaction at a distance
Interpreter practices to strive for progressivity at the beginning of calls via the Swedish video relay service
In video relay service (VRS), the interpreter is the only person who is directly linked to both users of the service, seeing the signing user of a videophone and hearing the speaking user of a telephone. The interaction is especially challenging at the beginning of the call. In this study, 25 authentic recorded calls from the Swedish VRS were analysed using conversation analysis. The aim of the study was to explore and describe in detail how the interpreters facilitate and strive for progression at the beginning of a VRS call. The study findings show how the interpreters provide information to the signing callers about their progress prior to the call being accepted, how the interpreters manage the spoken interaction with the called party on the telephone and how the interpreters connect the parties to each other. It is also shown how the interpreters work to make the deaf callers master a call. The results of the study enrich our current understanding of calls made via VRS.
Keywords: interpreting, signed language, telephone, videophone, video relay service, VRS
Published online: 26 January 2021
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