Edited by Anthony Pym
[Language Problems and Language Planning 42:3] 2018
► pp. 288–307
“It’s so vital to learn Slovene”
Mediation choices by asylum seekers in Slovenia
Short-time migrants, who stay in the host country from one to 12 months, use mediation strategies including lingua francas, public-service interpreting and translation, translation technologies, intercomprehension, and learning the host country’s dominant language. The choices made by asylum seekers in Slovenia, a country of transit for the majority of asylum seekers, are analyzed on the basis of questionnaires answered by 127 current and former residents of the Slovene asylum seeker centers in 2016, followed up by semi-structured interviews with a representative group of 34 asylum seekers. The results show that the majority of newly arrived migrants regard the use of lingua francas as a helpful but not desired long-term strategy. They define host-country language learning as the most desirable strategy for linguistic and social inclusion. Surprisingly, they are reluctant to use translation technologies and interpreters because they either doubt the accuracy of the transfer or they consider such mediation (interpreting in particular) a hindrance to their independence.