Vol. 27:2 (2014) ► pp. 365–381
When the speaker is a great performer
A case study on the role of the interpreter in consecutive interpreting
This article analyzes an interpreter-mediated speech event from Spanish into Italian. In the case study, the interactional dominance of the main speaker and his communicative style repeatedly challenge the participatory status and the face of the interpreter, who is constantly coping with the speaker’s attempts to involve her in the interaction as an entertainment resource. Although the communicative setting — a book presentation — is typical of conference interpreting events, this encounter was structured unconventionally as an informal story-telling session interspersed with several ad-libs and impromptu conversation exchanges with other participants, all interpreted in the short consecutive mode. The high degree of interactivity that emerged among the participants suggested the adoption of a qualitative multidisciplinary approach which, in addition to conference interpreting research, also draws on dialogue and media interpreting, as well as sister disciplines such as social psychology and conversation analysis in intercultural settings.