Publication details [#56946]

Davitti, Elena. 2013. Dialogue interpreting as intercultural mediation: Interpreters’ use of upgrading moves in parent–teacher meetings. Interpreting 15 (2) : 168–199.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Research on dialogue interpreting shows that interpreters do not simply convey speech content, but also perform crucial coordinating and mediating functions. This descriptive study, which is based on PhD research conducted at the University of Manchester, explores the activity of qualified dialogue interpreters in three video-recorded parent-teacher meetings involving immigrant mothers. English and Italian are the languages used, the meetings having taken place in the UK (one case) and Italy (two cases). The study focuses on interpreters’ handling of evaluative assessment, in many cases introduced by them in the target speech as an “upgrading rendition”. Transcribed extracts are examined in a micro-analytical perspective, the dynamics of each actor’s (dis)engagement towards interlocutors being studied in relation to gaze patterns annotated by dedicated software. Results show that the interpreter actively promotes alignment between the parties; however, s/he often does so by emphasising positive considerations to the mother. The outcome of this approach is that the mother accepts, but is not encouraged to co-construct a negotiated solution: she is assimilated, not empowered.