New books at a glanceLiaison Interpreting: A Handbook Melbourne University Press, 1996. ix + 144 pp. ISBN 0-522-84581-9 .
Reviewed by Miriam Shlesinger
Table of contents
Despite its very long history (see for example, Genesis 42:23), liaison interpreting as a profession in its own right has only recently gained recognition as a genre of mediated communication which merits observation and analysis. Along with the gradual rise in the number and complexity of multicultural communities, effective contact between host societies and minority-language groups has increasingly come to rely on services rendered by individuals who have the linguistic, educational and social skills to bridge the inevitable gaps. Not surprisingly, this development is most apparent in countries—such as Australia, Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States—which have manifested a conscious effort to combat exclusionist attitudes towards immigrants. It was in these countries too that the first efforts were made to help practitioners of liaison interpreting cope with the fuzziness of their role definition, with the awkwardness of being perceived as belonging to one "side" or the other, and with the need to legitimize their self-assertion as more than mere intruders.