Friday 18th of June 2021

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Interpreting in a Recreational Paediatrics Setting: Displaying (Inter)cultural Competence with Children

 

Amalia Agata Maria Amato e Giorgia Mangoni, Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30

 

amalia.amato(at)unibo.it, gio.mango93(at)gmail.com

 

Abstract: Any interpreter-mediated conversation poses a number of general challenges (among which bridging the gap between two different cultural worlds) and also more specific challenges related to both the setting (legal, medical, educational, etc.) and the beneficiaries of interpreting (doctors, or politicians, experts or lay people, etc.). Interpreting for children poses a number of additional challenges for interpreters and the other professionals (lawyers, police, social workers, etc.) involved in the interaction depending on children’s cognitive and linguistic abilities and their inherent vulnerability. While interpreting for adults has been investigated quite extensively, interpreting for children is almost unchartered territory. This paper reports a case study carried out on recordings of interactions collected at a recreational paediatrics centre where the medical and other staff communicate with children through voluntary interpreters. This paper discusses interpreters’ (non-)renditions produced during induction sessions held before some outdoor activities in which Italian children are the recipients of instructions given by Irish activity leaders. The aim is to see if any features emerged in the interpreters’ performance that could be specifically related to the fact that the beneficiaries of interpreting were children. The findings show that interpreters produced autonomous discursive moves targeted to their audience which made reference to books, films, cartoons, sports heroes that are part of the (mainstream) cultural references among Italian children and adolescents.

 

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