The Critical Link 6: Interpreting in a Changing Landscape

26-30 July, 2010
The Critical Link 6: Interpreting in a Changing Landscape
Aston University, Birmingham UK

The interpreter-ethnographer today has to
take a stance and develop a consciousness for the
political and ethical dilemma between the
domesticating of the Other and leaving the Other as foreign.

~ Sebnem Bahadir (2004, p. 815)

This pre-conference workshop is designed to introduce interpreters to contemporary notions concerning the co-construction of meanings, identities, relationships and social-political dynamics through processes of interpreted interaction. The conceptual framework distinguishes interpretation (simultaneous or consecutive) as intercultural communication systems that are separate and apart from the activities of written translation.

Educational Objectives: the workshop is appropriate to all levels and types of practicing interpreters, interpreter trainers, and researchers of interpreting.

Upon successful completion of this workshop, participants will be able

  1. To identify space- and time-based elements of interpretation
  2. To recognize emphasis on space-based elements as means of asserting control
  3. To understand the time-based elements as constitutive of culture, and
  4. To debate the situated professional norms of interpreting in the context of a much larger culture of control

If we accept the premise that interpreters are never fully neutral, then the responsible professional will begin to investigate how our non-neutrality influences the interactive outcomes of communication among interlocutors. Two stark possibilities are obvious: either our work in systems of simultaneous interpretation contributes to the maintenance of the status quo, or our work introduces possibilities for questioning the way things are usually done, enabling opportunities for individual growth and social change.

Most often, our work is situated somewhere in-between these two poles. The substantive material of this pre-conference workshop will equip the working interpreter to recognize the outcomes and effects of interpreting choices, habits, and decisions on the present and future relationships of interlocutors.

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