The role of interpreters: Mediating or exacerbating cultural differences

Wang, Jiayi orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2720-8218 (2017) The role of interpreters: Mediating or exacerbating cultural differences. In: Intercultural Communication with China: Beyond (reverse) essentialism and culturalism? Encounters between East and West book series (EEWIP) . Springer, pp. 133-144. ISBN 978-981-10-4013-9

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Cultural mediation has been perceived as the reconciliation of cultural differences. It is said to be of growing importance in today’s globalizing world. Although the notion has gained currency in intercultural communication and interpreting research, the existing literature, which usually lacks real-life access, tends to be based on a rather simplistic assumption of interpreters as cultural mediators. The aim of this study is, therefore, to empirically investigate how interpreters actually perform such a role. An analysis of authentic interpreter-mediated official interactions between Chinese and American government officials combined with follow-up comments has helped to shed light on the complexities of this assumed role. The notion of interpreters as cultural mediators is also reconsidered.

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