Exploring Interpreters as Intercultural Mediators: The Role of Interpreters in Communication

Mouallem, Summer orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7290-9526 (2014) Exploring Interpreters as Intercultural Mediators: The Role of Interpreters in Communication. The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, 11 (1). pp. 23-32. ISSN 2327-0055

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v11i01/4372...


Are interpreters merely robots that transfer sentences from one language into another without looking at what is behind those utterances or do they have a responsibility to ensure optimum communication between parties through transferring and explaining cultural nuances? This paper shall look at what some perceive as conflict between some codes of Ethics that insist on accuracy and faithfulness to the speaker (No additions or omissions) and what some interpreting theorists think regarding this issue; Bochner divides cultural mediators in interpreting into two types: synthesizers and translators; these types, and the need for both, would be discussed in detail. The paper shall look at why some scholars such as Seleskovitch, Hatim and Mason defend the practice of interpreters as inter-cultural mediators through looking at the literature published on this topic so far. We shall also look specifically at taboo and its links to culture and the need to explain its cultural nuances in detail, and the consequences of not interpreting the cultural background to some taboo terms, be that in courts or business meetings. The types of taboo shall be defined to ensure people realize it is not just sexual taboo we are discussing.

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