1.3 Torstensson & Sullivan

| September 3, 2020

Niklas Torstensson and Kirk P. H. Sullivan. (2011). The Court Interpreter: Creating an interpretation of the facts. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 1(3), 64-86.

Abstract: A fair trail is impossible without an interpreter when anyone taking part in the court proceedings does not know the national language, yet the use of an interpreter affects the judging of an immigrant and perhaps their right to a trial as fair as the one offered to a native speaker of the national language. At times courtroom conversation using an interpreter gets confusing, interrupted, and breaks down. These disfluencies can be the result of a lack of linguistic and cultural insight by any of the parties. This paper focuses on how interpreters and legal staff perceive the court interpreter’s role, and the creation of the interpretation. Using qualitative semi-structured interviews, it became clear that the interpreter and the lay judge hold different views. The interviews also revealed a degree of mutual mistrust.. Yet, in spite of this, a feeling that the bilingual communication in the courts works reasonably well most of the time also came through in the interviews and that with better education for all parties the courtroom could become a fairer legal context.

Keywords: interpreter, discourse, courtroom, disfluencies


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Category: Volume 1