Article published in:Transferring Linguistic Know-how into Institutional Practice
Edited by Kristin Bührig and Bernd Meyer
[Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 15] 2013
► pp. 137–150
Transfer is not a one-way street
Insights on Ad-hoc interpreting in German hospitals
The transfer of linguistic findings into institutional practice sometimes appears to be a one-way street in which language experts provide solutions for communication problems but, in return, don’t receive insight from the institutions they work with. To emphasize the potential value of applied research for linguists, this paper will be outlining the collected data gathered from an interpreter training program we designed for bilingual nurses working at a German hospital. Using this data, an argument will be made explaining why scholars in interpreting studies and linguistics could benefit from such training programs if they were to open to a two-way exchange. Ultimately, we argue that such an exchange could lead to new questions for basic research. To give a concrete example supporting this argument, our data provides evidence of medical doctors involuntarily changing their communication strategies when working with ad-hoc and professional interpreters. This has resulted in the medical doctors condensing their communication when conversing through an interpreter. From a linguist’s standpoint, this is a phenomenon that should be researched further, for interpreting, in this sense, may be having a negative effect on the quality of communication.
Published online: 28 November 2013
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