Article published in:Mediation Strategies
Edited by Anthony Pym
[Language Problems and Language Planning 42:3] 2018
► pp. 308–327
“Do I want to learn a language spoken by two million people?”
Mediation choices by mid-term and long-term migrants
Migrants’ intended length of stay influences their choices between using a lingua franca, language technology, ad-hoc interpreters and translators, intercomprehension, or learning the host country’s dominant language. To study this influence, data were collected through a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and a focus-group discussion from 15 long-term migrants (university language teachers) and eight mid-term migrants (teachers at two international schools) working in Slovenia. The results show that the long-term migrants all learned the host language, while the most common mediation strategy of the mid-term migrants was use of a lingua franca. Ad-hoc interpreters and translators were used not only in healthcare but also for the translations of official documents. Moreover, the French-speaking mid-term migrants attempted to learn the host language and often ended up learning English, while the group of native English speakers tended to form a linguistic enclave. It is argued that the preferred mediation strategy depends not just on the intended length of stay but also on the status of the migrant’s L1 in the particular host country.
Keywords: mediation choices, mid-term migrants, long-term migrants, interpreting, translation
Published online: 28 June 2018
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