Providing emergency interpreting courses: trials and tribulations

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This presentation describes the difficulties encountered when delivering an emergency interpreting course for unqualified participants, many of whom were already acting as “interpreters”, with few, if any, having any background in the study of language or linguistics. Most aspiring interpreters come to interpreting courses with their ideas firmly rooted in the notion that interpreting is about words, term banks, and terminology lists; they have little or no understanding of pragmatic equivalence in interpreted interaction (Fowler 1997). As Hale (2007:178) tells us, “short [interpreting] courses bring into question their validity and general effectiveness”. Hale goes on to assert that training will not be effective without an underpinning of linguistic theory. There is thus a conflict between the urgent need to provide some sort of training to cope with the influx of Ukrainian (and other) refugees and the need to maintain high standards for quality interpreting in complex situations.
Period27 Jun 2023
Held atAston Institute for Forensic Linguistics