Traduzione e Interpretazione

“Healthcare Interpreting: discourse and interaction” by Pöchhacker and Shlesinger

If you cannot find nor buy  “Healthcare Interpreting: discourse and interaction” by Franz Pöchhacker and Miriam Shlesinger don’t worry. This volume was first published as a Special Issue of Interpreting 7:2 (2005), which you can easily find in Ruffilli Library (Forlì, Italy) or on the internet.

Both the Volume and the Issue include five articles covering a wide range of settings, specialties and languages, as well as five book reviews (two of the books are by Claudia Angelelli, an author who is already among my references and my reviews).

Looking at the content in more detail, you will find:

Introduction on Discourse-based research on healthcare interpreting: written by the two editors, it’s very useful to get a general overview and to understand the main lines of investigation in healthcare interpreting.


“Roles of community interpreters in pediatrics as seen by interpreters, physicians and researchers” by Yvan Leanza
This paper has the big advantage of presenting both qualitative data and quantitative findings (they are seen as complementary analytical lenses), and of incorporating lesser-known francophone contributions on the subject (see Jalbert typology and Traverso linguistic analysis). It gave me some good ideas on how to transcribe and analyse my oral data.

“Doctor-patient consultations in dyadic and triadic exchanges” by Carmen Valero Garcés
It reminded me of how important it is to look at questions and number of speaker utterances and turns in doctor-patient interviews.

“Exploring untrained interpreters’ use of direct versus indirect speech” by Friedel Dubslaff and Bodil Martinsen.
The authors base their analysis on the same principles I will be using, too, namely that of Footing (Goffman, 1981) and of interpreter utterances taxonomy (Wadensjö). It reminds you of the advantages of working with interviews conducted with the same primary parties (e.g. the professors examining in my data), but with different interpreters (e.g. the students examined), which allows for interindividual comparison. In addition to this, the analysis on pronouns and pronoun shifts from first to third person and vice versa may also prove useful in my own research. Not to mention the conclusion, which is perfectly in line with what I think:
“Thus, it seems that, in order to minimize serious miscommunication in interpreter-mediated medical encounters, it is necessary not only to test untrained community interpreters, but also to offer awareness-raising seminars for healthcare providers. Finally, there also seems to be very good reason to point out the importance of training the untrained interpreters, specifically in specialized terminology”. (2005: 232)

“Dialogue interpreting as a specific case of reported speech” by Hanneke Bot
In explains how the use of reporting verbs or reported speech in general affects the perspective of person, and offers some evidence of the fact that, more often than not, interpreters do not repeat but rather report what the primary speakers said. Which may not necessarily be negative and alienating.

“Examining the “voice of interpreting” in speech pathology”
by Raffaela Merlin and Roberta Favaron
I must admit I found this paper very interesting and useful. I totally share the theoretical framework of the two authors, and in particular their borrowing Mishler distinction between “the voice of medicine” and “the voice of the lifeworld” and their adding a third one, namely “the voice of interpreting”. They authors reminded me that the levels of enquiry are not impermeable categories but rather overlapping and complementary lenses, to say it with Yvan Leanza. Moreover, they provided a clear categorization of footings which, though inspired by Goffman and Wadensjö, redefines some of the typologies (2005: 280)

Pöchhacker, F. & M. Shlesinger. (2007). Healthcare Interpreting. Discourse and Interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins


Special Issue of Interpreting 7:2 (2005) [the one I read and quoted above]

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