MULPV5N1_047.pdf - Interpreters role perceptions in business dialogue interpreting situations MASATO TAKIMOTO MONASH UNIVERSITY This paper aims to

MULPV5N1_047.pdf - Interpreters role perceptions in...

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Interpreters' role perceptions in business dialogue interpreting situations This paper aims to examine interpreters' perceptions regarding their role in business interpreting situations involving the Japanese and English languages m Australia. Australia has a nationwide accreditation system for profession- al interpreters, and accredited interpreters are in theory bound by the profes- sional code of ethics and code of practice. The codes, for example, stipulate such aspects as accuracy, impartiality and confidentiality m interpreting assignments. In this paper, I report en a study of seven interpreters, all of whom value such codes and recognise their importance but who expressed the feeling that there are various occasions where some of the provisions in the codes come m conflict with effective and efficient communication between Australian and Japanese clients in business-related situations. Furthermore, it seems that interpreters are actually active participants in inter-cultural communicative situations as a whole, and that their function appears to be more dynamic and proactive than the traditional stereotype to- wards interpreters implies. In this paper, the professional interpreters are the mam focus and their perceived behaviour in business interpreting situations is discussed. The study U based m interviews with seven accredited Japanese language interpreters. Norm theory developed m the field of translation stud- ies, as well as Goffman's role concept, are applied m the theoretical/rame- work for the study. 1. Introduction 1.1. Main objectives This paper attempts to examine the functions of Japanese language professional interpreters in business interpreting set- tings in Australia. The term 'business interpreting' is used in this paper mainly to refer to interpreting provided within the private sector. The role of an interpreter has traditionally been described using such terms as 'conduit 1 , 'channel' or 'faith- ful echo' (e.g. P&chhacker 2004:147; Roy 1993), These analogous terms are used to describe an interpreter as a neutral, machine-like device that conveys messages in die other language. Such a view can be seen in the Australian context, where, for instance, all professional interpreters who are accredited by NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators &. Interpreters) are expected to follow the ethical procedures as set out in the AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators) Code of Ethics and Code of Practice and, accordingly, are expected to act in the very way the above 'traditional' definitions suggest. (The Code of Ethics covers general principles, while the Code of Practice stipulates annotations to the principles.) This rather static and simplistic view of the role of the interpreter, however, has been questioned since the early 1990s, and some scholars have begun to suggest such alternative metaphors as commu- nication facilitator, intercultural agent or advocate to reflect die role of an interpreter more accurately (Pohhacker 2004: 14S).
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