INTERPRETING: Sociolinguistic perspectives on challenges in interpreting encounters in the Danish public sector
Contemporary societies are overwhelmingly characterized by various types of linguistic and cultural diversity. One of the consequences of such societal complexity is an increasing need for interpreting in institutional encounters. In Denmark interpreting in the public sector represents a significant cost. Approximately 305 million DKK was spent on interpreting services in the legal, asylum and health-care sectors in 2016 (Rigsrevisionen 2018:5), and it is certainly important that interpreter mediated meetings work as well as possible. From an academic perspective, the social encounters in which interpreting services are used also provide a window into important social and linguistic processes, and interpreting encounters are therefore vital to explore for the socially engaged science of language.
INTERPRETING investigates communicative challenges emerging when citizens who are estimated to need an interpreter meet the public sector, here: police, court and the health care system. The aim is to achieve insight into linguistic and cultural aspects of interpreter mediated encounters, including how the conversations evolve, and what expectations to and experiences with the encounters participants hold. INTERPRETING compares insights from three domains (police, court, health care), and it takes into account the perspective of the three main participants (interpreter, the institutional interpreter user, the citizen).
INTERPRETING is the first Danish project with a sociolinguistic perspective on the use of interpreters by the public sector. With its a unique set of data the project will eventually enable new theoretical and societally relevant insights in interpreter mediated encounters in contemporary societies.
The project follows a comprehensive data management plan and security procedures for storage and usage of personal information consistent with guidelines issued by Datatilsynet (Persondataforordningen 2018) and in accordance with the University of Copenhagen’s data security regulations
INTERPRETING’s international advisory board consists of:
- Professor Marco Jacquemet (University of San Fransisco)
- Assistant professor Katrijn Maryns (Ghent University)
- Associate professor Salla Kurhila (University of Helsinki)
- Associate professor Philipp Angermeyer (York University)
In addition, INTERPRETING works with a number of stakeholders.