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Title: Sense-making in an interpreter-mediated lawyer-immigrant encounter : incorporating the perspectives of the participants utilizing dialogism
Author: Mizori, Hassan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 7939
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Sense-making in interpreter-mediated encounters (IMEs) in a lawyers’ office has not been previously investigated on the micro-level by utilizing post-IME interviews of a reflective nature. This case study addresses this shortcoming by examining an IME in the Netherlands between a Syrian immigrant and his lawyer. It addresses three questions: 1) How does the interpreter translate the lawyer’s utterances? 2) Does the immigrant understand these utterances (via the translations), and what can be learned from his answers in terms of the sense-making processes? 3) How does the interpreter explain his translation decisions, and what can be learned from his answers in terms of the sense-making processes? After analysing the transcribed IME, two semi-structured interviews were conducted: the first with the immigrant and the second with the interpreter. Wadensjö’s (1998) analytical model is extremely valuable. However, it needs to be developed somewhat into order to fully understand how sense-making processes develop; her use of dialogism is accordingly extended to incorporate also situation-transcending knowledge/resources (STK/R), thereby going beyond the situated context. Her taxonomy is also extended. The findings show that the immigrant has understood the majority of the lawyer’s utterances, and that his understanding of them was not dependent solely on the translations; he has also resorted to a good extent to STK/R during the process of sense-making. However, this does not mean that STK/R helps in all cases, for not all originals were understood, even those in which STK/R played an important role. It is noticeable that these non-understood translations are mainly of a legal nature. Further, we have observed that the interpreter understandably does not have an explanation for every translation decision. In such cases, the factors that have been found to have probably influenced the interpreter’s translation decisions relate to the nature of interpreting as a profession, to the characteristics of the discourse utilized in it, and to constraints involving memory. Where the interpreter does mention an explanation, he has been found to be adopting a means of approaching communication which utilises decisions corresponding to central concepts in dialogism. The major theoretical contribution of this thesis is that it extends the model of Wadensjö using Linell’s dialogism to incorporate STK/R, in order to more adequately study sense-making. On a practical level, this gives rise to a new approach to data elicitation, which has not previously been applied to dialogue interpreting, enabling participants to re-construct their internal dialogue about meaning-making.
Supervisor: Dickins, James ; Tipton, Rebecca Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available