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Title: Lost in interpretation : the function of role, question strategies, and emotion in interpreter-assisted investigative interviews
Author: Wilson, Lauren
ISNI:       0000 0005 0285 8315
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2020
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Interpreters enable police to gather key evidentiary information during interviews with victims, witnesses, and suspects who are foreign language speakers. However, words and phrasing in one language do not always have direct interpretations, and interpreted interview evidence can be liable to distortions. To date, as far as is known, an extremely limited body of research has examined the impact interpreters have on the quality and accuracy of interpreter-assisted investigative interviews (IAIIs) and interpreted evidence. This PhD research breaks new ground by examining the impact the presence of an interpreter has on the quality and accuracy of interpreted evidence, both in the interview room and in the courtroom, utilising multiple data sources and methodologies, and highlighting the impact interpreter bias can have on the investigative and prosecution process. Furthermore, this PhD scrutinises how legislation concerning the provision of interpreters has impacted the work of criminal justice interpreters, while exploring explore how trauma and emotion during investigative interviews has further affected interpreted investigative interviews. Previous research has suggested that the interpreter is likely to be a factor influencing the quality of the evidence provided, particularly interpreter emotion, but this has not been explored empirically until now. Results from the four studies in this thesis indicate that discrepancies in police officers’ and interpreters’ expectations during IAIIs can negatively impact the quality of the interview. While both police officers and interpreters recognise emotions as a factor likely to impact the quality of the interview, currently little is done to actively prevent it. Results suggest that highly complex, traumatic crimes increase the likelihood of interpreting errors, which has significant implications for certain major crimes that are likely to involve both foreign language speakers and emotional trauma. Finally, the findings emphasise a lack of understanding on the role, function, and importance of interpreter quality, suggesting a need for changes in government policy regarding public service interpreting and make suggestions for improving interview training for both police officers and interpreters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available