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Legal Interpreters’ Self-perceptions of their Roles and Responsibilities in the British Judicial System

Liu, Zhiai (2016) Legal Interpreters’ Self-perceptions of their Roles and Responsibilities in the British Judicial System. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study investigates legal interpreters’ perception of their roles in the British judicial system through three steps. The exploration began with legal interpreters’ role, which is the vital foundation of legal interpreting. Then, the definition, constitution, and approaches of legal interpreter’s main role, providing accurate and faithful renditions of original utterances, were explored. The investigation ended with the most prominent moral dilemmas and practical difficulties obstructing legal interpreters’ effective delivery of their role. Data is collected through a mixed methods approach using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with qualified interpreters on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) and written interviews with six legal practitioners. Findings reveal that communication facilitator and faithful renderer of original utterances were the best descriptions of the legal interpreter’s role, according to their own perceptions. However, understanding of this aspect and the establishment of a clear professional status of interpreters have not been achieved across the British judicial system. Interpreters in this study were in general agreement on the concept of accurate interpretation and faithful reflection of the main linguistic content as well as the original pragmatic strength in the target language rendition. However, they reported divided views regarding the treatment of each pragmatic element of speech. Reflections on difficulties fall into five main areas of insufficient contextual information, linguistic challenges, complicated legal procedure, lack of understanding of the interpreting profession and emotional challenges. However, various parties in the current legal context have not recognised these difficulties. Interpreters pointed out the importance of addressing these issues in the training process for both interpreters and legal practitioners and setting up an interpreter support regime. Findings may help to identify gaps in the existing certification process and training courses helping legal interpreters to be equipped with knowledge and solutions to be better prepared for various challenging situations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.714394
Depositing User: Ms Zhiai Liu
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 10:44
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17332

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