Role expectations Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:24:05
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Category: Goffman

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As Goffman (1961) suggests, when exploring what а particular role is, one would naturally take а look at the normative expectations associated with the role. These expectations come primarily from interpreters themselves: what they have theorized an interpreter should do as the person in-the-middle. Typically these expectations have centered on the delivery of messages between speakers, their accuracy and adherence to meaning, and the lack of bias. However, as interpreters themselves have said, what is idealized as correct practice is not what happens in reality.

For example, in Interpreting: An Introduction, when Frishberg, the author, interviews an interpreter and asks about responsibility in practice, the interpreter suggests that interpreters have to be communication cops: And the interpreter needs to take on as part of their role, as communication cop, because theyre the bilingual person in the situation, and theyre going to know the timing and the rhythm and the pause sequencing and the languages and know when is an appropriate time ( Frishberg 1986: 28).

These remarks echo conversations heard for years among interpreters. During the reality of work, it becomes apparent that interpreters do more than convey messages what interpreters struggle with is how to explain this activity best and how to decide whether the activity is ethical. What remains is to describe and examine what interpreters do as they work in interactive events. Because speech events and discourse processes are interactive and meanings accumulate through the interaction, an interpreted event cannot be understood by examining only the interpreter.

When studying а social role, the constellation of people is the basic analytical unit, not the individual ( Wadensjo 1995: 115; emphasis hers). In exploring the role within an interactive framework, an analyst must investigate how roles are actually performed and how others in the activity act and react to confirm or deny the performance of roles. Interpreters act in concert with other participants; their speech and actions cannot be understood adequately or accurately without considering the speech and actions of the other two participants. Lets begin by examining the flow of talk in an idealized interpreted conversation.

Borrowing from Wadensjo (1995: 116), the following is а portrayal of an idealized conversation in which an Interpreter (І) and two primary participants talk. one participant is typically а professional (P), such as а doctor or а lawyer, or а representative of an institution, either private or governmental. The other participant is an ordinary citizen (C) who speaks а minority language. P: Utterance 1 (the majority language) І: Utterance 1a (rendition of U1) C: Utterance 2 (the minority language) І: Utterance 2a (rendition of U2) P: Utterance 3 І: Utterance 3a Etc.

Following idealized norms, an interpreter is expected to interpret in sequence, one turn after another, and interpret only what primary partys say. Official norms also demand that this middle-person position or role is that of а neutral participant, one who does not take sides, offer opinions, or show bias. This neutrality is reflected in the idealized version of conversational turn-taking in the example. If interpreted conversations proceed according to an idealized version, then, participants exchange turns on an equal basis in an organized manner: speaker А, interpreter, speaker B, interpreter, and so on.

І have already demonstrated that, in fact, interpreted conversations are complex activities and turns are not exchanged on the basis of speaker А, then interpreter, then speaker B because speakers do not always speak on а turn-by-turn basis nor do participants assume equal rights or obligations to speak. In Chapter 7, the analysis revealed that simultaneous talking. For example, and turns taken by the interpreter, suspends idealized versions of talking and turn-taking.

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