Interpreters cannot control what the speakers will say and how they will express themselves in any interaction they are required to interpret. Particularly in high stakes legal settings, interpreters might be confronted with offensive or aggressive language from one or both speakers. These instances can possibly lead to ethical questions for some interpreters, such as: Should I tell the speaker not to use vulgar language? Should I tone it down? Should I report that the speaker just swore? Should I just omit the vulgar language and interpret the substance of the utterance? Or should I interpret the swearing? Some interpreters have argued that it is not necessary to interpret the swearing because it doesn’t affect the core message. Others have argued that their moral values or beliefs prevent them from interpreting vulgar language. The question, however, should be: What is ethical for an interpreter to do in such situations? This presentation will discuss different scenarios and their potential consequences in light of the AUSIT Code of Ethics and other standards and requirements, making reference to results of recent research.
Professor Sandra Hale was AUSIT National President from 2014-2017 and is currently convenor of the I&T programs at UNSW. Her qualifications include a BA in I&T, Dip.Ed., Master of Applied Linguistics, and PhD in court interpreting/forensic linguistics. She has been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Antwerp for her ground-breaking research into Community Interpreting.
Webinar Length: 1 hour 15 mins