Category Archives: medical interpreting

Van De Mieroop, D. (2012) The quotative “he/she says” in interpreted doctor-patient interaction

Van De Mieroop, D. (2012) The quotative “he/she says” in interpreted doctor-patient interaction. Interpreting 14:1.

This study looks at data from 4 interpreted medical encounters (Dutch/Russian; Dutch was the providers’ native language, while not all the Russian speakers were native speakers), all interpreted by the same interpreter.  The author discusses the fact that third person (“he says/she says”) interpreting is frequently attested in the literature and in her data, despite scholarly consensus in re the use of the first person in dialogue interpreting, as well as the injunction to use first person in the Flemish government’s Code of Ethics for interpreters.  She points out that use of the third person has been found to serve as a distancing strategy or to mark changes in footing in other settings (such as media interpretation), and seeks to determine what function(s) it serves in medical discourse.  Referencing Goffman’s (1981) notion of participation frameworks, she highlights the interpreter’s dual role as listener (within the provider’s framework) and speaker (within the patient’s framework).

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