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Police interpreters’ pragmatic tools of (dis)empowerment

27 October 2021, 17:00

Online event

This webinar contributes to better understanding of legal interpreter mediation as (social) intervention. Yet, for intervention to be fully accepted as practice, fundamental changes need to be made in the interpreter’s habitus (Inghilleri, 2003). Here, a set of questions ensues: which changes should be implemented? Can legal interpreters’ rights be separated from users’ rights, and where do we draw the line? Should interpreting be seen as a source of empowerment for the less powerful – and if so, how?

Dr Fabrizio Gallai will start with an overview of the key techniques deemed appropriate for investigative interviewing, especially the (Enhanced) Cognitive Interview. Further, he will provide a critical review of the literature on legal interpreting practice, focusing on earlier discussions about the interpreter’s purported invisibility. Based on Goffman’s (1981) participation framework and Sperber and Wilson’s (1986/1995) Relevance Theory, his analysis will then focus on the role played by pragmatic elements (e.g. discourse markers) in police interpreting.

The ultimate aim is to show how legal interpreting can empower (or disempower) practitioners and the people they work for, and engage stakeholders – and, ultimately, the State – through an emphasis on pragmatic competence.

You can book for this event through the XING Ticket Shop at