Monday 15th of July 2024


The Influence of Defendants’ Translanguaging Practices on Court Interpreters’ Performance: A Case Study


Bei Dong, Chiara Facciani e Ira Torresi, Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30


bei.dong(at), chiara.facciani3(at), ira.torresi(at)


Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to investigate whether and how translanguaging practices, as defined by García and Li Wei (2014), may affect the professional practice of courtroom interpreting, particularly as prescribed by the professional Code of Ethics (CoE) in China. To this purpose, we analyze one case study, a 91-minute court hearing video in which the defendant applies both verbal and non-verbal approaches to communicate with a court whose working language is not his own native language. The verbal utterances have been transcribed and the kinesic features annotated in order to apply a multimodal analysis which will be used to highlight how, on the one hand, the defendant’s translanguaging practice seems to contribute to the overall success of the communicative event, while on the other hand, it appears to interfere with the norms regulating the court interpreter’s performance as outlined in a Chinese CoE. Verbatim interpreting, one of the most important norms of court interpreting, is not always applicable in court hearings where participants rely on translanguaging practices. Rather, in our case-study, the interpreter seems to act as one further translanguaging resource for the defendant.


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