In this extract from “Scrubs”, we get to witness an example of the downsides to getting an inexperienced, biased family member to interpret a conversation. In the first scene, the doctor realizes that the German-speaking patient’s brother is visiting and much more familiar with English than the patient. The doctor thusly asks the patient’s brother to interpret his diagnosis to the patient. When the patient reacts positively to the grave prognosis, the doctor starts doubting t
In this extract from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, we get to see a great example of quality interpretation. I do not know American Sign Language so I can’t comment on the accuracy of the interpretation, I will instead focus on the police officer’s conduct and ethics. Despite being in her police uniform, the interpreter does not act as a police officer but solely as interpreter. She does not react to the suspect’s answers, even when he incriminates himself. Conversely,
In this sketch from Key and Peele, the then-president Barak Obama has an “anger translator” named Luther who helps him vehiculate the subtext of his speeches. The premise is supposed to be funny but the source of the humor is revealing: Luther isn’t interpreting any language – Obama’s speech is clear – he only works as a cultural broker by clarifying Obama’s subtext. In addition to being funny, the sketch also highlights the absurdity of only being a cultural broker. If two p
In this brief extract that became viral, the speaker is doing one of the duties of the interpreter that merges culture and language: being the cultural broker. In this role, the interpreter must give a speaker an insight into the other interlocutor's culture in order to advance the conversation without allowing any term that could possibly be misinterpreted by either speaker to be introduced in the conversation unbeknownst to a participant in the conversation.
By knowing th