A Tribute to Brian Harris
IV Norms in Interpreting
Miriam Shlesinger, Bar Ilan University The ‘True Interpreter’ Revisited: On (im)partiality and (in)consistency in court interpreting Introduction Unlike the liaison interpreter1 whose role is always under-defined (Anderson, 1976), or the consecutive interpreter in small-scale con- texts – such as business meetings, official visits or informal con- versations – the role of the consecutive interpreter in legal settings is ostensibly clear-cut. It may or may not be defined in an explicit oath, but it is most often perceived as neither more nor less than the delivery of a verbatim reproduction of the source language utter- ances. In what follows, I will discuss the ways in which two inter- preters, both of them intent on fully complying with the oath they have taken, nevertheless opt for different forms of expression, re- flecting their own personal views of the subject matter. The extracts on which the paper is based figured in a series of pre-trial depo- sitions taken in Tel Aviv in 2008-2009. All of the deponents were victims or relatives of victims of terrorist attacks; i.e. either they or a member of their immediate family had suffered trauma and/ or injuries, or else one or more members of their family had been killed as a result of an act of terrorism. The exchanges took place in a fairly informal setting (a hotel room) but nevertheless following a ritualized procedure, with the aid of two interpreters, between the Hebrew-speaking deponents and the English-speaking attorneys representing the organization in question. 1 Liaison interpreting is...
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