Communicating in multilingual police scenarios: mediated, non-mediated and hybrid forms of interaction

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Interpreting was explored in this guest lecture as one among a range of multilingual strategies used to communicate in police settings. As it is the case in other migration encounters (Maryns, Angermeyer and Van Herreweghe, 2021), different strategies are used by participants in police settings when a language barrier exists in the various encounters that are part of policing operations (Gamal, 2014; Mulayim and Lai, 2015). This presentation drew on the outcomes of two studies conducted in Scotland. Firstly, the range of strategies used by community and response officers in Scotland in different encounters requiring linguistic assistance were discussed, as well as their advantages, their risks, and the factors that guide the choice of one or another strategy. As part of the scenarios and situations documented, interaction with speakers who have some English proficiency and communicate in ‘broken English’ was explored. Approaches to liaising with users who have multilingual competencies include non-mediated communication in English and hybrid interpreting forms such as stand-by interpreting. Data from a second study on stand-by interpreting in authentic police interviews with suspects were presented, in particular the contextual and interactional features of this hybrid mode of interpreting, the challenges of the mode and the need for further research on multilingual competencies among interpreting users and the role of interpreting in encounters with featured by multilingual participants.
Period17 Mar 2022
Held atUniversity of Graz, Austria
Degree of RecognitionInternational