'So tell me what happened!'- interpreting the free recall segment of the investigative interview

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    This article investigates the impact of interpreting within the discursive frame of the ‘free recall’ element in forensic interview formats. The delivery of a prompted free recall has been shown to yield evidence of a better quality than elicited accounts and therefore constitutes a central technique in investigative interviewing. Police institutional discourse associates specific discursive behaviour and conversational resources with the free recall. The paper analyses some effects of interpreting on achieving and maintaining a free recall on the basis of experimental data. It focuses on 1) the frame transition from the interviewer-led opening section to the delivery of a free narrative; 2) the meta-talk that arises around interpreting; 3) the segmentation of the interpreted free recall into turns and the co-ordination of turn-taking. The article discusses instances of misalignment between the functional goals of the free recall and the interpreting related strategies adopted by the interviewer and the interpreter. It demonstrates the contextual nature of definitions of quality in face-to-face interpreting in institutional settings, and highlights discursive expertise as a central component in the professionalisation of Community Interpreting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112–136
    Number of pages25
    JournalTranslation and Interpreting Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Interpreting
    • Investigative Interview
    • Free Recall
    • Public Service Interpreting


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