Interpreting in the virtual meeting room (completed)
Video technology is becoming increasingly more common as a way to provide interpreting in the public sector. The digital media is thought to increase efficiency and access to qualified interpreters, while studies describing and exploring authentic video mediated communication are still scarce, also internationally.
Jessica P. Belisle Hansen.
About the Project
The project explores multilingual interaction in Norwegian health care settings where interpreting is provided through video technology.The project's main objective is to obtain new knowledge about these complex mediated multilingual encounters and to bring forth further knowledge and understanding of mediated interaction and the effect the media has on the interaction. The multilingual language practices which the project explores are complex. The activity of interpreting is only a part of the multilingual encounter between the hospital and a patient, seeing that the relation between a hospital and its patient exceeds the time spent with the interpreter.
Through analyzing video recordings of authentic interaction, the project seeks to explore three aspects of the mediated interaction. First, the project explores how the media and participants’ lack of physical co-presence affects the course of and conditions for the interaction. Second, the project investigates how the media’s affordances and constraints affect the semiotic resources available to the participants in managing the multilingual mediated interaction and in meaning-making. Third, the project explores how the media and the interpreter’s lack of physical co-presence might affect social, institution-relevant and linguistic identities and relations in the multilingual institutional interaction in virtual meeting rooms.
Video technology is becoming increasingly more common as a way to provide interpreting in the public sector. In Norway, video mediated interpreting is currently used in asylum inverviews, criminal proceedings, hospital encounters and more. The digital media is thought to increase efficiency and access to qualified interpreters, while studies describing and exploring authentic video mediated communication are still scarce, also internationally. This project aims to obtain more knowledge about video mediated interaction.
To explore how the video technology affects the course of the interaction, this project employs Conversation Analysis (CA) and adopts a multimodal approach to the interaction. CA provides an extensive theoretical ground for understanding elements occurring at the micro level of social interaction, such as the turn-taking system (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974). In addition to having an extensive body of knowledge describing mechanisms of communication, e.g. turn construction, silence, pre-beginnings, post-endings, CA provides relevant theory for understanding participants’ alignment and collaboration through interaction, e.g. parties and teamwork (Lerner 1993, 1996, Schegloff, 1995, Djordilovic, 2012) and multimodal resources, e.g. gaze and turn-beginnings (Goodwin, 1980).
While multimodality can attend to the range of forms people us in communication, like gaze, gesture, posture, image and more (Jewitt, 2009: 14), Jones (2009) provides another multimodal approach to the interaction. Jones (2009: 114) adresses how the media's affordances and constraints might be different when speaking about the media in general and when speaking about the media and modes in use when performing social actions. Hutchby (2001), for instance, illustrates how gestures that could function as strategies to attract attention at the periphery of another participant’s vision if the participants were co-present (e.g. hand gestures, movement of head, upper body and torso), do not necessarily function in video mediated interaction. He argues that video technology may appear to give the possibility of co-presence at a distance, while it seems that the “technologies for communication do not always practically afford what they promise to afford” (Hutchby, 2001:130).
Djordjilovic, O., 2012 Displaying and Developing Team Identity in Workplace Meetings – a Multimodal Perspective. In: Djordjilovic, O, Managing Tasks and Relations in Meeting Interaction. Oslo: University of Oslo
Goodwin, C., 1980, Restarts, Pauses, and the Achievment of a State of Mutual Gaze atTurn-Beginning, Sociological Inquiry 50 (3-4): 272-302
Hutchby, I., 2001, Conversation and technology. Cambridge: Polity
Jewitt, C., 2009, An introduction to multimodality. In Jewitt, Carey, The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis, New York: Routledge
Jones, R., 2009, Technology and sites of display. In Jewitt, Carey, The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis, New York: Routledge
Lerner, G., 1993, Collectivities in Action: Establishing the Relevance of Conjoined Participation in Conversation. Text 13(2): 213-241
Lerner, G., 1996, On the “semi-permeable” character of grammatical units in conversation:conditional entry into the turn space of another speaker, in Ochs, E, E. Schegloff and S. A. Thompson, Interaction and Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Sacks, H, E Schegloff & G Jefferson (1974), A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation, in Language, Vol50, No4, Part1, (Dec 1974): 696-735
Schegloff, E A., 1995, Parties and Talking together: Two Ways in Which Numbers Are Significant for Talk-in-Interaction. In: Ten Have P and Psathas, G, (eds) Situated order: Studies in Social Organization and Embodied Activities. Washington DC: University Press of America, 31-42.