This paper uses a conversation analytic approach to examine the phenomenon of repair and its critical role in interpreter-mediated investigative interviews. The approximately 160–minute long video-recorded data demonstrate that the Russian-speaking suspect–who was suspected of killing her own child–frequently initiated repairs not only to understand the questions she was asked but also enable herself to be understood clearly. This was mainly due to the interpreter’s lack of proficiency interpreting between Korean and Russian. In her repair attempts, the suspect tried to avoid misunderstandings in this critical stage of the criminal procedure and oppose the murder charge she was facing. Although her repair attempts were crucial in facilitating the interview to some extent, they often fell short of resolving serious miscommunication issues, which were mainly caused by the interpreter’s incompetence. Although this paper focuses solely on a case study that was based on a relatively small data set, the findings indicate that repair was an important part of collaborative and co-constructive sense-making activities in the interpreter-mediated interview. Overall, the results demonstrate that it is crucial to engage competent interpreters who can not only make the repair process transparent to all parties but also resolve repairs successfully.
|Number of pages
|Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
|Published - 2021
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- Interpreter-mediated investigative interview
- other-initiated repair
- self-initiated repair