Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving


August 9th, 2005

Mannheim is the place to be!!!

I’ve already had two interviews and more are on the horizon. Last night friends of the friends I’m staying with invited us to their restaurant (where a family birthday party was in progress!) – I learned a great deal about “family interpreting” in a very short time. The experiences of Turkish children growing up here seems quite similar, in some respects, to that of non-deaf children raised by Deaf parents. In this conversation, I realized an important assumption that I think has been operative in interviews I’ve had with other interpreters who have criticized the Turkisch language competence of so-called community and even officially “sworn” court interpreters.

I think (someone please correct me if I’m wrong!) that there may have been an assumption that Turkish-German interpreters themselves are unaware that their Turkisch isn’t as fully developed as it could be. In fact, the folks I spoke with last night were very aware of this, and from an early age. Also, the sworn interpreter I spoke with this morning also described Turkisch as her mother language and yet acknowledged that she knew “more details in German.” There are, of course, deep structural reasons for this inequality, of which I already have substantial hints.

Here are a few quick links that may be of general interest (background, context) at some point:

  • “a rough outline of the Turkish migrant community in Mannheim, Germany” (only in Deutsch?)
  • The research project deals with the question why immigrants participate in ethnically segregated voluntary associations. The participation of foreigners is considered as a means of getting access to goods that immigrants as a structurally disadvantaged group cannot obtain elsewhere.

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Categories: Interpreting

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