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10:12 Monday, December 22, 2008

Managing the Convolutions of Legal Discourse

A New Volume Describes the Complexities Interpreters
Confront When Translating in Legal Settings

The legal setting poses many challenges for interpreters of spoken as well as signed languages. As Debra Russell and Sandra Hale, editors of Interpreting in Legal Settings, explain: “Not only do interpreters have to manage the specialized discourse that frames legal interactions, but they must also possess strategies to ensure the participants for whom they are interpreting have access to the legal proceedings in meaningful and authentic ways via the interpretation. The interactions in which interpreters find themselves in legal settings can be technical, traumatic, ethically challenging, sometimes amusing, and frequently demanding. The pressures of providing simultaneous and consecutive interpretation amidst convoluted questions and/or responses, complex grammatical constructions, competing linguistic goals, crosscultural ways of viewing the world, and making decisions about how best to convey the same message in the target text are just a few of the many issues facing the interpreter working in legal domains.”

Interpreting in Legal Settings, the fourth volume in the Studies in Interpretation series, “endeavors to bring evidence-based practices from both signed and spoken language interpreter researchers with a particular focus on the work that occurs in legal settings. In it, the reader will find discussions on several topics that offer a window into the nature of interpreting in such a specialized field. We expect that the book will be of interest to students, practitioners, and educators, bringing together divergent experiences upon which to shape our evolving knowledge and practices. While the field of interpreting has grown in many countries around the world, interpreters still share the struggle to ensure their work is recognized and performed at the standard needed to provide the best possible interpretation in a mediated communication event. Our hope is that this volume will offer important insights into interpreting in legal settings, however we also believe that many of the concepts and discoveries discussed in the chapters will apply to multiple environments that interpreters encounter.”

Order Interpreting in Legal Settings online or by mail at a special savings of 20%. When ordering online, type “DEC2008” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the “checkout” button.


The Deaf History Reader presents a remarkably vivid depiction of the varied Deaf experience in America. In the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Dr. Louis Abbate, Executive Director of Willie Ross School for the Deaf, Longmeadow, MA, offers a glowing recommendation of The Deaf History Reader stating, “I would recommend this book to teachers of the deaf, educators, and parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. The essays will enhance their understanding of the extraordinary contributions that led to the formation and cultural characteristics of the modern Deaf community. It is a history that should be honored and should be passed on to today’s deaf and hard-of-hearing students. As the head of a school for the deaf, I found it intriguing that many of the contemporary differences in opinion about approaches and communication date back to the 16th century.” Read more about this rich history in chapter one, Genesis of a Community: The American Deaf Experience in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and order The Deaf History Reader.


Deaf Education in America: Voices of Children from Inclusion Settings by Janet Cerney garnered the following acclaim from CHOICE magazine: “Seldom have primary stakeholders (students who are deaf, interpreters, teachers, and parents) been asked to share their perspectives on issues related to inclusive education. This book allows those stakeholders to speak for themselves on such diverse topics as self-esteem, social relationships, and accessing education. Interview selections are organized around general topics, and each section is summarized in a clear, concise manner. Preceding the report are several beautifully written chapters that outline the theory and history behind inclusion. The book concludes with clearly articulated recommendations to improve not only education for those who are deaf, but the entire field of special education. Cerney (Rocky Mountain Deaf School) offers a revealing, compelling view of education for individuals who are deaf that will appeal to a wide audience. Summing Up: Recommended. All undergraduate through professional collections.” Read what the deaf students have to say in chapter seven, Voices of Deaf Children, and order Deaf Education in America online today.


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