Communication and Medicine
The interpreter's role with immigrant patients: Contrasted points of view
Citation Information: Communication & Medicine. Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 45–51, ISSN (Online) 1613-3625, ISSN (Print) 1612-1783, DOI: 10.1515/come.2005.2.1.45, July 2005
- Published Online:
Immigration in Western societies sometimes leads to medical consultations without any shared language between physician and patient. The intervention of a third party is required in such cases. This paper details a study of the role of such a third party. Conducted between 1998 and 2001 in French-speaking Switzerland by physicians and linguists, this research used several techniques of data production. In order to compare the viewpoints of the actors concerned (physicians, patients, and translators), researchers used questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. Analysis of these data reveals that professional translators perceive themselves as active participants who improve communication by bridging the gap between physician and patient. In the translators' perspective, this gap is both linguistic and cultural. On the other hand, most physicians and patients interrogated do not share this view. Points of view about languages can lead to miscommunication in medical settings in spite of a qualified interpreter's presence. This article discusses visions of the interpreter's role, which range from instrument to co-therapist.
Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.