Agents of Change: Interpreters as Witnesses of Transition

Kristina Mullamaa

Abstract


In this article we would like to share the preliminary results of our on-going research on the memories of interpreters. From 2011-2012 we have carried out in-depth interviews with representatives of two different samples: experienced dialogue interpreters a) in Estonia and  b) in Sweden, most of whom have worked from the 1960s till today. This article sums up the preliminary results on the sample from Estonia. The focus is on the development of the interpreter´s role as reflecting the changes in society, cultural and social practices. As for the theoretical background, we view the processes within the framework of Transition Studies (cf. Lauristin, Vihalemm 2010;  Kennedy 2002). The methodological framework is ethnographic research. More specifically:  we combine narrative studies and memory research ( Kõresaar, Kirss 2004; Riessman 1993, Middleton, Brown 2005, Gilbert 2008); method:  semi-structured interviews (cf. Nunan 1992, Van Maanen 1983, Gilbert 2008). The analysis of our on-going research also enables us to test and share with our readers the pros and cons of the chosen methodology and methods.

 


Keywords


cultural interpreting, interpreters and society, Central and East European transformation, memory and narrative research, professionalisation, transition studies, post-soviet societies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/ijbsr.v4i8.550

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