Turn-taking management in interpreted legal aid lawyer-client interviews

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


In interpreted encounters, it is important for the primary speakers to follow turn-taking rules. However, in real practice, overlapping speech and lengthy turns at talk happen from time to time, creating difficulty for the interpreter to perform adequately. Generating data from observations of authentic interpreted lawyer-client interviews in Australia, this study examines how lawyers and interpreters manage turns. Findings show that the two professionals work in a relationship featuring shifting alignment and confrontation. Most of the time, lawyers work collaboratively with the interpreters to manage turns to facilitate interpreting; at other times, they compete for turns to achieve their own goals. Better professionally qualified interpreters are more capable of managing discourse and meeting ethical requirements in cases of conflict with lawyers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpreting in Legal and Healthcare Settings
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on research and training
EditorsEva N.S. Ng, Ineke H.M. Crezee
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN (Electronic)9789027261472
ISBN (Print)9789027205049
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameBenjamins Translation Library
PublisherJohn Benjamins


  • lawyer-client interviews
  • interpreters
  • lawyers
  • turn-taking
  • professional qualifications


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