Interpreting as intercultural mediation: A critical moment in an overseas midwife training programme

Michelle Kohler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Understanding interpreting as an act of intercultural mediation has gained increased attention in the literature in recent decades. As part of the expanded view of interpreting, there has been greater acknowledgement of the importance of context and the role of the mediator him/herself in the process. This paper reports on a study focused on understanding interpreting as intercultural mediation in practice, as part of a midwife education programme conducted in eastern Indonesia. The study aimed to investigate the nature of interaction between an Australian medical team and the local Indonesian participants, with a particular focus on the impact of the interpreting process on interaction. Video recordings of the course were taken and critical moments involving intercultural mediation were selected and transcribed. This paper focuses on one of these critical moments in depth, revealing the intricate processes involved in navigating multiple languages and cultures within the context illuminated in this study. There is evidence of the context-sensitive ways in which intercultural mediation takes place and the complex decision-making and intracultural identity work that are integral to the act of interpreting and mediating across languages and cultures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)431-443
    Number of pages13
    JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016


    • intercultural
    • interpreting
    • Mediation


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