Communicative Autonomy

Interpreting takes place in many settings and for many reasons, yet at heart the purpose of interpreting is to facilitate communication between parties who do not share a common language. Trained, qualified interpreters faithfully interpret for all parties without adding, omitting or changing the message. And yet, their professionalism not only enables direct communication, it also supports communicative autonomy.

 
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Communicative Autonomy

The capacity of each party in an encounter to be responsible for and in control of his or her own communication.
— Bancroft, M.A. et al. (2015). The Community Interpreter®: An International Textbook. Columbia, Maryland: Culture & Language Press

Unlike more “transactional” interpreting specializations such as business and conference interpreting, community interpreting overcomes language barriers in order to provide community services to at least one of the parties present in the encounter. When a patient or client works with a trained, qualified interpreter, she speaks with her own voice and makes her own decisions. The service provider directs questions and comments to the patient or client — not the interpreter. Regardless of whether the same interpreter is present for all encounters or if different interpreters are called in, communicative autonomy supports a direct, respectful relationship between two parties who do not share a common language.


Community Interpreting — A Unique Contribution to Society

The unique contribution that community interpreting has to offer to society is to enable the communicative autonomy of two more individuals who need to interact for the well-being of at least one of the parties, despite the fact that they do not share a common language.
— Bancroft, M.A. et al. (2015). The Community Interpreter®: An International Textbook. Columbia, Maryland: Culture & Language Press
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