Fulfilling the interpreting mandate in business negotiation meetings. The perspectives of interpreters and clients.
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This study investigates how interpreters perceive their role while working in business negotiation settings and also what role clients mandate to interpreters in those settings. Building on existing work on liaison interpreting, this study hypothesises that interpreters in business settings are active and visible parties of the interaction. As such, they exceed their prescribed role and become part of the client’s team. In order to test this hypothesis and scrutinize the role of interpreters in those settings, a mixed methods approach was followed. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from interpreters. Data concerning clients’ perceptions were collected by indepth semi-structured interviews. A combination of inductive and deductive approaches was used in order to code and analyse the data. The results showed discrepancy of role perceptions between the interpreters and the clients, and manifested how the setting mandates differing role statuses to interpreters. Furthermore, this study reconfirmed previous studies concurring that liaison interpreters are visible parties of the interactions. This study aims to fill a gap in the interpreting literature concerning interpreters’ role in business negotiation settings, improve professional practices and thus enhance the effectiveness of interpreter-mediated business meetings.