Navigating between systems and opening doors of opportunities: Thai‒English interpreters’ experiences

Tripornchaisak, Natthaphon (2023) Navigating between systems and opening doors of opportunities: Thai‒English interpreters’ experiences. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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With economies becoming progressively integrated, and workers being mobilised around the globe, globalisation in Thailand has led to a burgeoning demand for Thai‒ English interpreters. These interpreters are needed to satisfy the growing number of multilingual/cultural tourists, expatriates, business professionals, migrants, and immigrants. In research, Thai interpreting literature acknowledges that interculturally mediated events are navigated by local interpreters to create mutual understandings between all parties. However, there appears to be a dearth of scholarly research on the skills interpreters utilise in mediating intercultural encounters. Filling this gap can bring academic and practical contributions to the interpreting community. Specifically, such a research endeavour could merge interpreting and intercultural communication (IC) studies and equip interpreters with the necessary skills for navigating intercultural interpretations. Therefore, taking up this challenge, and using an interdisciplinary qualitative enquiry, this PhD investigates intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in Thai‒English interpreters. The study aims to answer two research questions: (1) What does intercultural communicative competence entail in the interpretation industry in Thailand? (2) What is the importance of intercultural communication in interpretation classrooms and training programmes? In terms of design, the findings for addressing research question 1 precipitate and complement the subsequent research question.

In respect of research tools, I triangulated multiple research instruments, encompassing document analysis and creative interview methods to acquire more fine-grained, high-quality data. The analysis employed a thematic analysis based on a tripartite analytical framework of translator visibility, ICC, and cultural dimensionality. The findings suggest that well-mediated conversations (i.e., meetings that reach objectives and cultural expectations) contribute to positive outcomes and, in turn, circumvent misunderstandings and adverse repercussions. As per knowledge contributions, the thesis provides a holistic understanding of the intercultural communication process that interpreters must go through in order to create satisfying results by employing the Intercultural Communication-Interpretation Venn diagram and IC translation strategies. By doing so, the thesis contends that ICC is an essential component of the interpretation system (e.g., IC as visibility), while also elucidating the importance of implementing IC in the interpretation classroom to mitigate intercultural misunderstandings. Moreover, the study aims to inform the policies surrounding Thailand’s interpreting industry, including the stakeholders, such as teachers, licensing committees, and training facilitators, to incorporate frequently disregarded intercultural mediation into future policies and curriculum development. Lastly, I would argue that this doctoral research serves as a catalyst for changing current professional practice in consideration of the intercultural communication process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: intercultural communication, interpreting.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Elliot, Dr. Dely and De Francisci, Dr. Enza
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83960
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2023 12:02
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 14:55
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83960

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