Highlighting nuances in forensic linguistics Highlighting nuances in forensic linguistics

LCS Research and Engagement SeminarTranslating and interpreting in police contexts was the focus of the first in a new series of Research and Engagement seminars organised by Language and Communication Studies staff, in collaboration, for this first event, with local translation services provider INTRAN and the Norfolk Constabulary and Police Authority.

The series builds on the momentum of the Let's talk public roundtable organised here in July 2011 and the impetus it has generated to share experience of the challenges of communication across and between languages and cultures, in theory and practice.

Valérie Gidney of INTRAN and Abraham Eshetu of Norfolk Constabulary at the first Research and Engagement Seminar.

The first seminar saw UEA's Dr Luna Filipovíc use her expertise as a forensic linguist to highlight the difference that typological variations across languages make, largely covertly but with potentially dire outcomes, in the translation of witness interviews. Abraham Eshetu and Valérie Gidney, in their roles as Corporate Equality and Diversity Manager for Norfolk Constabulary and Chair of INTRAN, and INTRAN Partnership and Development Manager respectively, took up issues from the practitioners' perspective with a fascinating account of the challenges and needs facing the police and public service interpreters.

The talks sparked lively reactions from the mixed audience of academics, students, members of the public and police and translation professionals. The collaborative training and sensitization activities that are already being set up here at UEA, locally with INTRAN and the Norfolk police, and nationally with the country's leading police body in investigative interviewing, also confirm both the success of this latest venture and the value of its specialist expertise for the broader community.

A second seminar with a focus on communication across languages and cultures in medical contexts and health services is planned.

For information about our Research and Engagement series please contact the organiser Dr. Luna Filipovic.