ERIC Number: ED347839
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-28
Conceptual and Methodological Issues in the Development of an Instrument To Assess the Impact of Culture on Interpreter Behavior.
Johnson, Denise; Sussman, Lyle
In the context of rapid recent political, economic, and technological changes in the world, this paper examines the role of interpreters in international business. The study reported analyzes the development of a questionnaire designed to assess factors related to successful versus unsuccessful interpretations in cross-cultural business encounters. The discussion is organized into four sections: conceptual considerations, methodological considerations, results of pilot testing, and implications for future research. Conceptual considerations included characteristics of the message itself, characteristics of the language involved, interpreter's relationship with the client, context, characteristics of the parties, and impact of cultural norms/values. The Critical Incident technique was used for the study, and the questionnaire was assessed in three pilot tests with individuals who spoke Korean, English, Japanese, Arabic, German, Croatian, Spanish, and French. The third pilot test involved 21 interpreters used by the We Speak Your Language (WSL) Program of the American Red Cross in Louisville, Kentucky. After a review of the results of individual interviews, focus group interviews, and responses to the critical incidents by the WSL participants, questions were developed to direct hypothesis formation and future research. Attached to this report are the questions (e.g., "What can business people do to make sure they are informed consumers of interpretive services?"), a chart showing Hofstede's cultural values keyed to communication practices, and the questionnaire. Contains 15 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages and Communication for World Business and the Professions (11th, Ypsilanti, MI, March 25-28, 1992).