Expectations regarding interpreters in Brazil in the light of pandemic-enforced technological change: A pilot study

Renata Machado, Jonathan Downie


This article examines stakeholder expectations of interpreters in the Brazilian legal system and how they may have changed with the shift to remote interpreting during the pandemic. The study explores stakeholder expectations of interpreters and the interplay of these expectations with the growth of remote interpreting. To do so, it builds on the growing awareness of the need to rethink the methods used to understand stakeholder expectations. The study is based on questionnaires administered to judges, prosecution, and defence lawyers, as well as interpreters themselves. These questionnaires explored their reactions to vignettes adapted from real-life experience and to specific questions, comparing the responses from both methods. The results revealed how remote interpreting has increased tensions between the perceived needs of interpreters and the perceived demands of those involved in the legal process. This article argues that interpreters’ expectations hinge on the concept of “linguistic presence,” a concept with different meanings for language professionals and legal professionals. The discrepancy is especially pertinent given the growth of remote interpreting and how it may impact the presence of the interpreter. 


legal interpreting; interpreting in Brazil; interpreters’ expectations; survey research; remote interpreting

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/Just.3.26652


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