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The Legal Interpreter as Communication Facilitator and Cultural Broker

By Dr Michael Cooke, a consultant linguist and principal of Intercultural Communications which provides training for interpreters in Aboriginal languages and training seminars for agencies that use them, particularly in health, legal and judicial domains. He is a NAATI recognised interpreter/translator in Djabarrpuyngu specialising in legal interpreting and forensic linguistics. Legal interpreters in Aboriginal languages face meta-linguistic barriers to communication that challenge the constraints of the traditional legal interpreter’s role. The facilitation of successful intercultural communication frequently requires the interpreter to act as cultural broker if communication breakdown is to be avoided.

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