Interpreting and Intercultural Mediation in Italian Healthcare Settings

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Sociolinguistic studies on dialogue interpretation suggest that the interpreters in healthcare settings play a double role: they interpret and coordinate communication: for this reason, interpreting is considered a form of intercultural mediation. Based on the analysis of 55 tape-recorded conversations in Arabic and Italian in public healthcare services in Italy, this article connects the forms of intercultural communication promoted by the mediators and the linguistic aspects of mediation, discussing how the relevance of the migrant patients' voices in medical encounters is connected with the use of specific conversational resources by the mediators. Starting from the observation of actual and naturally-occurring interactions in intercultural healthcare services, the article suggests how an analysis of intercultural mediation may provide an empirical-based route to create guidelines for effective mediation practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Communication
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • healthcare
  • migrant patients
  • women health
  • interpreting
  • Mediation
  • Chinese
  • arabic


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