Robyn Dean has her demand-control schema. But most of us have also used a less researched approach to interpreting: the demanding control schema.
The demanding control schema only works in cases where communication between clients has imploded to an irreparable level of chaos. Not because anyone is being nasty. Not because you’ve interpreting anything inaccurately. But just because the linguistic differences have subtly accumulated to the point where everyone is frustrated and no one knows why.
The demanding control schema says that interpreters with the right use of emotional intelligence and cultural capital can call a time-out and take a moment to explain the massive miscommunication to both sets of participants.
Demand control. For just a moment. In a patient, assertive way. Just long enough to get things on track.
(Sure, I’m just playing on the “demand control” language. There’s nothing actually “demanding” about this approach. But who says I can’t play on words just to have fun?)
I’ve seen this done. I’ve done it. It works well. Much better than when I’ve seen interpreters try to pretend that they can’t speak up. And they watch the communication ship crash on a reef and sink without ever shouting ‘ahoy!’
Why not speak up? Interpreters are hired because people need to communicate. We are language specialists. The idea that we “only interpret” and never speak as an independent professional is something we’ve invented for ourselves, not something clients are asking of us.
That’s the demanding control schema of interpreting.