Communicative Problems of Interpreting during Crosslinguistic Interactions between Non-Sesotho-speaking Doctors and Monolingual-Basotho Patients in Lesotho Hospitals
A Linguistic Approach
Keywords:cross-linguistic medical interactions, ad hoc Medical Interpreting, Discourse/Conversation analysis, Communicative problems, Negotiation of medical outcomes, Source language, Target language, Renditions.
This paper investigates the linguistic and communicative problems between doctors and patients who do not share a common language in Lesotho hospitals. The study was conducted in out-patient departments of two hospitals, one at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Roma and the other at the Quthing Hospital. The study found out that doctors and patients who did not share a common language relied exclusively on the linguistic services of an ad hoc interpreter. The study also found out that ad hoc interpreters, including family members, friends and other healthcare staff members such as nurses committed serious linguistic errors which potentially impacted not only on the cross-linguistic doctor-patient communication but also on diagnosis and the negotiation of medical outcomes. These problems were detected in the discourse verbally translated from the primary participants’ source language into the target language, which emerged from the interpreted renditions