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Interpreting Conversations about Death

April 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

£10.00 – £15.00

Brought to you by the London region…

“We’re just going to make you comfortable now”

Training theme: Linguistic and interpersonal challenges of interpreting conversations about death

Presenter: Edinburgh based and fellow Interpreter, Paul Belmonte

Interpreters: Rob Skinner and Yvonne Waddell

*This session will be recorded for ASLI members that have bought tickets for this session. Member ticket holders will have access to this recording for 2months after receiving the link*

Session outline

One of the more challenging situations in which we work is when we are interpreting with a patient who is nearing the end of their life. As well as the emotional impact of giving voice to the dying, the interpreter must also carefully manage their relationships with all parties while making some difficult decisions around the language they use to describe death. 

This presentation will discuss the conclusions of a cross-disciplinary discussion, where the presenter met with a palliative care consultant and a clinical nurse specialist to review the care given to a deaf patient and the lessons learned as we offered support at the end of his life. It will attempt to answer questions such as: 

  • How impartial or emotionally detached is it appropriate for the interpreter to be in these settings? 
  • How will they walk the tightrope between using language clear enough to be certain the patient understands the imminence of their own death, while at the same time working with the euphemisms used by clinical staff to make their conversations as gentle as possible? 

How will we interpret phrases like, “We’re just going to make you comfortable now”?

About Paul:

Paul has been practising as an interpreter since 2005. He did his initial training at Heriot-Watt University, then worked for 15 years in a deaf organisation.  Since 2020 he has worked as a specialist health interpreter for the NHS in Scotland. He also enjoys interpreting political conferences, theatre and comedy and has mentored interpreting students from Finland, Germany and the UK. He has presented training events and at conferences all over Europe and completed his MSc from Queen Margaret University in 2022. As well as interpreting and training, Paul loves wandering around Edinburgh and playing with his Lego. 


Any questions about this training, please get in touch by emailing us at: southeast@asli.org.uk

Thank you!

Anna, Shaunett and Tessa


April 5
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
£10.00 – £15.00
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