Ghostly Entities and Clichés: Military Interpreters in Conflict Regions

  • Caroline Gaunt
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting book series (PTTI)


From discourse representation of Arabs in the media, a large number of clichés and negative representations of interpreters supporting military service forces have recently emerged in the depiction of the role of linguists in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This chapter follows the specific clichés that military personnel adopts when discussing the role of their native-speaker, non-army trained interpreters recruited in the field. By focusing on how this overwhelmingly negative style of narration might be prejudicing not only the interpreters but also the army themselves, as it is likely to prevent the army from getting the most out of their interpreters, the chapter engages with the embeddedness of a discourse on language mediators in situations of conflict and in the ensuing civil emergencies. This chapter challenges the smooth, unchecked transition of framing clichés from the military personnel into the media and back into general circulation, spreading current oversimplifications of the role of translators and interpreters in conflicts (especially those fought in Islamic or Arabic-speaking countries).


Middle East Armed Force Middle Eastern Military Personnel Marine Corps 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Gaunt
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Elvet RiversideDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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