The Conflict Within

Bridging the cultural gap

Presenter: Kelly Hodgins (SLIANZ)

The New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter is a bridge between cultures, and for many practitioners the cultural bridge we navigate is a highly complex one, with the potential for conflict to develop where more than one culture intersects.

NZ is a multicultural society and the Deaf community reflects this. This unique community has a diverse range of ethnic groups who share a common language (NZSL) and Deaf culture. In the last decade we have seen a huge shift in this community melting pot, bringing with it new challenges for interpreters attempting to bridge cultural and communication gaps.

For the NZSL interpreter, knowledge of Deaf culture and inter-community differences is paramount for conflict-free good practice, thus it features heavily in interpreter training programmes. However, importance needs to be placed on the crucial differences between members of the Deaf community – the intra-community differences – which make the community culturally rich yet so laden with opportunity for conflict where interpreters are concerned.

In her presentation, Kelly will seek to point out the ‘Global, Local and Familial influences’ currently affecting NZ Sign Language Interpreters in terms of ‘cultural conflict’.

KellyHodgins2About the presenter
Kelly is the current Secretary of the Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand and is in her fifth term on the national committee. She has been working as an interpreter for the past 14 years. She holds the following academic qualifications: Diploma of NZSL/English Interpreting, Post Graduate Diploma of NZSL/English Interpreting and is a NAATI accredited Professional Level Interpreter. Kelly works in a variety of settings, including but not limited to: education, legal, medical and employment. She is specialised in working with minimal language clients, both adults and children. Kelly is also experienced in platform/conference interpreting and is New Zealand’s leading theatre interpreter.