Children and young people who interpret and translate for their families and others make invaluable contributions family life, local communities and institutions. When arriving in a new country, children often learn the local language faster than their parents do. Therefore many parents have to rely on their children to act as interpreters and translators between themselves and the world outside their family. Yet, their work is rarely acknowledged and is largely invisible in most societies, including the UK. This project brings together a unique combination of researchers, language networks and artists to raise the visibility of young interpreters by researching, documenting, promoting understanding, and enhancing the awareness of their practices.
The overall aims of the project are to examine how child language brokers act as mediators of cultural knowledge, values and norms as a communicative and performative process. We aim to gain good understandings of what child language brokers focus on when translating in particular contexts and whether or not they are conscious of translating cultures. This study seeks to access the ‘imagined’ spaces of identity belonging to explore the ‘aboutness’ of self in language brokering.
Overall we seek to answer the following question – How does child language brokering act as a space of cultural mediation and identity belonging?
An innovative outcome will be a short documentary film and web exhibition designed to give new insights into an activity that remains largely unknown and often under-appreciated to those beyond the brokers’ own immediate sphere of experience.