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  • MATI 2020 Webinar Series - The Study of Hofestede's Cultural Dimensions: Another Tool for the Interpreter's Communicative Toolbox.

MATI 2020 Webinar Series - The Study of Hofestede's Cultural Dimensions: Another Tool for the Interpreter's Communicative Toolbox.

  • 02/19/2020
  • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

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Understanding cultural context is an essential part of an interpreter’s job. Indeed, the backdrop of a person's experience will affect his/her behavior, syntax choices and expectations in a communicative encounter. How, then, might interpreters deal with situations wherein they are not entirely familiar with the cultural background of all parties involved?


One way may be by comparing the cultural dimensions of cultures by using Dr. Geert Hofstede’s 6D framework. While Hofstede's extensive study focuses on finding connections between cultural values and their effects on behaviors and beliefs in the workplace, these values can also be used to uncover the basis for behaviors, reactions, and speech patterns in countless situations. The six dimensions of this model include: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, and indulgence. Since cultural context plays into nearly every interpretation scenario, this framework can be a starting point from which an interpreter can begin to understand the nuances of different cultures and how large underlying cultural themes can play into everyday life. 


This webinar will touch on each of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and introduce Hofstede Insights website. Participants will engage in interpreting scenario case-studies through the 6D framework, to see how communication by be linked to an individual’s cultural background. In essence, this webinar aims to mitigate some of the context issues that arise for interpreters as they navigate not only the cultural underpinnings of those they work for, but also the cultural communicative behaviors of interpreters themselves. The overall objective is that interpreters gain better skills for facilitating conversation in their daily work.


Presenters:  Lexi Budden and Michelle Pinzl


Lexi Budden is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse expecting to graduate with a BA in French with a business concentration and a minor international business by May 2020. In addition, she is currently working to earn a certificate in Community Interpreting from Viterbo University. Due to her vested interest in language learning, she volunteers regularly at the Language Resource Center at UW-La Crosse and interns at Onalaska High School, where she facilitates conversations with beginner-level French students to aid them in their grammar, vocabulary, conversational skills and abilities. She spent a semester abroad in Montpellier, France, where she studied French at the Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3. Lexi looks forward to working toward better language access within business contexts in the Midwest.


Michelle Pinzl is the Coordinator of the Community Interpreting Certificate and Assistant Professor at Viterbo University where she teaches Spanish, French and Interpreting Studies. She earned her Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Intercultural Management from the Université de Limoges in France and is currently a PhD candidate at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, in Spain. She is a certified Spanish<>English Court Interpreter for the State of Wisconsin and a certified Medical Interpreter through the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). Michelle also interprets for social service agencies, schools, businesses, as well as various sectors of the farming industry in Wisconsin since 2006.
 
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