English-speaking countries like the U.K. and the U.S.A. have represented fertile grounds on which to start seeding the understanding of the linguistic and cultural phenomena that appear during doctor-patient interactions. Discourse analysis with all its different variants has been widely exploited in the attempt to shed light on the many obscure mechanisms involved with doctor-patient interactions and particularly in multicultural settings. Like all human verbal interactions also DPIs seem to be endowed with a power of discourse that is different based on when, where and with whom the interactions take place. Also DPIs are different according to the characteristics of the parts involved in the interaction, so there may be active or passive interactions, and those occurring on equal or unequal terms. In the present frame, of course, the type of interaction that has been subjected to deeper investigation is the interview, and most of its hidden features have been disclosed. Now, one of the elements that seem to be crucial in DPIs is language, and I have identified two layers of language barriers based on the different levels of fluency. The first layer is represented by medical technical manner of talking on behalf of doctors, which has been the reason for much misunderstanding and sometimes ineffective doctor-patient relationships. The second layer is constructed whenever doctors and patients do not share the same language. As it can be easily understood, these two layers share some important features. Most of the processes and phenomena occurring in DPIs in which the two parts share the same language are also present in DPIs in multicultural frames, and the real differences seem to actually reside in language itself. Language and the different levels of fluency seem to negatively affect DPIs. Finally, culture cannot be separated from all the richness of language expressions, however still a lot of research is necessary to better understand this complex theme.

Bridges to Language Barriers

DANIELE, Franca
2007-01-01

Abstract

English-speaking countries like the U.K. and the U.S.A. have represented fertile grounds on which to start seeding the understanding of the linguistic and cultural phenomena that appear during doctor-patient interactions. Discourse analysis with all its different variants has been widely exploited in the attempt to shed light on the many obscure mechanisms involved with doctor-patient interactions and particularly in multicultural settings. Like all human verbal interactions also DPIs seem to be endowed with a power of discourse that is different based on when, where and with whom the interactions take place. Also DPIs are different according to the characteristics of the parts involved in the interaction, so there may be active or passive interactions, and those occurring on equal or unequal terms. In the present frame, of course, the type of interaction that has been subjected to deeper investigation is the interview, and most of its hidden features have been disclosed. Now, one of the elements that seem to be crucial in DPIs is language, and I have identified two layers of language barriers based on the different levels of fluency. The first layer is represented by medical technical manner of talking on behalf of doctors, which has been the reason for much misunderstanding and sometimes ineffective doctor-patient relationships. The second layer is constructed whenever doctors and patients do not share the same language. As it can be easily understood, these two layers share some important features. Most of the processes and phenomena occurring in DPIs in which the two parts share the same language are also present in DPIs in multicultural frames, and the real differences seem to actually reside in language itself. Language and the different levels of fluency seem to negatively affect DPIs. Finally, culture cannot be separated from all the richness of language expressions, however still a lot of research is necessary to better understand this complex theme.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/156854
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