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Language Brokering

  • By: Ningxin Wang & Jennifer A. Kam
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Language brokering, and the related practice of cultural brokering, refer to interpersonal communication processes wherein individuals, who have little to no formal training in translating or interpreting, linguistically and culturally mediate for two or more parties from different cultural backgrounds. Children (e.g., preadolescent, adolescent, and emerging-adult children) often act as language and cultural brokers by interpreting for their family at parent-teacher conferences, grocery stores, banks, restaurants, and at home. Although language brokering is a common experience, it currently remains understudied among health communication scholars and has a longer history in other fields, including education, human development and family studies, and psychology. Thus far, the research on language and cultural brokering has primarily examined their effects on the psychological, relational, and behavioral well-being of young brokers, ...

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