Interview and Translation Strategies: Coping with Multilingual Settings and Data

Central Eastern Europe, the research area this paper is concerned with, is a region characterized by a high diversity of languages and cultures. It is, at the same time, an area where political, cultural and social conflicts have emerged over time, nowadays especially in border zones, where people of different ethnic, cultural or linguistic background live. In this context, it is important for us researchers to get balanced interview data, and consequently we very often have to conduct interviews in several different languages and within changing cultural contexts. In order to avoid “communication problems” or even conflictual (interview) situations, which might damage the outcome of the research, we are thus challenged to find appropriate communication strategies for any of these situations. This is especiallydifficult when we are confronted with language or culturespecific terminology or taboo expressions that carry political meaning(s).

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