Ongoing Third-Party Funded Research Projects

Turn-Taking and Comprehension Assurance in Arabic-German Telephone Interpreting (2019-2022)

About the Project

At the start of 2019, we launched a research project on turn-taking and comprehension assurance in Arabic-German telephone interpreting. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG for a period of three years. Its aim is to analyse quasi-authentic counselling sessions in social settings mediated by telephone interpreters.

Information and communication technologies such as the telephone provide access to interpreting services irrespective of the interlocutors’ physical locations (remote interpreting). Given the frequent lack of alternatives, telephone interpreting has become an increasingly common practice in care and counselling settings to facilitate communication with refugees and migrants. However, insufficient research has been conducted on the linguistic and communicative requirements of dialogue interpreting with no or limited co-presence of the interlocutors.

Within this project, we are cooperating with colleagues from the University of Hamburg (Prof. Dr. Kristin Bührig), Surrey in Guildford (Prof. Dr. Sabine Braun), Modena e Reggio Emilia in Italy (Prof. Dr. Claudio Baraldi und Prof. Dr. Laura Gavioli) and the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh (Prof. Dr. Claudia Angelelli). For methodological aspects of conversation-analytic transcription and annotation, we are working with our Faculty's Department of Arabic (Prof. em. Dr. Martin Forstner, Mohammed Alaoui, Andreas Bünger), the Hamburg Centre for Speech Corpora, the Institute for the German Language IDS in Mannheim (Dr. Thomas Schmidt), the San Diego State University in the United States (Dr. Dris Soulaimani) and the Yarmouk University in Jordan (Dr. Ahmad Al-Harahsheh).

Project Team

Prof. Dr. Bernd Meyer
Head of Department for Intercultural Communication

Dr. Rahaf Farag
Research associate, administrative contact person


Workshop „Discourse-oriented Transcription of Spoken Arabic“ (2019)

In this workshop, the challenges of computer-aided discourse transcription regarding Arabic data material will be discussed. This will allow conclusions on the appropriacy of existing methods for the analysis of multilingual communication. The purpose is to compare the transcription methods developed within this project to those applied by researchers of international and interdisciplinary backgrounds (computational and socio-linguistics).

Workshop „Participation in Telephone Interpreting“ (2020)

This workshop will be based on the first results of our analysis. It will also focus on basic communicative processes as well as the conventions of a variety of discourse types in telephone interpreting. Researchers with an emphasis in communicative interaction are invited to share their experiences with empirical research on telephone and video interpreting during a shared data session.

Practice Workshop (2021)

This trans-regional workshop is open to the public and will be offered in cooperation with professional associations. Its aim is to convey research results to interpreters as well as users of telephone interpreting services. During the workshop, the project partners will discuss the practical consequences of the research conducted for telephone interpreting.

Project-Related Publications

Farag, Rahaf / Meyer, Bernd (2022): Telefondolmetschen Arabisch-Deutsch: Gesprächstranskription im Spannungsfeld von Mehrsprachigkeit, schriftlichem Standard und Varietätenvielfalt. In: Sven Grawunder & Cordula Schwarze (Hg.), Transkription und Annotation gesprochener Sprache und multimodaler Interaktion: Konzepte, Probleme, Lösungen. Tübingen: Narr, 219-243.

Farag, Rahaf (2021): Kommunikative Verfahren beim Telefondolmetschen Arabisch-Deutsch in der
institutionellen Kommunikation mit Geflüchteten. In: Kreß, Beatrix / Röder,
Katsiaryna / Schweiger, Kathrin / Vossmiller, Ksenija (eds.), Mehrsprachigkeit, Interkulturelle
Kommunikation, Sprachvermittlung: Internationale Perspektiven auf DaF und Herkunftssprachen.
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (= Hildesheimer Schriften zur Inter­kulturellen Kommunikation 10), 241-269.

Farag, Rahaf (2019): Conversation-analytic transcription of Arabic-German talk-in-interaction. In: K. Bührig et al. (eds.), Working Papers in Corpus Linguistics and Digital Technologies – Analyses and methodology 2, 50.

Farag, Rahaf (2019): Aspekte der computergestützten Transkription deutsch-arabischer Gesprächs­daten. In: Online-Zeitschrift zur Gesprächsforschung 20, 270-322.

Further Publications

Angermeyer, Philipp, Bernd Meyer und Thomas Schmidt (2012). „Sharing community interpreting corpora: A pilot study.“ Multilingual Corpora and Multilingual Corpus Analysis. Hrsg. Thomas Schmidt und Kai Wörner. Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 14. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 275–294.

Castagnoli, Sara, und Natacha Niemants (2018). „Corpora worth creating: A pilot study on telephone interpreting.“ inTRAlineanumero speciale a cura di Claudio BendazzoliMariachiara Russo e Bart Defrancq intitolatoNew findings in corpus-based interpreting studies.

Farag, Rahaf (2016). Aspekte der Dolmetschperformanz bei dolmetschgestützten Gesprächen via Telefon: eine gesprächsanalytische Fallstudie. Unveröffentlichte Masterarbeit zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades MA Translation. Universität Mainz: Fachbereich Translations-, Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft.

Meyer, Bernd (2019). „Corpus-based studies on interpreting and pragmatics.“ Routledge Handbook on Pragmatics and Translation. Hrsg. Rebecca Tipton und Louisa Desilla. (in press).

Meyer, Bernd (1998). „What transcriptions of authentic discourse can reveal about interpreting.“ Interpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting 3.1, 65–83.


Dr. Rahaf Farag (administrative contact person)

Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Faculty of Translation Studies, Cultural Studies and Linguistics

Department of Intercultural Communication
An der Hochschule 2
76726 Germersheim

Tel.: +49 (0) 7274 508 35541