The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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FEATURES 24 As a new policy on Hawaiian legal interpreting is issued, Jordan Lancaster considers the language's growing status H awaii 1 is the only one of the 50 American states to be officially bilingual: English and Hawaiian. Nonetheless, English is by far the dominant language today, and court proceedings are generally conducted in English only. Until recently, native speakers of Hawaiian were usually expected to testify in English, although interpreters were available for speakers of other languages. However, since the beginning of the year, a series of high-profile legal cases has enabled the local language to gain prominence. In January 2018, activist Kaho'okahi Kanuha was allowed to testify in Hawaiian during a trial in which he was found not guilty of obstruction during protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii. A short time later, Samuel Kaleikoa Ka'eo, Associate Professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i, insisted on speaking only Hawaiian in court as he was charged with misdemeanour offences (later dropped), arising from a protest over the construction of a solar telescope on the Haleakalā volcano on the island of Maui. (The protests centre around the sacred nature of the peaks of Hawaii in Hawaiian mythology.) As a result, the Hawai'i State Judiciary has issued a new policy on Hawaiian language interpreting, stating that it "will provide or permit qualified Hawaiian language interpreters to the extent reasonably possible when parties in courtroom proceedings choose to express themselves through the Hawaiian language". 2 Currently, there is only one official Hawaiian-English court interpreter in the state: 75-year-old Byron Cleeland from the island of Kaua'i, who received his certification in 2014. Hawaiian-language court interpreter orientation workshops – a mandatory step for those seeking to work in this field – began in February this year. An amended bill, currently under review, would also require courts to provide interpreting services if any party requests that a case be conducted in Hawaiian. At a recent hearing for the bill, testimony was given in Hawaiian and translated into English. Hawaii News Now reported that the testimony was "emotional and teary" 3 as supporters expressed the importance of their language. Hawaiian renaissance

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