Language Brokering in Healthcare Settings in Spain: An Insight Based on Testimonies




linguistic and cultural mediation, healthcare services, children, young adults


There were 6,491,502 foreign residents living in Spain in January 2024, a number that indicates a significant increase since the beginning of the 21st century. Among this foreign population, the largest communities are Moroccans, Romanians and British, whose mother tongue is not Spanish. According to the results from several studies conducted over the last decades, when these allophone residents use the Spanish healthcare services, they frequently ask their children to help them communicate with healthcare providers through linguistic and cultural mediation, even when professional interpreting or mediation services are available. How did these children feel while mediating for their parents in this context? Did they have any negative experiences? We intend to provide answers to these questions through semi-structured individual interviews with adults who had mediated for their parents in healthcare settings in Spain when they were children or young adults. These answers contribute to a clear understanding of the consequences of language brokering, thus promoting the use of professional interpreting and mediation services in these settings.

Author Biographies

Almudena Nevado Llopis, Universidad San Jorge

Dr Almudena Nevado Llopis is a full-time lecturer and researcher at San Jorge University, Zaragoza, Spain. She holds a PhD in Translation, Society and Communication from Jaume I University, Castellon, Spain. Her main research interests are focused on healthcare interpreting, intercultural mediation and intercultural communication.

Ana Isabel Foulquié Rubio, Universidad de Murcia

Ana Isabel Foulquié Rubio holds a PhD in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Murcia, an Undergraduate Degree in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada, and a Master’s Degree in Alien Law. Currently she is a full-time lecturer of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Murcia. Her current research interests focus on public service interpreting in different settings: healthcare, schools and police, and emotions in public service interpreting.

Alina Pelea, Babeș-Bolyai University

Alina Pelea holds a PhD in Translation Studies from Babeș-Bolyai University and Artois University, and she is a lecturer at the Department of Applied Modern Languages of the Faculty of Letters, Babeș-Bolyai University, where she also coordinates the Masters in Conference Interpreting. Her current research concerns mainly interpreting training, and medical interpreting.


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How to Cite

Nevado Llopis, A., Foulquié Rubio, A. I., & Pelea, A. (2024). Language Brokering in Healthcare Settings in Spain: An Insight Based on Testimonies. English Studies at NBU, 10(1), 133–156.




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