Community Interpreting Unit 5

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“Praise the bridge that carried you over.”— George Colman

In this essay I would like to explain how professional skilled interpreters can build bridges over language, cultural, racial and national differences.

At the beginning I will describe the requirements of the professional code of ethics for interpreters. Later I will explain the meaning of confidentiality and impartiality. I will also evaluate the techniques for revision of word-banks and glossaries, as well as the sources of information for regular and reliable professional development.

The essential role of Community Interpreter is to enable direct communication for two or more individuals who do not share a common language. It could be compared to building a bridge over the language barrier. The bridge would be weak if the interpreter will be not familiar with culture, religion and social status of the client. The interpreting bridge should contain good understanding of the background mentioned above and this will help to pass correct information between client and professional.

The real bridge should be build according to good knowledge of Bridge Engineering Principles, and then it will be reliable way on other side. The interpreting bridge should be build according to the Professional Code of Ethics for Interpreters, and then it will become a reliable way of communication.

The objective of the Code of Ethic is to make sure that communication across language and culture is carried out accurately, competently, confidentially and impartially, and that all those involved in the process are clear on what may be expected from them. The Code of Ethic enables to regulate professional conduct of interpreters and to reflect the way services are provided, and also cover any issues of potential misunderstanding concerned with your interpreting. It states interpreter’s position on the issues listed above. Knowledge and appliance of a Code of Ethic is important in order to establish a clear common understanding of expectations and deliverables between interpreter and client.

Interpreters show accuracy when “transmit the message in thorough and faithful message in a thorough and faithful manner, giving consideration to linguistic variations in both languages and conveying and conveying the tone and spirit of the original message. A word for word interpretation may not convey the intended idea. The interpreter must determine the relevant concept and say it in language that is readily understandable and culturally appropriate to the listener. In addition the interpreter will make every effort to assure that the client has understood questions, instructions and other information transmitted by the service provider.” ¹

Some ethical dilemmas might arise regarding accuracy. I would like to consider a situation that might have take place during a meeting with immigration officer: the client say something that reveal information that will cause serious problem for him, so he ask the interpreter do not interpret this correctly – what should the interpreter do? According to the Code of Ethic interpreter must interpret everything accurately. To avoid this situation like this, interpreter should informs the client, before start, that everything said during the meeting will be interpreted, and ask do not tell anything, that he do not want the immigration officer to know.

I had a similar dilemma in one situation when a client was applying for housing benefit. The client provided details that according to my knowledge would disqualify the client from the right to receive such support. As an interpreter who acts according to the Code of Ethic I was obligated to interpret accurately everything that was said by the client.

Interpreters act competently when “before accepting assignments, interpreters determine whether they are qualified, assessing their current skill level, ability to remain impartial, knowledge of the subject and the clients involved.” ¹...
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