Community Interpretation – TO BE FINETUNED drop down from Administration
Community interpreting is uniquely offered by ICSA. Also called social service interpreting, this takes place in a variety of settings and demands good interpersonal skills as well as linguistic and cultural knowledge. ICSA’s bespoke interpretation is set by the situation applying the most appropriate style of interpretation. Community interpreting is best done through a community organisation.
“The community interpreter (CI) has a very different role and responsibilities from a commercial or conference interpreter. The CI is responsible for enabling a professional in the capacity of their profession and a client, with very different backgrounds and perceptions; in an unequal relationship of power and knowledge, to communicate in an effective manner.
Community interpreters are fluent in the language that they are interpreting, but also:
- Navigating public sector and understanding their services
- Understand integrated private services that support the community sector
- Be aware of the cultural and racial implications of the interpreting work
- Able to assess the client for other needs
Clients are mainly migrants, refugees of all age groups, migrant workers and their children. Even if they have been living in their host country for years, their community, like “Little India” or “Chinatown”, can protect them from the need to learn English until they need social services, health care or to deal with beaurocracy.
The settings are hospitals and doctors’ offices, schools, the various offices dealing with immigration matters, housing and social security, and police stations. The language level may be quite different from that of a direct or diplomatic interpreter.
The situation is often where clients are worried, afraid, and sometimes illiterate. They find themselves in strange surroundings. Add to this the fact that professionals — the doctors, nurses, police officers, social workers etc. — are usually in a hurry, with a given case load to take care of. In a nutshell, community interpreters need people skills as well as language and cultural knowledge — and interpreting proficiency.
The interpreters themselves are often foreign-born and their backgrounds vary accordingly; as does their knowledge, understanding and personal experience of the local systems. Interpreters can avoid any formal training in interpretation and even those that do, would not be trained in local systems, cultures and legal requirements. Such interpreters need the support of good systems to ensure they interpret accurately.
The community interpretation service supplies a community interpreter trained to properly assess the situation between the professional and client and interpret accordingly by phone or in person. Booked on an hourly, half day or full day basis.