Cultural interpreting is essentially ‘understanding the culture’ for both professional and client. Cultural interpreting is useful where cultural barriers, traditions are cited as special needs or restrictions. This can exist in settings where services would not or could not accommodate the client due to a cultural barrier such as in religious dietary restrictions and the service to the client is withdrawn, suspended or unable to be offered..
Cultural interpreters are fluent in the language that they are interpreting, but also:
- Have specific cultural knowledge in the subject matter
- Understanding the professional’s requirements and limitations.
- Understand the degree of cultural contexts of the client (eg orthodox needs)
- Be aware of the racial implications of the interpreting
- Able to assess the client for other needs
Cultural interpreters are most useful in situations of individual conflicts, disputes, in developing local processes, regulations or social policy. Cultural interpreters are available in half or full day bookings and should include time for a preliminary assessment of the clients and organisation’s needs.
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