Protecting Interpreters and Translators Worldwide
The language industry is steadily growing. With the global marketplace and modern migration trends, there are more opportunities for interpreters and translators now than ever before. International efforts have involved the development of standards, and increased dialogue among stakeholders. Collaborations and international conferences are a call to action for advancement and recognition. But, where in the marketplace is the practitioner?
As the global organization dedicated to community interpreting, CLI is committed to promoting the free exchange of information and research, fostering the growth of studies in the field, and increasing the visibility of academic activities and contributions internationally. To that end, CLI has designed the KnowledgeLinkIC (KLIC) initiative.
Six streams to share, search and publish
KLIC is the CLI information hub - a place where the thinkers and doers of community interpreting can share their works, events, initiatives and resources. CLI invites our global members and partners to share, search and publish in six different streams:
In 2016, the Norwegian Association of Interpreters (NTF - Norsk tolkeforening) was accepted as a full member of EULITA - the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association – and was represented with complete voting rights at the recent General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.
EULITA provides a significant European arena for exchange of experiences, says Katerina Sandstø, president of the Norwegian Association of Interpreters (NTF).
A significant number of NTF’s members are legal interpreters.
EULITA is an international not-for-profit association aiming to promote cooperation and best practices in working arrangements with the legal services and legal professions. Members include national professional associations of legal translators and spoken or sign language legal interpreters that are established in EU and EEU member states, Switzerland and EU membership candidate countries. Amongst EULITA‘s associate members are interested organisations, individuals and academic institutions.
- The conference and General Assembly in Vienna was a great inspiration for our representative, and brings us closer to the European continent, says NTF president Katerina Sandstø.
- The European setting is important for Norwegian interpreters, and we are pleased to take part in the advocacy for high quality standards in the framework of legal translation and interpreting. This includes making sure that legal interpreters and translators are used at an extent that meets the demand, that working conditions are appropriate and that there is an adequate supply of qualified interpreters and translators – all of these prerequisites to ensure equal access to justice in all member states, says Katerina Sandstø.
EULITA’s General Assembly on April 1, 2017, was preceded by a two days‘ programme, including the Translating Europe workshop, arranged in cooperation with The European Commission – Directorate-General for Translation. The second day of the conference was titled The many facets of legal intrepreting and translation.
Daniela Amodeo Perillo from the Italian ASSITIG (Associazione Italiana Traduttori e Interpreti Giudiziari), was elected EULITA’s second president, taking over the chair from one of EULITA’s original founders, Liese Katschinka.
CLI President Angela Sasso presents the opening plenary session
I was honoured with an invitation to present the opening plenary session at the 6th International Conference on PSIT/Community Interpreting and Translation at the Universidad de Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares Spain this past March. The conference ran from March 6th to March 8th and as usual involved excellent presentations, wonderful opportunities to network in the historic city of Alcalá de Henares – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a chance to share discussions on the topic we most love to discuss – public service interpreting and translation.
Invited by our wonderful and dedicated colleague Carmen Valero Garcés, Director of the MA in Intercultural Communication and Public Service Interpreting and Translation program and Professor of Interpreting and Translation at UAH to speak on a vision for public service interpreting and translation that pushes beyond the limits, I dedicated the plenary talk on the need for a new paradigm. It is imperative that community interpreters and translators gain authority over their domain – whether that domain is defined by the market place, or the institution or by governance. Our upcoming blog will feature the presentation that was given at the 6th PSIT Conference.
Critical Link International is still advocating for better outcomes
The UN theme for International Women's Day this year is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. Although community interpreting is a professional field where women already make up more than half of the workforce, the work is not done. Community interpreters fill a vital role in a society, ensuring that women who are not proficient in the official language can access public institutions, social services, healthcare, emergency response and legal services within their communities. Current issues in this profession affect both the women who work as interpreters and the women who depend on their services.
When interpreting is seen as simply possessing conversational ability in two languages, this opens the door for using unqualified interpreters who may not be fully fluent in the process of interpreting or aware of the ethical standards that an interpreter should follow. This can compromise patient safety, result in mistrials or wrongful convictions, as well as generally restrict foreign language speaking women’s access to services that their native language counterparts use.
Furthermore, when interpreting services are not adequately weighed in budget decisions and funds are not allocated for this essential service, agencies resort to using staff, family members or untrained interpreters who work for lower wages. Professional interpreters find themselves competing for lower paid positions or not being used at all. This undercuts both the well-being of women using interpreters, professional interpreters who are priced out of the job market and the untrained interpreters themselves who are working for substandard wages.
Critical Link International is active in the movement for a better model, relying on standards and professional training, that keeps wages for community interpreters at reasonable levels and protects the clients they serve. It encourages non-certified interpreters to seek further training and gain higher-paid professional employment instead of a race to the lowest common denominator.
The war against ISIS cannot be won without Translators or Interpreters
A Question of Communication: The Role of Public Service Interpreting in the Migrant Crisis
The editors of The European Legacy have expressed their interest in publishing a Special Issue on A Question of Communication: The Role of Public Service Interpreting in the Migrant Crisis, guest edited by Dr. Michal Schuster, the University of the Free State, Republic of South Africa and Dr. Lluís Baixauli-Olmos, University of Louisville (USA). The Special Issue will be dedicated to the memory of Professor Miriam Shlesinger (1947-2012).
- Current challenges of language accessibility in Europe
- Language policy for accessibility and integration of migrants and asylum seekers
- Interpreter training and education, particularly for emerging languages
- Recruiting strategies/methods
- Turning interpreters into cultural mediators
- The use of new technologies in interpreting and translation in public services
- Cooperation between different sectors: public, private, academic and non-governmental
- If you would like to contribute an article (6000-8000 words) to the Special Issue, please send an abstract (150 words) to Dr. Michal Schuster, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by January 10, 2017.
Submissions will be evaluated by the guest editors before being accepted for publication. Deadline for submission of papers: April 10, 2017.
Edna Rosenthal, Editor
Michal Schuster, Guest Editor
Lluís Baixauli-Olmos, Guest Editor