Community Interpreting Explained: 5-1
What is Community Interpreting?
Community interpreting (ISO) is bidirectional interpreting that takes place in communicative settings among speakers of different languages for the purpose of accessing community services (ISO, 2014, p. 1).
Community interpreting is a specialization of interpreting that facilitates access to community services for individuals who do not speak the language of service.” (The Community Interpreter – An International Textbook)
What makes Community Interpreting unique from other specializations of interpreting?
local interpreters for local residents – serving the local community
community interpreters are usually hired by public, governmental, community, non-profit, or educational organizations, etc
interpreting tasks are mostly bi-directional; while it is common to be uni-directional in conference interpreting
conference interpreting limits to fewer than 30 languages in total worldwide, while community interpreting involves nealy any languages spoken in communiteis, eg. 380 in the United States
no physical booth used most of the time: face-to-face, over-the-phone, or internet-based
extended roles for community interpreters: adovocates, mediators, cultural liaisons, outreach workers. etc.
Professional diversity of community interpreters:
full-time staff community interpreters
bilingual full-time staff who work mainly as commuinty interpreters
independent freelance contact-based community interpreters
bilingual full-time staff who occassioanlly works as commuinty interpters
volunteer community interprters
Code of Ethics for Community Interpreters:
Incredibly Valuable Resources for Medical Interpreters – equally useful to other community interpreters
California Standards for Healthcare Interpreters – Ethical Principles, Protocols, and Guidance on Roles & Interventions – aka the CHIA Standards – are an essential tool for raising language-service quality and quality of care.
The “Say No” Model in Community Interpreting
There are a great variety of scenarios in which a community interpreter needs to say no, and these three steps in the exact order will make the process more effective and efficient: 1. Be gracious 2. Offer Choices 3. Give reasons
Communicative Autonomy: A Bedrock Value for Community Interpreters
Definition: The capacity of each party in an encounter to be responsible for and in control of his or her own communication
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