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Behind the Scenes of Community Interpreting: Mediation

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The globalizing world brings the issue of migration to the fore every day, and individuals who migrate to different societies face the language obstacle. These individuals need a translation service to handle official paperwork and frequently need interpreting in public affairs. Community translation is a sub-branch of interpretation; it overcomes the language issue while foreign individuals deal with formal procedures. While receiving medical, social, or legal services, foreigners may benefit from the service provided by community translators.

Community interpreting, also referred to as mediation, may sometimes be more than just overcoming the language barrier. The main reason for this is that community translators often find themselves dealing with the responsibility of human and ethical values in addition to the responsibility of the profession. To avoid such situations, a community translator needs to draw the limits of their responsibility as the work begins.

Community Translation and Ethical Values

Community translators can sometimes find themselves in dramatic events and may be affected psychologically. For example, when a patient receives service from a community translator, the translator conveys the bad news to the patient. Naturally, witnessing a traumatic event experienced by the patient up close is also draining for a translator. When informing the patient about the medical condition, the doctors must closely follow the process. Sometimes, relatives of patients may request keeping medical information from the patient to protect the patient from suffering. Community translators may find themselves in an ethical dilemma when faced with such situations as the translator’s job is to ensure that communication between two people who do not speak the same language can progress smoothly. Community interpreting and ethical values are essential to perform the profession in the best possible way.

The community translator should demonstrate a professional approach by being impartial while translating. For example, a professional translating between two parties should never take sides and be influenced by any prejudice. When one of the parties makes a negative statement to the other party, the community translator should convey what was said; otherwise, the other party’s right to respond is violated.

Community translators in courts, hospitals, and police stations should seek support if they witness traumatic events and are exposed to secondary trauma.

Community Interpreting Sub-Branches

As aforementioned, there are many sub-branches of community interpreting.

– Court Interpreting: Community translators practicing in the field of law must be proficient in legal terminology. After all, the translator is obliged to make a complete and solid translation. Therefore, the translator should master the court jargon.

– Health Interpreter: Needed when the patient and the doctor do not speak the same language. Turkey’s breakthrough in health tourism has significantly increased the need for health translators in the last few years.

– Police Interpreting: Just as with court interpreting, interpreters who assist police in taking statements during an investigation bear a great responsibility. After all, the correct rendering of the accused’s statements impacts the person’s life.

Behind the Scenes of Community Interpreting: Mediation

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