Community Interpreting Services

Have you ever heard of community interpreting services? Here’s some information about it.


Community Interpreting Services

Who is the “community”?

In many communities, large numbers of ethnic minorities exist. While the immigrants, migrant workers, refugees and their families may have been living in their host country for years, some even decades, a language barrier still exists because their community has protected them from learning English. That is, until they need health care, social security, or their is a meeting in their kid’s school. An example of these communities are the Polish area in Chicago, the “Little Italy” in New York and the “Chinatown’s” located in many big cities around the world.


Providing a solution with community interpreting services

The clients of community interpreting servicesare immigrants, migrant workers, refugees and their families. The settings vary from hospitals and healthcare venues, to schools and government offices handling issues such as housing, social security, visa, and police matters.

Community interpreters typically are foreign- born. They either come from the same community or have relatives or friends from the community, just like the clients. Unlike in commercial interpreting, community interpreters typically are not schooled or trained to do language interpreting services. They often do not identify themselves as interpreters by profession.

Community interpreters encounter many challenges in this task. They need to be both fluent with the language, and have knowledge of the public service involved to effectively understand the racial and cultural implications of the work at hand. The range of languages here is huge, with many regional variations and dialects.

One study has shown that the risk for medical interpretation mistakes is higher when using ad hoc interpreters.

Contact Language Direct today for help on community interpreting services and other professional language services.

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