It’s easy to think that interpreter is simply a matter of translating one language into another. This is a mistake, especially when it comes to public services. Interpreting is a highly sought-after skill in the public sector. The process involves a lot more than just understanding a language.
Particularly in child protection cases, the Social Services department requires accurate translations during interpretation. They also need sensitivity and confidentiality. Without these components, interpreting can become more of a burden than a help. For example, when a child is to go to the local authority to receive care, it is important that the interpreter is sensitive. This is because they are often the ones who have to relay a distressing message to the parent or relative. Good public service interpreters will understand the importance and timing. It is not possible to rush the task of translating in these situations. A distressed person may need to take some time before beginning. In such circumstances, the Social Services department should provide a written explanation to the client about what to expect and how it will proceed. Social Services should request a written guarantee of confidentiality from the client. They should also ensure that the interpreter is not familiar to clients in any capacity, even if they live in the same area.
The housing department often uses public service interpreting, especially in multicultural areas, where English is not the first or second language. The housing department will need to give a brief explanation to the client about the process and explain to them the rights and limitations of any service before the interview.
Court interpreting requires confidentiality and prior checks to ensure that the client isn’t known to the interpreter. Sometimes, an interpreter may be required immediately, especially if someone is being held on serious charges and must appear before Magistrates in a matter of minutes. The interpreter will explain the charges to the client. An interpreter will work with a solicitor to explain everything. A majority of solicitors are familiar with translation services that offer good interpreters. An experienced Court translator will be able to work in the Courtroom. They will also have the necessary public speaking skills. Although the interpreter will translate words to and from the original, it may also include abusive comments or swear words. However, interpreting is simply that: interpreting what is being said. Interpreting is a way to replace the person speaking so that the translation is as natural as the original.