The community interpreter plays a very delicate role because they offer a wide range of help to foreigners who are in a country where they do not speak the language.
It can therefore be said that the community interpreter plays a hybrid role, somewhere between a translator and a cultural mediator, as he or she acts as a linguistic bridge between foreigners and the host country and also mediates between two their different cultures with a view to eliminating any prejudices and avoiding misunderstandings.
What is community interpreting?
Community interpreting has the task of facilitating foreigners' access to essential services such as, for example, the bureaucratic formalities required to obtain an Italian healthcare card.
In addition to accompanying foreigners along their integration path, the community interpreter must also be able to bridge the gaps that may block this path. The main obstacles that the community interpreter has to deal with are not only cultural but also religious, ethnic, and economic.
The community interpreter's objective is therefore to ensure that the foreign person has access to all the public services to which he or she is entitled without encountering prejudice related to his or her origin, religion, ethnicity or economic situation.
In which areas does a community interpreter work?
Community interpreters mainly work in the public administration and social services sectors but often also assist non-profit organisations, and public and private media. Their work can also prove extremely valuable within training institutions, companies and trade unions.
Rather than in specific sectors, therefore, the community interpreter finds him or herself working where situations of potential conflict arise between a minority that lacks the political and cultural means to express itself and obtain what it needs, and a majority which on the other hand, possesses linguistic, economic and cultural means.
The difference between a community interpreter and a conference interpreter
A conference interpreter does a rather different job from a community interpreter. He or she works in contexts where spoken speeches need to be translated to a multilingual audience. His or her job is to translate the speech of the speaker(s) without worrying about its social or cultural implications and without asking about the relationship of power between the speaker and those who are listening.
On the contrary, the community interpreter must always ask himself what the power relations are between the two or more interlocutors who are communicating thanks to his or her translation activity. Eurotrad's interpreting service relies on the contribution of professionals who are experts in the delicate work of community interpreting and work with numerous language combinations. Contact us without obligation: we will select the most suitable interpreter for you to do the job you need.
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