Essay by malcolmx October 2009

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Role of the interpreterBasic responsibilities of the interpreterThe interpreter has a role in transmitting meanings correctly from one language to another. Specific skills are required to be a qualified interpreter. Interpretation requires that the interpreter understand the task, its purpose and the means for achieving it 3. Guidelines for working with interpreters and ethical codes of practice have been developed 4-6. The interpreter would be trained in medical terminology, know about various aspects of the health professional-patients relationship and be familiar with and comfortable in the clinical setting 7.

The interpreter should translate everything that is said in the room without changing the content and meaning. The interpreter must be neutral. Everything should be translated into first-person form according to instruction 8. The therapist speaks directly to and has eye contact with the patient and not with the interpreter. Not only the words but also expressions, intonation, pace, pauses, etc.

are thus transmitted from patient to therapist. The body language observed by the therapist conveys information what the child and the child's family members are experiencing and feeling. There are different cultural codes with regard to interpreting the non-verbal communication that has taken place.

Perceiving translating as one aspect of interpreters' performance, co-existing with a coordinating or mediating aspect, implies that interpreters' professionalism must also be evaluated in relation to norms for social interaction. Other criteria by which proficiency in interpreting could be evaluated should concern their ability to attend simultaneously to various key details in discourse, and the interpreters flexibility in positioning themselves as speakers and hearers; their ability to perform communicative activities on the behalf of others and simultaneously distinguish what they contribute on their own account 9.

The presence of a person other than the therapist and a family member may provoke reactions. It is valuable if...