Sharing by CHEER’s Interpreter/TranslatorPrint

My expectations as an interpreter
Mr. DEWAN Chirag Rai, Coordinator (Interpreter)

When we were young we studied that the basic needs of people are the same i.e food and shelter. So how do you do that in a place where all these requirements are unattainable because of language barrier? That is where we, as interpreters come into play by helping to communicate between each other when a common language is not spoken by two parties.

I, myself have just started working as a community interpreter merely five years ago. I had done  interpretations for people who had difficulties talking to someone else after I started working I learnt that there are a set of guidelines that we have to abide by.

These guidelines are important because not only does it lays a moral framework for us but it also placates the insecurities that people face when they have to talk to new people about their difficulties like confidentiality issues, impartiality etc.

Even though the jobs of interpreters are fundamentally the same i.e. to interpret from language source A to B, our roles as community interpreters differ from the judicial and medical interpreters in the sense that we help the community in accessing various facilities that are available in the community but cannot be accessed by various people of the community due to difference in language.

The needs of the ethnic minority community are various such as education, health services, housing etc but cannot say anything about it because they cannot express it due to the language barrier. So I do hope that people who have needs but cannot access them due to the language barrier will use our interpretation services and that eventually everyone in Hong Kong can have access to all the infrastructure and public resources equally.

Working as an Interpreter – Importance and Satisfaction
Mr. BILAL-ANWAR, Interpreter

I am working as an interpreter for approximately four years in CHEER. When I joined as an interpreter my concept of an interpreter was that anyone who is bilingual or multilingual can be interpreter, but after practical experience I understand that it is more than that, so I joined many training sessions provided by my agency and through professional experience I learned a lot, and now I am satisfied with my job that I am fulfilling its requirements.

Sometimes it is very stressful job, especially if interpreting session would last for a long period of time or the case is of sensitive or tragic nature. But at the end of the day it gives lot of satisfaction to the interpreter that he helps someone who needs it and without interpreting it was not possible or at least not convenient for both parties to achieve their aims and objectives. My experience told me that there are a lot of people in Hong Kong for whom life is very hard in absence of interpreter. There was a case in my professional career which last for almost two years and during that period of time client needs interpreting with different departments and organizations several times, even sometimes she needed interpreting service more than one on the same day and I did interpreting for her several times in that particular case. So it means that through out the struggle of client to get her rights she needs an interpreter in every step of her struggle. This example and several others like it show the importance of an interpreter for sake of justice, equality and sense of belonging to a society. On the other hand absence of such service will force that particular group of community to feel and think that they are not part of this society and they belongs to some other world, because they don’t have equal access to the services for those they are eligible, and that gives huge satisfaction to the interpreter that he is doing something really worth for the betterment of people and society.

Interpreting is also very interesting job, because an interpreter explores something new in everyday of his professional life. An interpreter do interpreting in highly diverse fields i.e. Social Service, Medical, Housing, Immigration, Legal etc. so in reality an interpreter should has immense amount and diverse nature of knowledge to fulfill the requirements of his job. So it is good for personal enhancement, because an interpreter learn something new in everyday of his professional life due to the broadness of the nature of job.

So as a conclusion I am very much satisfied working as an interpreter to meet the required standard of job, to help other people to access services with equality and convenience, to help professionals to deliver their services with ease for the betterment of society, and to develop my personal skills to interact with different kind of people and to work in different kind of situations.