The ten commandments of working with translators and interpreters


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Training session for Wales Interpretation and Translation Service (Gwent Police) about how to find suitable translators and interpreters and how to work with them

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The ten commandments of working with translators and interpreters

  1. 1. The ten commandments ofworking with translators andinterpretersWales Interpretation and Translation Service, Gwent Police, 5th June 2013Trinidad Clares Flores MA MITI MCIL DPSI NRPSI
  2. 2. IntroductionWhy are we doing this?
  3. 3. • Help you use our services in the bestway by giving you insight into how theindustry works!• Help you provide a better service toyour end clients by being able to explainour needs• By helping you know what toexpect, we’ll also make our life easier!
  4. 4. 1Thou shalt not ask a translator tointerpret or an interpreter totranslate
  5. 5. What they have in common Transfer of message between languages Knowledge of languages Knowledge of relevant techniques to transferthe message between languages Knowledge of the subject matter
  6. 6. Interpreters Deal with spoken word Communication is immediate Must have active language knowledge Work in both directions* (A<>B, C<>A) Strong cultural knowledge Strong listening skills Good communication skills Quick reaction Good public-speaking skills Intellectual capacity to transfer idioms, colloquialisms& culture-specific elements on the spot
  7. 7. Translators Have plenty of time to research the text Ability to understand the source language Ability to renderthe text in thetarget languagein the clearestand most accurateway possible Ability to research atopic thoroughly Only work into theirnative language
  8. 8. “The transterpreter”
  9. 9. Please bear in mind• Interpreting qualifications don’t equaltranslation skill and vice versa• Check that the interpreter is happy translatingas well (and vice versa)• Don’t use an interpreter for a translation ifyou can use a qualified and specialisedtranslator (there are plenty around!)
  10. 10. 2Thou shalt not ask a translator totranslate out of their nativelanguage
  11. 11. A few myths• Translators are completely bilingual• Bilingual people speak both languages perfectly• If they speak both languages, they can translatein both directions, can’t they?
  12. 12. Reality• There are very few truly bilingual people• Most bilingual people have a “dominant”language• Even bilingual people can rarely expressthemselves in a given topic equally well in twolanguages• Most translators have a very good passiveknowledge of their source language• You can always tell when a text has been writtenby a non-native language person
  13. 13. Examples“My child is molesting me”Looking for a Web Design?Looking for a design what impress you?Impress is the result you have receive when you see your Web Design and the cost.We working for the best satisfaction of our clients. Our compromise is quality siteand provide the excellencies.If you have any questions, please let us know.Thank you,José I. LópezWebMaster
  14. 14. ITI’s Code of Professional Conduct4. STANDARDS OF WORK4.1 Translation4.1.1 Subject to 4.4 and 4.5 below, members shalltranslate only into a language which is either (i) theirmother tongue or language of habitual use, or (ii) onein which they have satisfied the Institute that they haveequal competence. They shall translate only from thoselanguages in which they can demonstrate they have therequisite skills.
  15. 15. NRPSI’s Code of Professional ConductTranslation6.1 Practitioners who are carrying out work as translators shall only carry outwork which they believe is within their linguistic and relevant specialistcompetence, or which is to be checked by someone with the relevantknowledge or competence.6.2 Practitioners shall, other than in exceptional circumstances, only translatebetween the languages for which they are registered with NRPSI.6.3 Notwithstanding the provisions of 6.2, if a Principal requests that thePractitioner translate out of a language in which the Practitioner iscompetent at the required level but which is not registered as in 6.2, or ifa Principal requests that the Practitioner translate out of his or herlanguage of habitual use (as may occur if the Principal believes that amother-tongue translator will have a better understanding of thetext), the Practitioner may proceed provided that the conditions of 6.1are satisfied and that the Principal has been made aware of the potentialdisadvantages of proceeding in disregard of the principle expressed in6.2.
  16. 16. Exceptions• People who have lived for a long time in thecountry of their source language and havechanged “language of habitual use”• Languages where it’s customary to translate inboth directions because there aren’t many nativeEnglish speakers who are fluent in it• If the translator is an expert in the field and thetranslation can be reviewed by a native speaker• If the client has been informed of theconsequences and they accept it
  17. 17. Review/revise/proofreading/editingo Proofreading: reading printer proofs markingany errors (typographicalerrors, grammar, spelling, punctuation)o Reviewing/revising: checking a translation foraccuracy and style going through the textsentence by sentence and comparing SL andTL.o Editing: more creative work than revisionwhere you have the freedom to makeimprovements in the text for readability
  18. 18. Why do we need them?• Essential if the translation is going to be usedfor anything other than internalcommunication• We are all humans and make mistakes• Contrary to popular belief, spellcheckers don’talways pick up all the mistakes• Make sure the reviewer is a native languagespeaker
  19. 19. What about interpreters?International Organisations (UN, EU)B, C > A (native/dominant language)Commercial settingB>A, A>B, C>AA: native languageB: full active commandC: full passive commandWorking languages by AIIC:
  20. 20. 3Thou shalt always providereference material
  21. 21. Why is reference material important• Complexity of the subject matter– Tax issues– Medical report– Judgment• Ambiguous wording– Puerta: door, gate, shutter– ‘Counterfeit watches, mobile phones andWalkmans were seized’Context is king!
  22. 22. So what are we talking about here?• Previous documents relating to the same case– Letter of request, statements, photographs, othercourt documents, previously translated letters ofrequest, etc.– Medical reports, hospital records, hospitalletters, drawings, etc.– Interpreting: any information relating to thecondition the patient is suffering or details of thealleged offence (if it’s a police job)
  23. 23. Remember!• Translators who ask for reference material arethorough professionals who take their jobseriously• If several translators are working on the sameproject, make sure they all know what theothers are doing and are in contact re.terminology and queries• Having reference material improves thechances of obtaining a good qualitytranslation
  24. 24. 4Thou shalt take into account thetranslator/interpreter’sspecialisation
  25. 25. Why?• Specialisation is the key to quality• The more a translator/interpreter knowsabout a subject, the easier it will be to rendertexts/speech accurately or to spot errors• Being an expert in law doesn’t make you anexpert in medicine!
  26. 26. What do we mean by specialisation?Basic level of knowledge that enables us to: understand underlying principles do the research necessary to figure out whatwe don’t understand and find the right term in the target language
  27. 27. So…• Always assign jobs to translators/interpretersspecialising in the particular field (if possible)• Don’t take it badly if translators/interpreterssay no to assignments they don’t feelknowledgeable enough to do• Don’t make it more difficult by offering us jobsfor fields we don’t specialise in
  28. 28. 5Thou shalt recognisetranslation and interpretingqualifications
  29. 29. The importance of qualifications3.2 “The competent authorities’ obligations are not limited tothe appointment of an interpreter but may extend to a degreeof subsequent control over the adequacy of theinterpretation provided. The judge in particular is required totreat the defendant’s interests with “scrupulous care”.”NATIONAL AGREEMENT ON ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE USE OFINTERPRETERS, TRANSLATORS AND LANGUAGE SERVICE ROFESSIONALSIN INVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICESYSTEM, AS REVISED 2007
  30. 30. Interpreters for CJS1. NRPSI – full status registrant (Law)2. NRPSI – interim status registrant (A or B)3. APCI*4. NRPSI Rare Language registrant (no DPSIavailable for the language)5. ITI Court and Police member (MITI, FITI)*6. NRPSI - full status (Health/local gov)7. NRPSI - interim status (Health/local gov)8. DPSI holder*Equivalent to NRPSI
  31. 31. Interpreters for CJS9. NRPSI – limited assessment category10. CIoL- Find a Linguist11. AIT assessment*1 (only for certain areas)12. IND assessment*2 (only oral)13. DPSI oral only*1 Asylum & Immigration Tribunal: Equivalent to NRPSI limited assessmentcategory*2 Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office
  32. 32. Translators“Holders of the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI)option Law have been assessed as being competent totranslate short straightforward texts into both their workinglanguages. Unless the DPSI holder possesses additionalqualifications in translation, longer and more complex textsshould be referred to a professional translator.”NATIONAL AGREEMENT ON ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE USE OFINTERPRETERS, TRANSLATORS AND LANGUAGE SERVICE ROFESSIONALS ININVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, ASREVISED 2007
  33. 33. Where do I look?1. Institute of Translation and Interpreting: FITI& MITI (relevant qualification +test+references+code of conduct)2. Chartered Institute of Linguists: MCIL(graduate level qualification),Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) holders*3. Relevant country qualification:-Degree in translation-Degree in English studies/philology*Law option
  34. 34. What if it needs to be certified?
  35. 35.
  36. 36. 7Thou shalt not ask aninterpreter/translator to work ina language for which theyhaven’t been assessed
  37. 37. ITI’s Code of Professional Conduct4. STANDARDS OF WORK4.1 Translation4.1.1 Subject to 4.4 and 4.5 below, members shalltranslate only into a language which is either (i) theirmother tongue or language of habitual use, or (ii) onein which they have satisfied the Institute that they haveequal competence. They shall translate only from thoselanguages in which they can demonstrate they have therequisite skills.
  38. 38. ITI’s Code of Professional Conduct4.3 CompetenceSubject to 4.5 below, members shall refuse workwhich they know to be beyond theircompetence, either linguistically or because of lackof specialised knowledge, unless the work is to besubcontracted to another translator or interpreterwho has the necessary competence, in which casethe provisions of this Code and in particular section3.3 shall apply.
  39. 39. 8Thou shalt keep translators andinterpreters informed of yourprocesses
  40. 40. WITS• Have you sent your translators/interpreters WITS’code of conduct?• Have you informed your translators/interpretersof your new claim form?• Have you informed your translators/interpretersof your invoicing cut-off dates?• How many of your translators/interpreters aresending their claim forms to the wrong address?• Do you acknowledge receipt of completedassignments/general messages?
  41. 41. Translators & interpreters• Do your translators/interpreters ask to seeWITS’ code of conduct?• Do translators/interpreters ask for your claimform and preferred invoicing processes?• Do translators/interpreters inform you of theirholiday/unavailable times?• Do translators/interpreters acknowledgereceipt of assignments?
  42. 42. Good communication is the keyto success!
  43. 43. 9Thou shalt pay translators andinterpreters fair rates
  44. 44. To sum up• Translators and interpreters are professionals• Professionals charge according to theirqualifications and experience (and supply anddemand)• Rates vary enormously for differentlanguages, specialisms and location• Translators are not restricted to the local market• If rates on offer are not fair, they will findalternative commercial work (as evidenced by thefailed MoJ FWA)
  45. 45. 10Thou shalt take into considerationinterpreters’ working conditions
  46. 46. Things to bear in mind• Time to research topic• Reference materials• Number of hours working on your own• Actual physical conditions (hearing, line ofvision, possibility to sit down, etc.)• Not to be left on your own withsuspect/patient
  47. 47. Welsh Court InterpretersInterpreters9. When any individual chooses to testify in Welsh any questions, put in English, must betranslated into Welsh for his benefit. When there is a need for translation into English andWelsh, it is essential to have two interpreters present. Even in those cases, when the caseonly requires translation into one language (e.g. when both counsel speak Welsh), twointerpreters are required for any hearing when the interpreter would have to translate forany length of time so that the interpreters have regular and frequent breaks withoutdelaying or extending the length of the hearing unnecessarily.10. Only interpreters on the approved list may be used. They should be selected, whereverpossible, on a rotation basis, so as to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to gainexperience and maintain their courtroom skills. In certain exceptional cases when there arechild witnesses or issues of unusual complexity for example, and it would be desirable tohave especially skilled and experienced interpreters, Margaret Davies or one of the LiaisonJudges should be consulted as to the choice of interpreters.11. The interpreters should be given every assistance in preparing for the hearing and allowedaccess to, or be given copies of, the witness statements and copies of the indictment beforethe hearing to allow them time to prepare and to note any unusual or specialistterminology which may be used during the hearing.*Practice Direction by the Welsh Language Service for Magistrates Courts and Tribunals