Monday, 17 December 2012

Issues and Recommendations for Interpreters in Kenya

On my series of talks to upcoming interpreters, I was asked to talk about interpreting in Kenya...

Who is an Interpreter?
Interpreters in Kenya are individuals with good language skills, good relationship with their clients and who have learned how to interpret from one language to another. Many interpreters learn their skills in practical settings, they are usually unpaid volunteers.

Foundations of Interpreting
Interpreting is a relationship, it is a matter of faith and trust.

Language of Interpreters
Interpreting does not have to be word-for-word. It is more important to get the meaning of the message. It is important for the interpreter to understand the language, culture and trends in the cultures represented. 

Recognition of the Interpreters
Recognition should not depend on the level of education and other qualifications but on the language skills and the persons themselves. It is important to note that professional interpreters and 'local' interpreters should have the same recognition when they do the same type of work. - For instance a village chief my get a n official recognition for function as a justice of peace though he may not have studied law.

Interpreter Training
It is always good to get more training.
As an interpreter it is good to keep learning the language, new fields, vocabulary, develop skills on language and culture. Deaf Association, language schools are a great resource for learning.

Ethics of Interpreting - road to professionalism 
Read more here - Code of Ethics

It is also important to have a professional association of interpreters - Most countries in the world today do not have a National Association of sign language interpreters. Following the very successful first WASLI conference in South Africa in 2005, many countries are now discussing the idea of establishing a national association in their own country.

Those are some of the issues and recommendations for interpreters in Kenya or those aspiring to be come interpreters.


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