interpreter's dilemma
Thread poster: vivni
Jun 2, 2010

Hi there
I need you guys' advices.
Please read the scenario below and give me your course of action were you to be the interpreter in that situation .

An interpreter with many years experience is contracted by a client needing advice from the immigration service, regarding a matter of family reunification. The law has been slightly amended very recently by the new government. The interpreter suspects that the senior Immigration official at the meeting is unaware of these changes and may be giving incorrect advice.


Thanks


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Talk to the official but on your own Jun 2, 2010

Tell the official about your misgivings but do so on your own and not in front of the person who is involved. However, do it extremely tactfully. Something like: can I speak with you a moment alone? I am slightly confused, I was under the impression that...

Only do so if you are 100% sure of your facts.



vivni wrote:

Hi there
I need you guys' advices.
Please read the scenario below and give me your course of action were you to be the interpreter in that situation .

An interpreter with many years experience is contracted by a client needing advice from the immigration service, regarding a matter of family reunification. The law has been slightly amended very recently by the new government. The interpreter suspects that the senior Immigration official at the meeting is unaware of these changes and may be giving incorrect advice.


Thanks


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:44
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
I have nothing to add Jun 2, 2010

Marijke described it exactly the way I would go in this situation.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not an interpretation problem... Jun 2, 2010

...but a personal ethical problem. If you as a citizen (and not as an interpreter) feel that some regulation is being violated and you are concerned about it, you should inform... outside of your work time as an interpreter. I am not an interpreter, but this feels more like a general ethical issue.

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vivni
TOPIC STARTER
exactly that's what I am concerning about, the ethical of code Jun 2, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...but a personal ethical problem. If you as a citizen (and not as an interpreter) feel that some regulation is being violated and you are concerned about it, you should inform... outside of your work time as an interpreter. I am not an interpreter, but this feels more like a general ethical issue.



The basic role of interpreter is to facilitate the communication between two parties who don't share the common language as accurately as possible without adding or omitting any information.

to be impartial, an interpreter should not give advice.

please give me your thought.

thanks


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Déesse
Local time: 05:44
French to Dutch
+ ...
I couldn't agree more Jun 3, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...but a personal ethical problem. If you as a citizen (and not as an interpreter) feel that some regulation is being violated and you are concerned about it, you should inform... outside of your work time as an interpreter. I am not an interpreter, but this feels more like a general ethical issue.


You are an interpreter, not an official.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:44
French to German
+ ...
No legal way... Jun 3, 2010

to have a specialised lawyer involved?

I mean, this is a serious matter which has probably taken a long time to arrive to this point. I am somewhat surprised that it is dealt with on the administrative level only.


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:44
Italian to English
+ ...
Dilemma Jun 3, 2010

I have also been in situations where incorrect advice has been given and I have just held my tongue - however hard it is, you are there to interpret, not be a friend or advocate, to do otherwise would be unprofessional though morally understandable.

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