Interpreting in domestic violence situations
Thread poster: Aleksandra Mandrapa

Aleksandra Mandrapa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
English to Bosnian
+ ...
May 2, 2003

Could anybody help me to find some resources for interpreters training, and especially for the domestic violence interpreting, if there are some available for those particular situations? I am thinking intake, counseling, legal help, and any other possible situation during the process of trying to help and protect the ones who are obused.

Thanks a lot.



Aleksandra Mandrapa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
English to Bosnian
+ ...
NOTE May 2, 2003

Actually what I need more is the training resources for the employees who need to learn how to work with interpreters, but any training resources for the interpreters would help me a lot too. Thanks again.


Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
German to Croatian
+ ...
Training for court interpreters May 2, 2003

Domestic Violence and Child Custody Disputes: A Resource Handbook for Judges and Court Managers

\"Suggested skills-enhancing exercises for interpreters of all languages\"

\"Exersises for sight translation\"

\"Exercises to develop and improve simultaneous interpreting skills\"

You can also download a manual for training court interpreters (as pdf files) from:




Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
Dutch to English
+ ...
Interpretors should remain neutral at all times May 4, 2003

I should think this is not your job to help in such situations. Interpretors should remain neutral at all times and these situations should be handled in a court setting or police court. I would leave such help up to the professionals.

Good luck!



Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:07
Chinese to English
+ ...
Not necessarily May 4, 2003

When I did training in the US as a medical interpreter, we were told that we should NOT necessarily remain neutral at all times.

In a medical situation, the interpreter is sometimes (although not always) required to advocate for the patient. Usually this happens when the patient does not understand the system. There was a pyramid of interpreters\' functions, with \"basic interpretation of meaning units only\" on the bottom and moving up to the top level which was pure advocacy.

We also discussed situations such as how much the patient was entitled to have interpreted for him/her, such as if a doctor commented negatively on the patient\'s ethnicity or national origin. The seminar facilitator, who was quite experienced, told us that the patient had the right to hear EVERYTHING, as though s/he were a native English speaker listening to what was going on. She did mention that she usually warned the doctor that she would be interpreting EVERYTHING that was said, however.

Just some food for thought. There are times when it might not be advisable to forego neutrality, but I don\'t think that all interpreting situations necessarily imply neutrality, either. Is your responsibility to the audience, the speaker, or the organizers/the person who\'s paying you (in conference work?) Hours of fun debating these.



Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
Dutch to English
+ ...
by all means, convey everything that is said May 4, 2003

but don\'t get involved. I was trying to make this point. When interpreting at depositions, I get very precise instructions as to how to convey what has been said and by whom. I cannot believe that an interpreter would be allowed to venture out into areas s/he has not been trained in, and completely outside the scope of his/her profession, such as counseling. You could be sued. Besides, what a nightmare to be involved in, there has to be at least one sturdy rock in the chain of events that exactly conveys what is being said without emotion.


Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:07
English to Croatian
+ ...
Don't get involved May 4, 2003

That\'s the basic rule in such situations. I do interpreting in medical institutions on dayly basis - that\'s my specialization - and I cannot but agree with Marijke.

But, Terry also has got a good point although, maybe, she missed to put it in a clear way. The ethnical/ethical/cultural background of the patient should be discussed with the professional prior to the meeting/interview in case if he/she is not aware of the differences and possible implications. (Cross)cultural consultancy is part of interpreters job as well.

And, Vesna, thanks for great links.


[ This Message was edited by: kemmus on 2003-05-04 15:28]


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Interpreting in domestic violence situations

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