Verbal Interpreters & Sign-Language Interpreters: Different Duties but the same Functions
Interpreters and interpreting services are increasingly important, in a wide variety of situations. These range from court interpreting to medical situations, to communicating with disabled people.
Many people perceive the high importance of interpreting services for both legal and commercial purposes, such as for example court interpreting. However, I would say that interpreting is far more important in the medical field. Usually, medical interpreting occurs because of medical terms and ideas that need further understanding. In addition, people and interpreters should understand enough that people, who have disabilities, especially in some of the hospitals, desperately need interpreting services.
A particular hospital for people with disabilities in the U.S reportedly had a scarcity and poor standard of interpreting services for the patients in the hospital. This issue resulted in a very poor medical assistance, and generally poor communication. Well, of course, patients and medical practitioners should communicate in terms of asking if the patient is feeling okay or feeling terrible. I mean, how could the doctors and nurses effectively communicate with the patient if they have poor interpreting services? Alternatively, in terms of communication of sign language maybe they do not have it all.
However, when Baptist Health Services (the name of the hospital) were questioned by the court about the issue. they just told the court that the hospital is equipped with effective communication between the patients, hospital staff and patients’ families. In addition, they said that they provide interpreters and other communication means and devices.
However, the court refused all the statements by the hospital. They found out that all their statements were irrelevant, and that the hospital failed to meet the needs of the patients, including the need of consecutive interpreters in the hospital.
Well, interpreting services for people with disabilities is no different to the interpreters who use verbal language. They have the same uses – and it is for communication and understanding. Verbal interpreting services are necessary for everybody, may it be for businesses or in courts. However, as you know, if verbal interpreting services are very poor, it will be a disaster as well and it will create a big problem to the entire scenario, just like what happened to the hospital.
If interpreting services are not reliable, whether it is verbal or sign language interpreting, this may cause the loss of your business and ruin your reputation or that of the business. In addition, let us take the hospital as an example; after what the court found out about the lack of, and poor standard of interpreting services in the hospital, do you think there are still some people who want to use the medical services of the hospital, if they are speakers of other languages? They will be lucky if somebody will take the risk. Of course, nobody will!
Hiring professional and skilled interpreters is significant, and hiring the right one is an advantage for both parties. The client will be happy and satisfied with the finished product and thus, the interpreter may receive many recommendations. Hence, it simply means that he or she will be doing a lot of business.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlene Lacandazo works for Rosetta Translation, a leading Shanghai translation agency.