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Public Service Translation and Interpreting

Nowadays there is a growing number of immigrants living in most countries around the world.

So our societies are becoming more multicultural and multilingual. This sector of the population, along with tourists, are all users of many public services such as hospitals and police stations.

As a result, new needs have arisen for the integration of these people. They need access to utilities and other rights that they hold as citizens of the country. I won’t try to tackle the issue of integration here. It would be too complex to analyse in such a short space. I’d just like to discuss the many barriers that these people find on their arrival in a new country. Huge cultural and social barriers of course. But also language barriers, arising from an inability to speak the language of the host country.

In the justice and security branches of the public sector, the state of affairs in most countries is better than for other sectors. Normally, there are interpreters available at courts and police stations. However, the case of the health service is very different. Perhaps this sector is even more important. Effective communication between healthcare providers and patients is vital. A lack of good communication in hospitals and health centres can be dangerous. Compromising patient care and leading to wrong diagnoses and treatments.

Australia

One of the most advanced countries in this field is Australia. The Australian health system has a language service called the Health Care Interpreter Service. This is provided free to the public health sector and funded by the federal government. In the U.S., hospitals and medical centres that receive federal funding are required by law to provide all health care patients services in their own language. In EU countries, the figure of the interpreter in health services is becoming increasingly present. However, there are still many centres that do not have an interpretation service available for patients.

Personally, I think the provision of interpreters should not be optional for public services. I believe all institutions should be required by law to provide a interpretation service for foreign patients. What do you think?

 

Hoy en día, cada vez es más alto es porcentaje de población inmigrante residente en la mayoría de países del mundo.

Así nuestras sociedades son cada vez más multiculturales y multilinguisticas. Si tenemos en cuenta además al sector formado por los turistas. Son muchos los residentes extranjeros posibles nuevos usuarios de los servicios públicos, como hospitales, comisarías, etc.

En consecuencia aparecen nuevas necesidades para lograr la integración de estas personas, y permitir el acceso a los servicios públicos y demás derechos de los que son titulares como ciudadanos del país. No pretendo entrar en este tema sobre adaptación, que, aunque interesante, sería muy complejo para analizarlo aquí. Solo mencionar la gran cantidad de barreras con las que esta gente se encuentra a su llegada a un país desconocido. Grandes barreras culturales y sociales, así como las obvias barreras lingüísticas, debido al desconocimiento del idioma del país de acogida.

En el ámbito de la justicia y la seguridad, la situación en la mayor parte de los países es, aunque mejorable, mejor la del resto de servicios públicos. Normalmente, se cuenta con traductores e intérpretes en juzgados o comisarias. El caso de los hospitales y centros de salud es muy diferente. Si lo pensamos bien, es incluso más importante. La comunicación efectiva entre los proveedores de atención médica y los pacientes es esencial, y su ausencia puede ser peligrosa, ya que puede poner en riesgo el tratamiento del paciente, y provocar diagnósticos y tratamientos equivocados.

Australia

Uno de los países más adelantados en este campo es Australia. El sistema sanitario australiano dispone de un servicio lingüístico llamado Health Care Interpreter Service, gratuito para el ámbito sanitario público y financiado por el Gobierno federal. En EEUU, los hospitales y centros médicos que reciben fondos federales están obligados por ley a proveer a todos los pacientes una atención médica en su propio idioma. En los países de la UE, la figura del intérprete/mediador en los servicios sanitarios se encuentra cada vez más presente. Sin embargo, existen todavía numerosos centros que no cuentan con ningún tipo de servicio de traducción e interpretación para los pacientes.

Creo que este servicio no debería ser una opción, sino que todos los hospitales y centros de salud deberían estar obligados por ley a contar con un servicio de traducción-interpretación para los pacientes extranjeros. ¿Tú que piensas?

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Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

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