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The Interpreter. A study of the working situation of interpreters in general, and those who work for the Swedish Migration Board


Darbas anglų kalba. Vertėjai. Abstract. Short Description of Keywords and Concepts. Introduction. Why This Study? Background. My Own Experience. Aim and Disposition. Main Questions. Methods. A Qualitative Study. The Interview Form. Construction of the Interviews. Written Sources. Theoretical Discussion. Analysis of Interpretation. Interpreter-Mediated Conversation. Understanding and Misunderstanding. Interpersonal Trust. About Interpreters in General. The History in Brief. Forms of Interpreting. Modes of Interpreting. Interpreter Services – free of Charge. Interpreter Agencies. Present Situation. Disadvantageous Working Conditions. Trade Unions SKTF. The Criticism. The Rulebook. The Kammarkollegiet. Authorization. Special Competence. God Tolksed and KAMFS. Professional Secrecy. Neutrality and Impartiality. The Deployment. The Education. The Requirements. Specialties of Working for the Swedish Migration Board. Observation of an Asylum Hearing. Interpreting for Migration Board. Asylum Seekers. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Fieldwork. First Set of Questions. Second Set of Questions. Third Set of Questions. Conclusion and Recommendations. Appendix (2)


It was the phrase, once said be my teacher Dr. Philip Muus while we discussed the issues of interpreting. The meaning of this phrase is easy to follow: when there are no better options, society has to use the low-educated interpreters, who often lead to unsatisfactory quality of interpreting, and those who are granted this service by the society are taking all negative consequences of it.

Although there is a piece of undeniable truth in it, I still think that it is necessary to investigate this matter closely, before making any hasty judgments. In fact, this phrase has triggered me to write this paper. What do we really know about the interpreters – people that are necessary in many situations and are, in fact, nearly "invisible". In a sense, interpreters could be compared to paperboys: as long as they do perform well – nobody even notices them, but as soon as the newspaper is missing, they are being remembered, but not in nice words. Exactly the same thing happens, when it comes to interpreters. Their presence seems to be non-existing as long as they perform well. They are not even present on any pictures or official documents. However, if something goes wrong - then the interpreter is often the one to blame. Newspaper articles with complaints are the most usual way the interpreters are being reintroduced to the society. To get a true picture of this matter, we have to know more about the working situation of interpreters.

Sweden is a country with constantly growing immigrant population. Nearly all institutions serving our society now require an additional one - namely interpreters. Thousands of conversations every day are being interpreted and the quality of interpretation can mean difference between right or wrong decision, and even between life and death. Judges, doctors, police officers and many other public officials would not be able to perform their duties without the help of interpreters. Fate of the refugees depends on the right decisions of the Migration Board, and here the interpreter plays a key-role in the process of gathering all necessary information for their cases.

The word interpreter signifies a person that verbally (or through signs) conveys a "message" from one language to another between persons that do not speak the same language or otherwise are restrained from communicating. Web-encyclopedia Wikipedia gives us an even clearer definition of the concept of interpreter, saying "interpreter is a person who facilitates dialogue between parties who use different languages".

There are different forms of interpreting such as conference, business, telephone and contact interpreting. There are different modes of interpretation such as simultaneous, consecutive and whispering interpretation. There is also interpreting in written form - called translation.

Interpreters working for the Swedish Migration Board have to be fluent both in spoken and written languages, because their main task is to interpret the investigative interviews between case officers of the Migration Board (further - SMB) and their clients. It is not an easy task for many reasons. Firstly, compared with other types of interpreting, contact interpreting is the type that makes it hard for the interpreter to stay impartial, which is ,actually, rule No. 1 for all interpreters. The fact that they are facing people in need, coming from their former homecountries makes the impartiality rule even harder to follow. Secondly, the SMB is an institution with its rules and routines that must be followed. Decissions taken here are of very big importance for the appliers and there is no room for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Thirdly, the applyers, are often refugees. They are not an easy group to work with. Later in my study these issues will be discussed more in detail.

Interpreter as an occupation has been established together with the great labour immigration to Sweden that started in 1960`s. To make it possible for the immigrants to get in contact with the different institutions in Sweden, society had to provide a well functioning service of interpretation. That was how Immigration Service Bureaus came into place in 1970`s. In about the same period, several laws such as the State Officials Act and the Code of Juridical procedures were launched to secure peoples right to get an interpreter for free, when this is required.

In 1975 the Swedish Interpreter Association was established. According to its estimations there are ca 6.000 interpreters in Sweden today. Most of them do not have interpreting as their primary occupation. It is rather a perquisite, because it lacks stability. One week you may have lots and lots of interpretation tasks, while you may have almost nothing the next week. The fact is that an interpreter is unpaid when he is not on duty. It makes their income very unstable. Then again, migration flows are constantly changing. Maybe after a decade or two interpreter’s services would not be required anymore because of the lack of the assignments in your language. Instability of workload is therefore an overwhelming feature of interpreters situation.

Interpreting service today is run by Interpreter agencies, that recruites interpreters and provides their services to various authorities and institutions by long duration contracts. It is important to notice that Interpreter Agencies do not hire the interpreters, they are rather an agent, mediating between the task-giver and the task-taker. ...

Rašto darbo duomenys
Tinklalapyje paskelbta2007-03-07
DalykasKalbų studijų diplominis darbas
KategorijaKalbų studijos
TipasDiplominiai darbai
Apimtis80 puslapių 
Literatūros šaltiniai54
KalbaAnglų kalba
Dydis867.61 KB
AutoriusPetras Nakas
Viso autoriaus darbų5 darbai
Metai2005 m
Mokytojas/DėstytojasPhilip Muus
Švietimo institucijaPagėgių savivaldybės Kulmenų pradinė mokykla
Failo pavadinimasMicrosoft Word Interpreter [speros.lt].doc

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  • Diplominiai darbai
  • 80 puslapių 
  • Pagėgių savivaldybės Kulmenų pradinė mokykla / 3 Klasė/kursas
  • Philip Muus
  • 2005 m
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