Happy New Year to all! On Wednesday, December 19th we had our last meeting of the year. It was great having Linda, Grettel, and Maria there. We talked about interpreting for victims and the mission statement of LEP.Gov, a Federal Interagency. We discussed probation and how it works in Delaware. Grettel arranged for State Prosecutor Barcilai Axelrod to join us at the meeting. He shared his knowledge on levels of supervision, suspended sentences, and other very useful information. Our next meeting is January 16, 2013 like always, at the Brew Haha on Market and 8th. See you soon!
The DOJ Guidance states: ...When oral languages are necessary, recipients of any federal funds should generally offer competent interpreter services free of cost to the LEP person. For DOJ recipient programs and activities, this is particularly true in the courtroom, administrative hearing, pre- and post-trial proceedings, situations in which health, safety, or access to important benefits and services are at stake, or when credibility and accuracy are important to protect an individual's rights and access to important services (67 FR 41455,41462). Charging LEP persons for interpreter costs or failing to provide interpreters can implicate national origin discrimination concerns.
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ABBREVIATIONS
Here is a preview of a document containing medical terminology abbreviations. Note how some abbreviations seem to coincide with their Spanish translation!
A & P—anatomy and physiology
ABG—arterial blood gas
ac & cl—acetest and clinitest
ACLS—advanced cardiac life support
Click Here for the complete list on PDF
U. S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
August 16, 20 I 0
Dear Chief Justice/State Court Administrator:
In the past decade, increasing numbers of state court systems have sought to improve their capacity to handle cases and other matters involving parties or witnesses who are limited English proficient (LEP). [n some instances the progress has been laudable and reflects increased recognition that language access costs must be treated as essential to sound court management. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to encounter state court language access policies or practices that are inconsistent with federal civil rights requirements. Through this letter, DOJ intends to provide greater clarity regarding the requirement that courts receiving federal financial assistance provide meaningful access for LEP individuals.
Dispensing justice fairly, efficiently, and accurately is a cornerstone of the judiciary. Policies and practices that deny LEP persons meaningful access to the courts undermine that cornerstone. They may also place state courts in violation of long-standing civil rights requirements. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ... [Read entire letter]
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Interpreting for the Middle
It is a fact that there are non-English speaking victims in court.
Situations exist where a professional court interpreter is interpreting for non-English speaking victim and a social worker wants to interpret for the same person.
The duties may be unclear because, as the image above illustrates, the roles of the Non-English speakers overlap; they are recipients of interpreter services (LEPs) and recipients of social services (victims).
If this conflict should arise, it is important to remember a few important things:
It is a professional issue, not a personal one
The issue should be resolved immediately
The interpreter interprets and the social worker supports
Inform the Interpreter-Coordinator immediately
Inform the Social Workers' Supervisor
Conflict while dealing with an LEP victim is a common occurrence in many courts. The majority of the definitions included in this article were taken from the Frequently Asked Questions section of the government LEP website dedicated to Federal Coordination and Compliance of LEP services.
It is very important to know that a bilingual staff member or social worker may interpret in certain situations such as office meetings, investigations, etc. but they are not interpreters. Interpreters have verifiable qualifications that allow them to act as impartial linguistic bridges approved by the State and Federal courts. Bilingual staff is very valuable and should be used appropriately. They should not be asked or ordered to interpret.
The services of the professional court interpreter cannot be substituted by those of a bilingual speaker. The DOJ Guidance states: When oral languages are necessary, recipients of any federal funds should generally offer competent interpreter services free of cost to the LEP person. For DOJ recipient programs and activities, this is particularly true in the courtroom, administrative hearing, pre- and post-trial proceedings, situations in which health, safety, or access to important benefits and services are at stake, or when credibility and accuracy are important to protect an individual's rights and access to important services (67 FR 41455,41462). Charging LEP persons for interpreter costs or failing to provide interpreters can implicate national origin discrimination concerns.
A LEP individual is a Limited English Proficient (LEP) individual.
They are Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or encounter.
Knowing the difference between a bilingual staff person and an interpreter or translator is important.
People who are completely bilingual are fluent in two languages. They are able to conduct the business of the workplace in both of those languages. Bilingual staff can assist in meeting the Title VI and Executive Order 13166 requirement for federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities to ensure meaningful access to LEP persons.
One of the primary ways that bilingual staff can be used as part of a broader effort to ensure meaningful access is to have them conduct business with the agencies’ LEP clients directly in the clients’ primary language. For instance, 911 call centers and a variety of hotlines frequently employ bilingual operators who can communicate directly with LEP callers in a particular language.
Social service workers, police, corrections, and probation officers, and others frequently are also called upon to communicate directly with the public in languages other than English. This is sometimes called “monolingual communication in a language other than English.” It does not involve interpretation or the translation between languages. However, it does require fluency in the non-English language, including fluency in agency terminology. Such fluency should be assessed prior to relying on the bilingual employee for the provision of services.[...]
Interpretation involves the immediate communication of meaning from one language (the source language) into another (the target language). An interpreter conveys meaning orally, while a translator conveys meaning from written text to written text. As a result, interpretation requires skills different from those needed for translation.
Interpreting is a complex task that combines several abilities beyond language competence in order to enable delivery of an effective professional interpretation in a given setting. Consequently, extreme care must be exercised in hiring interpreters and interpreting duties should be assigned to individuals within their performance level. Command of at least two languages is prerequisite to any interpreting task. The interpreter must be able to (1) comprehend two languages as spoken and written (if the language has a script), (2) speak both of these languages, and (3) choose an expression in the target language that fully conveys and best matches the meaning of the source language.
From the standpoint of the user, a successful interpretation is one that faithfully and accurately conveys the meaning of the source language orally, reflecting the style, register, and cultural context of the source message, without omissions, additions or embellishments on the part of the interpreter.
Professional interpreters and translators are subject to specific codes of conduct and should be well-trained in the skills, ethics, and subject-matter language. Those utilizing the services of interpreters and translators should request information about certification, assessments taken, qualifications, experience, and training. Quality of interpretation should be a focus of concern for all recipients.
Many court systems have adopted assessments, certification or other qualification procedures to ensure quality, so when hiring an interpreter, whether for courtroom or other assignments, such competency measures should be taken into consideration. Interpreters can be physically present, or, if appropriate, may appear via videoconferencing or telephonically. When videoconferencing or telephonic interpretation are used, options include connecting directly to a specific professional interpreter with known qualifications, or opting to use a company providing telephonic interpretation services, preferably one with quality control safeguards in place.
In many circumstances, using a professional interpreter or translator will be both necessary and preferred. However, if bilingual staff are asked to interpret or translate, they should be qualified to do so. Assessment of ability, training on interpreter ethics and standards, and clear policies that delineate appropriate use of bilingual staff, staff or contract interpreters and translators, will help ensure quality and effective use of resources.
Several resources are available on this topic, just a few of which include: DOJ Guidance (PDF) 67 FR 41455, 41461 - 41464 (June 18, 2002); DOJ Tips and Tools document:Chapter 1B. Visit the Interpretation and Translation page on www.lep.gov.
This Month's Favorite Links:
5 Games to Avoid with your Kids
Thank you so much for all your support; for coming to our meetings, sharing information, experience, and thoughts, and for reading the Interpreter's Cafe Newsletter. It has developed into a great source of information used by many. January 2013 marks the 4th year of The Interpreter's Cafe and I will keep working hard to make it better and better. Happy New Year!!!
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