Community interpreting is a form of interpreting used for various community purposes. If a community has many Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals and families, community interpreters can come in to help them out. Beyond solely language training, community interpreter training must include ethical training as well, which includes knowing the cultural and racial implications of the work. Community interpreting is applicable in a multitude of settings, but three main settings where it is especially beneficial include situations involving medicine, education, and housing.
Community Interpreting Helps with a Variety of Medical Situations
Medical situations are an important aspect of community interpreting because they, unfortunately, affect everyone’s lives at one time or another. Medical problems can obviously be stressful and even overwhelming. When LEP communities are in these situations, a community interpreter can make a positive difference for how the issue is dealt with. Knowing intricacies of healthcare processes include filling out paperwork, dealing with insurance issues, and even simply going for checkups, which can all be part of the community interpreting job.
Education Can Be Greatly Aided by Community Interpreting
Education is another area where community interpreting can benefit LEP families. There is an added level of responsibility in this area because the interpreters are helping with someone’s education. Beyond this, education greatly impacts one’s future, meaning that by helping LEP individuals with their education, community interpreters help improve their future as well. Whether it be an adult or a child who needs the aid, community interpreters support their educational goals and outcomes. For children, there can also be an additional component within their interpreter training of helping with their social development through interactions.
Access to Housing Can Often Require Community Interpreting
Housing is also an area that often requires community interpreting for LEP individuals and families. When looking for housing, there are a lot of different documents, interviews, and conversations that must be completed. Without an interpreter, these tasks can be difficult for the people involved. Included in this situation are the ethical topics of low-income housing and cultural diversity in general, which the interpreter can aid with. Community interpreter services can help LEP families find places to live without having to worry about not understanding English during the process.
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