Discussing ethical issues in interpreting in the community

A senior lecturer in Translation delivered a talk to The Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation, discussing ethical issues.

Date: 19 January 2018

Dr Lukasz Kaczmarek (picture back row, middle), a senior lecturer in Translation MA, recently delivered a talk to academics and professionals at The Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation (GITI).

The presentation aimed to create a discussion surrounding ethical issues faced by community interpreters, a niche type of interpreting where the role is found in more community-based than organisational situations. People from ethnic minority communities can often experience barriers to hinder access to services due to English not being their first language. The availability of translating and interpreting is vital in overcoming these barriers. Dr Kaczmarek focused on legal and medical fields in his presentation. He argued that prescriptive codes of conduct are unable to account for all ethical dilemmas faced by community interpreters in the course of their professional career.

“The visit to GITI gave me an insight into the way in which interpreting academics and professionals approach their work. It struck me how students were more interested in my methodology and way of inquiry, while professionals focused on practical implications of my research,” said Dr Kaczmarek.

“An ensuing discussion highlighted the differences between ways in which court interpreters’ work are connected with differences between legal systems of particular countries. It was a very useful exchange of opinions and reflections on codification of laws and their impact on code of conduct for court interpreters.”

Based at the National Taiwan Normal University, GITI oversees the first master’s program of its kind offered by a national university in Taiwan. It envisions advancing research in translation and interpretation, training translators and interpreters, and contributing to the translation of Chinese classics and local masterpieces.