Sunday, November 4, 2007

Interpreting Is Not Mere Child's Play

Last week, an article ran in the South Florida Sun Sentinel that addressed children who provide interpreting services for their parents.

For those of us who work as professional interpreters and understand how difficult and complex our job can be, the thought of a child interpreting is a very scary one. Our reaction is probably similar to that of a neurosurgeon forced to imagine his job being performed by an 11-year-old candy striper. Frightening.

Sadly, the article did not include views from professional interpreting associations, in spite of the fact that there is no shortage of these in the United States (not to mention right in Florida). It's easy for those of us who work on these issues on a daily basis to forget that the general public still needs outreach and education -and awareness- of our profession.

For this reason, I wrote an Op/Ed that the Sun-Sentinel graciously published in its Sunday edition. Its circulation is approximately 320,000, so I am glad to know that it arrived at the doorsteps of plenty of folks who will learn a bit more about the dangers of allowing children to interpret. And, hopefully this little bit of advocacy for our field will help readers in the general public learn more about why professional interpreters are so important.

This is, after all, the focus of the From Our Lips to Your Ears project, which, thanks to the byline where the project is mentioned by name, is also reaching more than a quarter of a million people today.

1 comment:

Damaris said...

Well done, Nataly!