Training Refugees to Become Interpreters for Refugees

By Lai, Miranda; Mulayim, Sedat | Translation & Interpreting, January 2010 | Go to article overview

Training Refugees to Become Interpreters for Refugees


Lai, Miranda, Mulayim, Sedat, Translation & Interpreting


1. Introduction

Australia is a country of migrants and has been since British colonisation in 1788. Migrants and their offspring have played an important role in forming Australia's rich tapestry of multiple cultures and peoples, and are an integral part of Australian history. An important component of migration to this country in the post-war period has been the resettlement of refugees from various parts of the world. According to the 2006 data compiled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (see Table 1 below), Australia accepted the second highest number of refugees out of all the countries in the world, second only to the United States of America.

The newly arrived migrants require many resettlement services relating to such essential needs as housing, education and health. Many of them also receive counselling services for problems relating to past exposure to violence, torture and other trauma. In any interaction with the public service agencies in Australia, they inevitably need language services for communication. This assistance is sometimes provided by the bilingual staff members of providers or by way of multilingual publications. In many cases, however, interpreters are engaged by service providers in face-to-face or phone contact.

The Victorian State government undertook a number of initiatives to increase the supply of trained interpreters, especially in the so-called rare and emerging languages. Of particular significance in this regard is the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), which was originally set up in 1983 as the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission and which provides advice to the Victorian Government on the development of legislative and policy frameworks as well as the delivery of migrant settlement related services. From 2002, the VMC has collaborated with RMIT University, offering scholarships to eligible entrants to the Diploma of Interpreting program in rare and emerging languages which trains interpreters for their respective communities, mostly comprising people from war-torn regions and countries.

2. RMIT diploma of interpreting in rare and emerging languages

In the past few years, the Australian humanitarian intake has shifted its focus from the Horn of Africa countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea to Burma and the war zone areas of Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan (Department of Immigration and Citizenship, 2008). In line with changing humanitarian and refugee intake patterns and the consequent emerging demand for interpreters in the new community languages, the RMIT Diploma of Interpreting program has delivered courses in a total of 11 rare and emerging languages since 2002 (Table 2).

The program is approved by the Australian National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and the VMC provides scholarships to eligible entrants to the program to help with their tuition fees, transport expenses, books and materials, and the NAATI accreditation fees of the successful graduates.

2.1 NAATI and NAATI approved courses

NAATI is a national standards body partly funded by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia (NAATI, 2008). It was established in 1977 and since then has been conducting a large accreditation testing program, which offered tests in fifty-eight languages in 2008. It also approves university and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) programs that lead to NAATI accreditation. Martin (1996), Bell (1997) and Campbell and Hale (2003) have elaborated on the details of the origin of NAATI, its approved courses and how they operate within the NAATI system. Like a number of other universities and TAFE providers in Australia, RMIT University offers NAATI approved translating and interpreting programs, and testing is carried out in accordance with the same guidelines that NAATI applies in its own accreditation tests (Campbell and Hale, 2003).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Training Refugees to Become Interpreters for Refugees
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.