kimberley interpreting service
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Kimberley Interpreting
Service - the only Indigenous language interpreting service in Western Australia.
 

 

FAQ

Click any question for more information:

SHOULD I USE FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS TO INTERPRET?

SHOULD I ASK ABORIGINAL COLLEAGUES AT WORK TO INTERPRET?

COULDN’T I JUST USE SIMPLE ENGLISH AND SPEAK SLOWLY TO GET MY MESSAGE ACROSS?

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND A PRE-ASSIGNMENT BRIEFING FOR INTERPRETERS?

CAN INTERPRETER KINSHIP RELATIONS BE AN IMPEDIMENT TO DIRECT INTERPRETATION?

IS INTERPRETATION ALWAYS ONLY ORAL? 

ISN’T KRIOL JUST BAD ENGLISH?

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SHOULD I USE FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS TO INTERPRET?
Using untrained people such as family members or friends of a client as interpreters is taking a big risk. They probably do not have expertise in your area of work and could easily make mistakes. They are not trained to seek clarification about unfamiliar language or obscure terminology and they are not bound by a professional code of ethics. They may inadvertently prompt or give advice to the client, or speak for them.

SHOULD I ASK ABORIGINAL COLLEAGUES AT WORK TO INTERPRET?
Aboriginal people are a very diverse group. Being Aboriginal does not necessarily mean being able to speak Aboriginal languages from a particular region of the Kimberley. There is more to interpreting then being bilingual. It is unfair to expect your Aboriginal colleagues to fulfil the role of an interpreter when they have not received specialised training and they may not have the language skills required.

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COULDN’T I JUST USE SIMPLE ENGLISH AND SPEAK SLOWLY TO GET MY MESSAGE ACROSS?
Simple English is not a good way to communicate essential information. Important information is often left out because it is too hard to explain in simple terms. In any case ’simple English’ still uses all the grammar that confuses non-English speakers. If you don’t understand Japanese, it won’t matter whether someone speaks to you in that language very quickly or very slowly, you still won’t know what they are talking about.

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND A PRE-ASSIGNMENT BRIEFING FOR INTERPRETERS?
Many English terms and concepts do not have an Indigenous language equivalent. Interpreters need time to work out what the terms mean, especially technical terms and jargon, and how to ‘unpack’ and interpret them. The pre-assignment briefing allows the interpreter to ask questions about the subject matter of the session and about difficult terms in order to understand and interpret them properly.

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CAN INTERPRETER KINSHIP RELATIONS BE AN IMPEDIMENT TO DIRECT INTERPRETATION?
If an interpreter has a certain type of relationship with a potential client, it may be inappropriate for him or her to take on the job of interpreting for that person. The Interpreting Service tries very hard not to put people in difficult situations, We request information about a client (gender, skin name, family name, community, age) prior to an assignment so that we can select an appropriate interpreter. Interpreters are provided with this information and details of the job (eg police interview of person charged with assault) and asked whether they are able to carry out the assignment before being booked for it.

IS INTERPRETATION ALWAYS ONLY ORAL? 
Interpretaton is oral, translation is written. KIS is an interpreting service only. We leave orthographies, dictionaries and written translations to the local Language Centres.

ISN’T KRIOL JUST BAD ENGLISH? 
Kriol is a discrete language with its own structure and meanings. It should never be thought of as simply ‘bad English’. Kriol has an English base and may sound like English, but treating it as English will lead to serious miscommunication.