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Filling in Blanks
Interpreters are sometimes told to be “invisible,” or as unobtrusive as possible in the communication process. Being completely absent, however, can create far more obstacles.
From Nigeria to America to Thailand, and in other places all over the world, the lack of an interpreter has made headlines for bringing legal proceedings to a halt. In South Australia, a shortage of interpreters is leading to Aboriginal people spending increased time in prison, while in Cape Town, South Africa, a case was halted because the interpreter failed to appear in court.
On the medical side of things, a Deaf man claims he was fired from his job because he wasn’t provided with an interpreter, and a state representative in Idaho who is working on a bill requiring Sign Language interpreters to be certified recalls a woman who had the wrong leg amputated due to a lack of qualified interpreter.
Despite how global and connected our world as become, business, medicine, and law can still come to a halt where communication isn’t possible. Interpreters are the ones who get it flowing again.
Written By: Katie McKay