According to UN officials, the world is facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War. As people from around the world come together to offer aid, language barriers are becoming more apparent than ever. Volunteers and aid workers are struggling to communicate directly with those in need, highlighting the importance of trained interpreters.
Pro-bono lawyers are struggling to overcome language barriers
The world is facing the highest ever number of displaced people, with over 65 million asylum seekers, refugees, or internally-displaced people around the globe. Moving to another country requires legal help, and many refugees struggle to simply make it out of the airport. Lawyers have taken to setting up legal surgeries inside airports in order to better help clients who need advice and representation. But these lawyers can’t succeed on good intentions alone; many struggle to overcome the language barrier.
Interpreters can assist lawyers in their work by providing clear translations for asylum seekers. It’s imperative that legal translations are perfect, as inaccurate translations can lead to a number of problems, including wrongful convictions and damage to finances. The legal translation sector accounts for five per cent of all translations. It’s essential that lawyers use professional interpreters who are trained in the legal sector to offer the most accurate translation for clients.
Phone interpretation can help give emergency aid overseas
Emergency aid is sent overseas to help other countries following sudden disasters. This past year has seen unrelenting natural disasters, and emergency aid has been sent around the world following hurricanes, earthquakes, and droughts. However, those in the cities most affected by natural disasters often do not have the same first language as aid workers. This can make finding a new place to live, or even food, more difficult. In order to make this process as easy and quick as possible, aid workers may use phone interpretation services to act as the middleman in providing translations.
Earlier this year, victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas sought aid from relief organisations. The Houston area desperately needed interpreters, as it is home to the largest number of refugees in America, and a large number of immigrants. Relief organisations needed Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, and American Sign Language interpreters in order to help the refugees seeking aid, whether this was in person, or over the phone.
Interpreters can ease the process of settling in to a new country
Moving to a new country can be scary and intimidating for anyone, regardless of age or language. In the extreme circumstance of seeking asylum in a country where you don’t know the language, you may feel isolated and alone. New research by Refugee Action found that refugees can be waiting up to three years after they arrive in the UK to start learning English. This can have a detrimental effect on their mental wellbeing, and runs the risk of refugees becoming alienated.
However, having interpreters on hand at local centres for refugees can instantly help them become more comfortable in the new country, while offering a friendly face. They can also teach the basics of the new language, which can help boost refugees’ confidence in making new friends with neighbours.
Here at Global Voices, we have a number of expert translators and interpreters in languages and local dialects all around the world. Our interpreters are trained in specific industries and can work face to face, or even over the phone to suit your needs.