in interpreting, profession

Remaining Anonymous…for Now

There has been a spate of enquiries, mutterings and one dig on an e-group as to why this blog should be anonymous.
Time to clarify the matter for those whom it sits uncomfortably with. Even though one would think it was obvious to anyone who read the first comment on the last post: Media Reports Chaos: Interpreters, Make Your Stand.
Predictably, a threat of defamation was made by ALS, which was promptly followed by support and comments from interpreters. Thank you. They called for ALS to provide evidence of their self-proclaimed exhaustive list of trained and assessed interpreters. There have been reports of the sheer amount of no-shows where requests by the courts for interpreters have remained unfilled. Other reports have filtered through of speakers of other languages turning up then trying but failing to interpret the more obvious legal jargon any court interpreter must understand.
Secondly, there is an e-group many interpreters subscribe too where a poster commented on the anonymous nature of this blog, inadvertently highlighting the other main reason for posting incognito. That particular e-group is renown for its negativity, back-biting and occasional venom. The real issues often get lost in a tide of personalities and politics with rants about perceived injustices and ‘what has happened’.
Identities will no doubt be revealed in the future, perhaps keeping the option for others to post anonymously. In the meantime it is a useful way to be able to post with the occasional in-fighting which is depressing to say the least, pointless at best. As a profession we all essentially want the same things:

  • To legally protect the profession of interpreting.
  • To maintain the standards we have strived for and to keep raising the bar.
  • To ensure we strive for professional development, individually and collectively.
  • To protect access for the Deaf/* communities we serve (*insert your language/nationality or linguistic group here if you are a spoken language colleague).
  • To protect our livelihood and to enable us to go on working in the profession we love.

Sometimes it is important to find out why people care about ‘what has happened’, whatever that is for the individual. It may help foster that much needed sense of unity or be something that helps the rest of the profession.
Sometimes, it is nothing more than hollow reasoning to justify bad behaviour towards others or opinions that are completely out of date. If ‘what has happened’ is something that could be fixed or in some way improved for others, please approach someone and talk about it, albeit in a constructive way. If ‘it’ happened more than a year or two ago, was on a larger scale or is not something anyone can remedy now, for your own sanity, the sake of others and the unity of the profession as a whole: move on, the rest of us did.

  1. ALS is a disgrace to the profession by failing to provide qualified interpreters for serious cases which risk the life of vulnerable people across the country. MOJ is an accomplice in the breach of human rights whereby many people kept in the cells or remanded because ALS couldn’t get an interpreter. While many qualified NRPSI interpreters are just a phone call away from the courts or police forces. Everyone knows even MOJ is well aware of ALS using anyone I mean cleaners, doormen, taxi drivers, students and everyone just to fill the gaps. When those people remanded, it was not because ALS failed to provide Tier 1 interpreters, it happened because they have not got anyone at all.
    Yesterday I received a call from a Magistrate court to attend asap. Although, I was available but I immediately refused, why should I fill the gaps for failed ALS, I am not a pet to be used, I have dignity and I am a qualified NRPSI interpreter with many years experience, I passed DPSI and Metropolitan Police Tests many years ago and have done more than 1000 hours of court and police jobs.
    We will see miscarriage of justice and this will open to claims been made against the courts and police forces who have signed up with ALS for their failure by adopting a discriminatory framework agreement based on exploitation of foreigners.
    This matter only will be solved in Employment Tribunal courts.

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  • Remaining Anonymous…for Now | Metaglossia: The Translation World | 21st February 2012

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