18 months ago….

18 months ago seems like a lifetime nowadays. So much has changed. The way people work, what they do – there’s a whole new ’normal’. People and businesses alike have had to adapt their entire practices in order to be able to continue, forge ahead and succeed.

Why specifically 18 months? Well, that’s when ISL conducted an enormous survey amongst all our newsletter subscribers. You may recall, we were asking about what YOU felt was missing in the field of interpreting, specifically when it comes to additional information and resources for learners and qualified interpreters. Because, yes, everyone knew you needed a qualification, that certificate or diploma which would enable you to work as an interpreter. But what happens after you get that piece of paper? How do you prepare for the incredibly vast range of assignments you are likely to face?

I mean, think about it – a completely common, ordinary day in the life of an interpreter goes something like this:

9:00 – 10:00 Physiotherapy (persistent knee pain and swelling)

10:30 – 13:00 Court hearing (drink driving)

14:00 – 15:00 Drink and drugs rehabilitation centre (male with a debilitating alcohol addiction)

16:00 – 17:00 Children’s speech and language therapy (3-year-old with complete hearing loss)

18:00 – 21:00 Police interview (threats to kill)

Every single one of those assignments are led by an experienced professional IN THAT FIELD, who has studied their role for years. Yet the interpreter is required to not only be completely fluent in the terminology used by the professional in English, but also be confident enough with the meaning to convey the correct message faithfully in the second language, all the while making sure to uphold key interpreter values of impartiality and integrity and ensure they don’t step over the precarious line of remaining professional in highly emotionally charged situations!

How many interpreters can honestly say that they are this confident across the board, in all settings, within all professions?

So, back to what happened 18 months ago.

We asked our newsletter subscribers to answer a few questions about what they felt was missing in terms of preparation for assignments. Hundreds and hundreds of you replied, for which we are very grateful. The overwhelming message that came through from the survey was that interpreters need specific training on settings – and not just any settings, but those that are relevant to their work. In other words, the most common types of assignments they are likely to face, both within community interpreting and in police, court and immigration settings.

The ISL team has spent the last 18 months working on that request, building a service whereby EVERY interpreter, regardless of their qualification, will be able to access additional accredited learning and resources, which will make them an even better, more knowledgeable and confident interpreter, able to do justice to their role and to the people they help.

We are so close to being able to launch this service and we cannot wait to share it with you. It won’t be long now, but in the meantime, you can rest assured that our new service is created with YOU, the INTERPRETER in mind, and as such is:

  • relevant,
  • up-to-date,
  • accredited,
  • varied,
  • and affordable!

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