Language interpreting and translation services are in high demand amongst the many different organisations that deal with refugees and migrants. With families arriving in the UK from a wide array of different countries, finding a reliable, professional and flexible service can be invaluable in helping both parties communicate effectively.

If you work directly with refugees and migrants, whether you are part of a legal firm, an insurance company, school, charity or any other organisation, this article will explain all you need to know about hiring the right translation and interpreting services to fit your requirements and why it is vital to find a professional to help you.


How Vital is Interpreting and Translation Services For Organisations Working With Migrants and Refugees?


Professional interpreting and translation services are vital for organisations working with migrants and refugees in order to make sure that they receive the support that they need and understand exactly what is happening in a host of different, important aspects of life.

Migrants and refugees with little or no English need to be able to engage with organisations ranging from car insurance companies to schools and must be able to understand the often complex and legally binding agreements they are entering into. Without a professional, accurate interpreting or translation service they can easily miss vital information or misunderstand their responsibilities, leading to problems in the future for them and the organisation in question.

When it comes to finding help, law firms and charities that look after the needs of refugees and migrants must be able to communicate with them clearly to enable them to access the benefits and support to which they are eligible. This makes it easier for them to settle into their new life with as few issues as possible.

For example, the British Medical Association states that “NHS providers have certain obligations to reduce inequalities between patients accessing services”, and confirms that it is best practice for healthcare providers to “use professional language interpreters with these patients [people with limited English].”

Why are Language Interpreting and Translation Important?


Many refugees have found it difficult to access English lessons following cuts to ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) programmes over the last decade. The charity Refugee Action reports that two-thirds of those who responded to a survey felt they had not received enough teaching, and a similar number claimed they didn’t think their English was good enough to secure work in the UK.

With 15% of migrants who came to the UK within the last two years admitting to struggling with understanding English, according to University of Oxford data, this delay in language lessons can leave them isolated and unable to support themselves and their families. This is why interpreting and translation services are important in helping migrants and refugees to integrate more easily.


Tips and Reminders for Language Interpreting and Translation


What is the Difference Between Interpreting and Translation?

There are a number of differences between interpreting and translation. Chiefly, interpreting is to do with the spoken word and translating is usually associated with written language. Another distinction is that interpretation takes place at the moment. The interpreter performs their task live as the person is talking or just after. A translation is performed away from the live situation.

Both skills require the professional to have a deep understanding of the language and culture, as well as the ability to clearly portray what it is the subject is saying.


Do I Require a Professional to Interpret or Translate?

The skills of interpreting and translating are complex and finely honed. Professionals dedicate themselves to continual learning and keeping on top of linguistic and cultural changes and developments. This is part of the job and essential to keep at the top of their game.

When it comes to the very important interactions that migrants and refugees need to have with all manner of different bodies, there is little margin for error. You need to be sure that the person interpreting or translating is up-to-date and immersed in the culture enough to pick up on subtle uses of language. This is the best way to ensure the individual understands exactly what is happening and makes the most accurate representations they can, and that the organisation can provide the correct decisions based on the information received.

However, there will be times when organisations cannot afford to employ a professional interpreter or translator. In these cases, they may look to utilise a volunteer.


Pros and Cons of Using Volunteers to Do Professional Work

The main pro of using a volunteer interpreter or translator is that they don’t charge a fee. For companies with tight profit margins or funding issues, this is an attractive prospect.

However, there are a number of cons. Firstly, a volunteer will not always be as up-to-date with cultural and linguistic trends as a professional. As they have other commitments in their lives, they cannot immerse themselves in keeping on top of developments as a professional would. Interpreting and translation are also skills where you need regular practice to stay sharp. A volunteer does not have the advantage of performing these tasks all day, every day. The service you get from a professional will be the most accurate and efficient for your needs.

Interpreting and translation are skills that go beyond simply knowing more than one language. You have to understand people, the way conversations really work, legislation, bureaucracy and much more to be able to do the job to the best of your ability. You wouldn’t expect a volunteer dentist to perform a root canal as well as a professional and that principle is the same with interpreters.


Are Professional Language Interpreting and Translation Expensive?

There are many different types of interpreting and translation services, so there is always something to fit your budget. From telephone interpreting for as few or as many delegates as you need, to simultaneous interpreting where multiple interpreters supply their target language audience with the words of a single speaker.

Take a look at the Crystal Clear Translation website to find out more about the many different offerings available. 

Ready for an Interpreting and Translation Quote?


As you can see, professional interpreting and translation services are essential for organisations that work with migrants and refugees. In order to provide clear communication between the parties, use our quote tool to find out more about how we can help you.