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This question is for any category of interpreter, really.

I'm thinking of situations where the interpreter is called upon to work between the police and criminals in drug trafficking cases, in a military setting or in a shady context in the middle of nowhere, etc.

How can the interpreter protect himself?

asked 16 Oct '11, 20:47

silvia-c's gravatar image


edited 27 Jan '12, 11:44

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In the case of negociations, I find that being completely honest about any difficulty you encounter is very much appreciated by the client. If consecutive is used, it is possible and hence expected of you to ask questions about whatever point you do not fully understand. It is very reassuring for the client to see that you are really trying to understand and convey his ideas accurately and in full. This in itself can create some kind of a bond between the interpreter and the client, which, in my case at least, helped a lot reduce the stress of the first hour: unlike in sim, mistakes and omissions can always be avoided because you can always ask for clarification, and your questions are always welcome.

Besides, no matter how nervous I may feel at first, I always realise after a while that I am probably nowhere near as nervous as my client who is negociating a 500 million-dollar contract in a sensitive field.

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answered 03 Feb '12, 14:43

Richter's gravatar image


edited 03 Feb '12, 15:04

+1 for pointing out an essential difference between sim and consec.

(03 Feb '12, 14:52) Vincent Buck

my answer would be: by adhering - other than to the tenets of common sense, that least common of senses ;-) - to a strict code of ethics and professional good practices, wherein the newcomer to the profession or the situation in question will find ample guidance... you'll find many through the Inet if you browse, say, sites of national professional associations, mainly in community/dialogue interpreting, sites devoted to human rights, in sections dealing with migrants' rights, police sites, etc

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answered 27 Jan '12, 11:33

msr's gravatar image


edited 27 Jan '12, 11:35

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question asked: 16 Oct '11, 20:47

question was seen: 3,010 times

last updated: 03 Feb '12, 15:04

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