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Community interpreting/public service interpreting in Poland

Amarette 1 | 3
28 Jan 2012 #1
Hi everyone!

I'm an Eng-Pol interpreter/uni teacher researching the status of community intepreting/public service interpeting in Poland and would like to hear some comments from immigrants living in Poland.

Here's what CI is about:
Community interpreting/public service interpreting refers to the type of interpreting which takes place in the public service sphere to facilitate communication between officials and members of ethnic minorities. It can take place at police departments, immigration departments, social welfare centres, medical and mental health offices, schools, tax offices and similar institutions.

(Baker, 1998:33)

- Do you use professional community interpreter's services? Do public services institutions provide interpreters or do you have to arrange it yourselves?
- What is the role of community interpeter in your opinion?
- What should their behaviour be characterized by?

These are some of the questions I'd like to ask you first. I have also prepared a questionnaire so if you are willing to express your opinion (not necessarily on the forum) I could email it to you.

Thanks :)
cms 9 | 1,255
29 Jan 2012 #2
I've used one a few times at the tax office but organised and paid for it myself. I had no idea they might pay it for you ?
OP Amarette 1 | 3
29 Jan 2012 #3
Thanks a lot for your reply cms:)

Unfortunately, most of public service institutions in Poland do not provide CI (unlike the ones in the UK). At least this is what I have found out so far.

How did you find your interpreter? Did you contact the agency or did friends recommend someone to you? Was it a professional interpreter?
What part of Poland do you live in?

terri 1 | 1,665
29 Jan 2012 #4
Institutions in Poland do not provide 'community interpreters' at all. If you are a foreigner, then it is up to you to obtain the services of someone (be it a friend or paid interpreter) to ensure that you understand what is being said/written.

The way things are, and I speak from experience, even a Polish native has trouble sometimes understanding what is being said to them in Polish.

I have come across community interpreting and really, the Diploma is good only in England, where I am sure you can find plenty of work.
OP Amarette 1 | 3
29 Jan 2012 #5
Hi Terri,

I have experience of working as community interpreter in the North West (Lancs, Manchester) so I am very well aware of the status of CI in the UK as well as employment opportunities.

What do you mean by 'the diploma is good only in England'? And also how come do you say that 'even a Polish native has trouble sometimes understanding what is being said to them in Polish'?

Btw I'm not looking for work, just trying to get immigrants opinions on the topic:)
Have you used an interpreter in Poland?
Gustav 1 | 50
29 Jan 2012 #6
The current system works rather well

The language of Poland is Polish.

If you choose to live/work in Poland, either learn the language or have the intelligence to have a bi-lingual secretary to help out.

I can see that 'Community interpreting' would be a lucrative new market for interpreters, but why should hard working polish taxpayers fund this?

We can only hope that such madness doesn't invade our country.

Perhaps we should ask the inhabitants of Poland 'B' if they would be happy with relatively wealthy foreigners demanding such services?!

Some people have no shame
gumishu 11 | 5,692
29 Jan 2012 #7
What about residents of foreign origin? Not everyone is gifted at languages - indeed some people have disabilities that make learning the language of their adopted country much harder. They have the same rights to understand official documents as anyone else.

you don't need ubiquitous community interpreters for such people - just occasional hiring of a necessary interpreter is needed (and I guess this is often the case that a Polish oficial body hires such a person) - btw those people are rarely English so ubiquitous English community interpreters would be of no help
mafketis 29 | 9,520
29 Jan 2012 #8
They aren't worthy of being called "citizens". Leeches would perhaps be a more accurate term.

Why have you become so nasty toward so many people? They may have different values from you but it's their country more than some random EU person who washes up here.

Courts do provide interpreters though often this is just someone who speaks the language in question and Polish and not necessarily a trained professional.

Nowhere else does AFAICT and I can't see any special need for them to do so.

There are other languages in Poland but the common national language is Polish and the burden is on the resident foreigner to deal with that.

how come do you say that 'even a Polish native has trouble sometimes understanding what is being said to them in Polish'?

Three factors

a) bureaucrats use a lot of jargon that only they understand

b) they speak at breakneck speed unless you (politely) request (repeatedly) for them to slow down and repeat themselves

c) many Polish people are hesitant to ask someone to repeat themselves for reasons I don't fully understand.

I've never used an interpreter dealing with the bureaucracy (and I'm not shy about asking them to repeat themselves and I repeat back what they say to make sure I understand). I've informally helped people but I'm not sure if you'd call it interpreting. If possible I just find out what they want ahead of time and then go in with them and take care of it myself (making a pretense of including them once in a while). Once at the migrants office they had to tell me to wait for the person to answer themselves instead of answering for them....

Please keep to the topic, everyone.
11 Apr 2012 #9
Please visit our translation agency:

Kind regards,

beckski 12 | 1,617
11 Apr 2012 #10
What is the role of community interpeter in your opinion?

Is there standard availability of interpreters in Poland for people with speech or hearing impairments?
13 Apr 2012 #11
It is strange but indeed Polish courts must certainly use licenced interpreters-translators (In Norwegian, Arabic, German , French etc)when a foreigner who does not speak Polish is for instance convicted or has criminal charges in Poland.

I am wondering who pays for the interpreters-translators ?
OP Amarette 1 | 3
13 Apr 2012 #12
Beckski, there's seems not to be a standard availability for immigrants so I don't think there is one for people with hearing or speech impairments. I would need to research that further myself. If anyone has got more information about it, you're welcome to share it. Have you used the services of CI in Poland?
Bostico - | 3
23 May 2012 #13
I heard that sadly in orther countries Interpreting is not as well regarded as it is in UK. It is true?

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