Translation and Interpreting: Volunteer work and social commitment
Saturday 19 March 2005, by
AUTHORS Jesús de Manuel Jerez, Juan López Cortés and María Brander de la Iglesia: members of ECOS, Traductores e Intérpretes por la Solidaridad
Abstract: This article is a presentation of ECOS, Traductores e Intérpretes por la Solidaridad (ECOS, Translators and Interpreters for Solidarity), an association based in the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Granada. It reviews the history of the association, its philosophy and current lines of work. After a brief explanation of what we at ECOS understand by social commitment in translation and interpreting, it proceeds to an outline of the boundaries of this concept: who the volunteers are; how, when and where they do their work. It explains, too, that community interpreting is not the same as volunteer work, and reviews volunteer organizations in translation and interpreting, both in Spain and at the international level. Then it discusses the relation between social commitment and training in translation and interpreting, defending the view that translators and interpreters must be trained for society and not just for the market. Finally, the authors conclude with a call to create networks of volunteer translators and interpreters, to supply a consistent standard of work at the local and world level, in the framework of international social forums.
TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETING: VOLUNTEER WORK AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT
Social commitment in translation and interpreting: a view from ECOS, translators and interpreters for solidarity
Jesús de Manuel Jerez, Juan López Cortés and María Brander de la Iglesia:
members of ECOS, Traductores e Intérpretes por la Solidaridad
Key words: ECOS, volunteer work, translation, interpreting, solidarity.
Starting with a presentation of our association, ECOS, Traductores e intérpretes por la solidaridad, created in the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Granada in 1998, we aim to set forth our vision of social commitment in translation and interpreting, outlining it from the viewpoint of its conceptual and ethical framework, and defining a profile of its participants. We consider that community interpreting and volunteer work should not be confused, and though by origin we work in a limited geographical ambit, we conceive our work in the context of necessary collaboration with similar volunteer organisations, both Spanish and international, as enumerated in the present article. Lastly we treat the relation between social and didactic commitments in translation, and especially in interpreting, with the aim of substituting the concept of “producing” translators and interpreters for the market, by that of training inter-lingual and inter-cultural mediators for society. Working on these principles, we conclude by calling for the creation, or consolidation, of networks of voluntary translators and interpreters contributing to communication between the actors of the emerging world social movements born in recent years in Porto Alegre, and expressed today in a growing number of social forums at the local, regional and world level.
The complete article and bibliography in English can be found at:
For more information on ECOS, traductores e intérpretes por la solidaridad please go to