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 Home > Event-related > World Social Forum > World Social Forum 2005 > INFO Bulletins

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INFO 6: Experienced/Inexperienced

(Date: 28 December 2004)

(This message was sent to professional and experienced interpreters.)

Awareness campaign for experienced interpreters

For the WSF 2005, Babels has two important commitments: quality and diversity. We believe that quality is essential: it is essential for the WSF to have good quality interpretation.

You are an experienced interpreter (experienced or professional). During the WSF, you will be in a booth with a non-experienced interpreter. He/she can be a beginner or an occasional interpreter. Remember that he/she is fluent in one language, and already had some training in simultaneuous translation.

Babels wishes to allow non-experienced interpreters to volunteer during the WSF alongside experienced interpreters. These non-experienced interpreters are committed to the process of social forums: their work as volunteer interpreters is their personal contribution to the social forums.

In Porto Alegre, we would like you to help to make your non-experienced Babels colleagues feel at ease and to allow them to work as interpreters:

- give him/her constructive feedback after each conference;

- during the conference, feel free to give advice and support to your colleague;

- allow your colleague to work, even though the quality is not perfect, as much as possible. If the situation is catastrophic, please ask for the room coordinator to find a replacement.

Some preparation sessions are being conducted in several Latin American countries to help non-experienced interpreters make progress before the Forum. We have also put on the Babels website a copy of ’Didactic DVDs’ which you can download.

We do not pretend to ’create’ professional interpreters in a few weeks, or in a few days. Interpretation requires years of training, and systematic preparation. But we would like to give these volunteers an opportunity to learn and understand the ethics of interpretation.

It is also important for non-experienced volunteers to work as interpreters to prove that interpretation is a political tool. In Latin America, for instance, where Spanish is often the "official" language, there are a number of "indigenous" languages spoken by small communities. Working as an interpreter during the WSF can help volunteers from around the world to learn how they can work as interpreters for these small communities, and contribute to fight for linguistic and cultural diversity in the world.

We invite you to discuss this issue, and give preparatory advice to your fellow non-experienced Babels volunteers, on the Babels forum.

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