Public and Social Service Interpreting and Translating in Linguistically Diverse Local Communities

By Pascal Rillof.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We speak of respect for diversity and civil rights in vain if access to these rights is implicitly denied to those who do not or not sufficiently speak “our speak”.
Democracy is not just a technique through which, by means of free elections, representatives are chosen. Democracy first and foremost stands for the importance of each individual with his or her inalienable, inherent freedom of thought and action in co-existence with others with the same right to freedom, in a society that is equal and safe, and that provides equal access to human or civil right “products” for all. In linguistically diverse (local) communities both access to local language learning programs and interpretation and translation are prerequisites to stable local democracies.
Teachers teach. Doctors provide treatment in order to cure their patients or to alleviate pain. These and other professional service providers do not aspire to talk about the service they provide, they just want to provide it. And they want to provide it efficiently. But if they cannot talk to a number of parents of pupils, residents, clients or patients, efficiency and mere customer-friendliness turn out to be hollow concepts, for our cities are indeed becoming increasingly linguistically diverse.

Keywords: Social, Interpretation

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.109-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 502.706KB).

Mr Pascal Rillof

Co-ordinator, Antwerp Interpretation and Translation Service, Antwerp, Belgium

Pascal Rillof (°1964), is the co-ordinator of the Interpretation and Translation Service of the City of Antwerp since 2003. He is a trained translator (Dutch-English, Spanish, Optional language: Arabic) and teacher, and has formerly worked as a teacher in charge of a Dutch learning program for Turkish pupils; as a translator and as an English lecturer (Language Teaching Methodology, Syntax and Skills) at the HoChiMinh University of Education, where he published the seminar paper “Toward a more Process Oriented Approach to Language Learning”. He also co-ordinated the “Cellule de néerlandais” for the educational inspectorate of the “Département du Nord” in northern France.

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