Posted on: January 11, 2024 by admin
As our society continues to become more diverse, an increasing number of individuals are embracing bilingualism. With so many bilingual people, it can beg the question: what is the need for interpreters? While both bilingual people and interpreters have many similarities, they also have many differences. In this blog, we will discuss whether bilingual speakers and interpreters are the same thing, delving into what these terms mean and the complexities involved in both.
Bilingual people are those who can speak or write in two or more languages fluently. There are many bilingual people in the world. They may have migrated to the country, have relatives who speak a different language at home, or have studied hard to become an expert in a second language. Many bilingual people use their unique language skills to work in roles that need understanding in both languages.
Professional Interpreters are also bilingual individuals, but they have a degree of proficiency that rises above others. They have been subject to specific testing and must have certifications to prove that their language skills are above and beyond. With years of training under their belts. To work as an interpreter within Australia, you must have completed relevant formal training and achieve certification through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). NAATI is jointly owned by all levels of government, sets high national standards, and is the only organisation to issue credentials to those wishing to work in the sector.
Having proficiency in several languages is a valuable skill in daily life. It enables effective communication with a diverse group of individuals across various situations, enhancing the overall quality of day-to-day experiences. Bilingual individuals excel in informal settings, such as welcoming clients in a professional environment or effortlessly navigating through holiday travels. Their heightened cultural awareness contributes to improved front-line services in various companies and enhances their social interactions.
Professional interpreters play a crucial role in formal settings, such as conferences, legal proceedings, healthcare environments, and diplomatic events. They are essential for ensuring accurate and effective communication between diverse groups of people. In particular, interpreters are indispensable when dealing with complex, technical, or sensitive information, discussions that inform decision-making, or the signing of agreements. Their expertise becomes crucial in situations involving real conflicts, where misinformation could pose risks to individuals with limited English proficiency or the companies involved. All legal discussions and any topics where there are ethical implications necessitate the use of professional interpreters. All of these situations require an interpreter’s unique and refined skill set in order to convey all of the nuances of communication and ensure its accuracy.
While bilinguals can assist in filling language gaps in informal settings, they face many limitations across their competency, responsibility, skill set, and the surrounding legalities.
There are some key takeaways when thinking about interpreting services in Australia.
When it comes down to the details, one major point stands: all interpreters are bilingual, but not all bilingual people can be interpreters. Interpreting is a specific profession that requires training and certification, as opposed to bilingual people who can have any level of competency across the language. While there are societal benefits that bilinguals offer, on a formal level, interpreters are the only choice to ensure accurate, bias-free, and confidential communication for both parties.
To organise an interpreter for your business or personal needs today, contact us to get in touch with one of our highly specialised professionals.