Every day many meetings take place between representatives of public authorities and private individuals who do not speak Swedish. The use of interpreters is thus a part of the work for many professional categories: social workers, healthcare staff, lawyers and teachers. This study investigates the interpreter’s role and experience of how interpreted meetings happen.
Status: Completed (2009–2011)
Department: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Over time, interpreters acquire extensive knowledge of the meetings between representatives of public authorities and individuals who don’t speak Swedish. They gain experience of how people communicate, how power is handled, what conflicts of loyalty can arise, as well as knowledge of issues that affect the rights of the individual. In spite of this, interpreters are rarely consulted about their experience in the context of public debate or included in inquiries that consider legal security, integration or discrimination.
There is currently little research into the area and consequently little knowledge about the interpreter’s key position in processes leading to integration. Above all the interpreter has an important role in providing individuals with the opportunity to present their case and have it examined in a just way. The interpreter also helps doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, etc. carry out their tasks in an adequate manner in relation to people who do not speak Swedish. This means that an unprofessional interpreter jeopardises legal security.
Through various qualitative methods, the aim of the project is to investigate the entire field of interpreting; training, commissioning and procurement and the experiences of individual people. Above all this is achieved from the perspective and experiences of the interpreters, but also from the user perspective, that is of non Swedish-speaking individuals and users within the various professional categories.
Content manager: Kristina Gustafsson
Page content last modified 17 Oct 2012
Last modified 11 Jan 2012
The Interpreter - a Cultural Broker
Division of Ethnology
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Box 117, 221 00 LUND
Internal Post Code 59