The positive side of community interpreting
Highlighting the negative aspects of a professional activity can be beneficial in identifying matters that need improvement. However, concentrating on the negative side only may lead to a lopsided view of reality. Much of what has been written regarding community interpreting in recent years seems to portray a less than favourable picture of this professional practice in different parts of the world. This paper will present the results of a survey of Australian practising community interpreters who were asked to share positive aspects of their work. The survey concentrated on five main issues which have been debated in recent studies: the interpreters’ satisfaction with their prescribed role, their perceptions of the usefulness of the code of ethics, their evaluations of the training they had received, their impressions of how they were treated by their clients and their reasons for choosing to work as community interpreters. While the findings cannot be regarded as representative, they provide an encouraging picture of the experiences of formally trained Australian community interpreters, who find their work valuable and rewarding and feel they are duly respected as professionals by service providers and service recipients alike.
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