Monday, September 25, 2006

Has your interpreter ever walked out during an abortion?

That's the question Planned Parenthood of Western Washington asks on their web site pushing one of their cheerful and ever-helpful publications, "Pregnancy Options: A Self-Study Guide for Professional Interpreters."

The whole scenario makes me cringe. What would cause an interpreter to probably lose a whole day's wages and potentially their job by walking out on their assignment? Think about all the poor interpreters who were told they were going to help with some "medical procedure" and ended up helping with abortions.

If you are an interpreter who walked out on an abortion and would like to share your story, please contact us at AIW:

1 comment:

Christina Dunigan said...

Four units provide the professional interpreter, who works with women of many different cultures, with information about: pregnancy options, decision making, values clarification, birth control methods, counseling the non-English speaking patient, role of the health care provider working with the interpreter and case studies illustrating the information provided.

Why would an interpreter need to have skills in "pregnancy options, decision making, values clarification," etc? Isn't the interpreter's job to take what Person A is saying, put it into Person B's language so Person B can understand it, then take Person B's response and put it into Person A's language?

As somebody with years of experience living where I don't speak the language, I ca say I'd be sincerely ticked off if somebody who was supposed to be a professional interpreter suddenly started trying to do "values clarification" with me.

Okay, you can tell me cultural things that contribute to my understanding, such as "Don't think that he's happy because he's smiling; in this culture people also smile when they are very embarrassed." But to start "clarifying" my "values" for me? Heck, no!