Reasons why you need an interpreter for delicate issues

At present, I am working for a compliance hotline. Some words e.g. workplace violations are difficult to translate into German.

Violation cannot be translated into ‘Verletzungen’‘ in this context. This translation would indicate, that somebody is deeply emotionally hurt or suffered a physical assault.

Since this word kept popping up in every second conversation, I was looking for a more context specific translation. I found one, which was semantically close to the word in the source language. The best translation into German was ‘Arbeitsplatzverstöße’ in my opinion.

I also encountered German words, that were difficult to translate into English.

It was the word ‘Kurzarbeit’. There is no equivalence in American and British English. But I found a way to describe this word: working less hours for an adjusted pay.

However, this concept was difficult to comprehend for my American counterparts.

To make matters even worse: The headquarter of my company is located in the United States. But my direct employer is in Great Britain.

The furlough scheme for workers is a typically British scheme and was used to ease the financial burden of certain businesses during the Covid19 pandemic.

‘Kurzarbeit’ was a means by German employers to react to this new crisis. But there is also the scheme of ‘Überbrückungshilfe Corona’ in Germany, which is very similar to the Furlough Scheme in Great Britain.

When dealing with issues like these across three different countries and several continents, you have to have an understanding of each culture and you have to comprehend the issues common people are facing.

However, I think that these compliance hotlines are useful.

I am always happy, if I can make a difference as an interpreter.

Machines cannot provide solutions for delicate issues. That is why interpreting services are essential for deep understanding of social issues.

Published by Maria

Translation and interpreting services, Supply teaching in Havering, Thurrock and Essex, Travel and educational author

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