Interpretation & Language Access
People forced to flee their home countries often seek safety in receiving countries where the dominant language is different from their native language. The resources included here are designed to support efforts to strengthen language access so that refugees and asylum seekers can effectively communicate with their receiving communities both through language acquisition and accessing trained interpreters. Training materials include skills and ethical practice for interpreters and cultural mediators and realistic solutions to overcoming language barriers.
Ensuring High Quality Services: Monitoring & Evaluation
Best Practice Monitoring Guide: Interpreters
A sample interpreter evaluation form to be used by service providers, interviewers or monitors when evaluating interpreters.
Best Practice Monitoring Guide: Providers Working with Interpreters
A monitoring guide for observing service providers working with interpreters.
Guía de monitorización para la observación de mejores prácticas en el trabajo con intérpretes
Una guía de monitorización para la observación de los proveedores de servicios que trabajan con intérpretes.
Interpreter Services Program Assessment Tool
A self-assessment tool to help resettlement and integration practitioners identify the current stage of their interpretation services program in the areas of Interpretation Services & Language Access, Interpretation Staffing, Training & Monitoring of Interpreters, Interpreter Scheduling, and Interpretation Related Finance, and to better understand the key components of program maturity.
Increasing Language Access in the Community
Interpreter Introduction and I Speak Cards
Flash cards with a sample interpreter introduction and for clients requesting an interpreter.
Introducción y Tarjetas Yo Hablo
Tarjetas tanto con una introducción de muestra del intérprete como para clientes que soliciten un intérprete.
Putting Language on the Map in the European Refugee Response
A report produced by Translators without Borders on the challenges of accessing language support for refugees and migrants in Greece, and practical solutions to address the issue.
The Community Interpreter
A website that provides information on interpreter training and a database with licensed trainers in the U.S. and abroad.
Translators without Borders
An organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies, and other non-profit organizations.
ALTA Language Testing Services
ALTA Language Services develops and administers language assessments for government agencies, healthcare organizations, and businesses nationwide in more than 100 languages annually.
Guidelines for Screening Interpreters
A reference document for consideration when screening potential interpreters.
Language Proficiency Assessment Chart
A rubric describing the levels of language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing; can be helpful for assessment and evaluation purposes.
Sample Questions for Interpreter Interviews
A list of possible questions to ask interpreter candidates during the interview process.
An Introduction to Interpreting for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Receiving Communities
An introductory training for community interpreters working with refugees and asylum seekers.
Ask the Guru Training Activity
A training activity on how to manage difficult encounters in interpretation.
Basic Interpreter Training: Participant Workbook
A participant workbook designed for those taking part in the basic interpreter training and intended to be used in conjunction with the trainer’s manual. Audience: Interpreters (or cultural mediators who serve as interpreters) who already have some elementary training in the field.
Basic Interpreter Training: Trainer’s Manual
A trainer’s manual designed for those conducting the basic interpreter training. The manual consists of four key units on interpretation in the resettlement context, and considers challenges such as mixed language groups, participants with limited target language proficiency, and basic facilities in which to conduct the training. Audience: Trainers already knowledgeable in the field.
Bridging the Gap: Medical Interpreter Training
An organization that provides training for medical interpreters.
Code of Conduct for Interpreters
A sample code of conduct for interpreters to sign outlining expectations for their conduct during an interpreter encounter.
International Medical Interpreters Association
An association committed to the advancement of professional medical interpreters.
Introduction to Interpreting Skills (E-Learning series)
This interactive e-learning series for interpreters and cultural mediators who serve as interpreters provides an overview of the skills, protocols and professional behaviors that interpreters are expected to display in their work with providers and clients. Click here for detailed instructions on how to get started and make the most out of your e-learning experience.
Working Effectively with Interpreters
Consejos para Trabajar con Intérpretes
Consejos para proveedores de servicios sobre cómo trabajar eficazmente con intérpretes.
Effective Use of Interpreters Presentation
A presentation for service providers about using interpreters, designed to be given as a full day training. This presentation adopts best practices from the U.S. context for a European audience.
Field Guide to Humanitarian Interpreting and Cultural Mediation
A field guide developed by Translators without Borders on humanitarian interpreting and cultural mediation.
How to Use Interpreters Effectively
A video created for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma certificate course on how refugee service providers can effectively use interpreters.
Interpreter Protocol and Standards of Practice (Part One)
Part one of a video series by Clarity Interpreting that corrects common interpreting mistakes.
Interpreter Protocol and Standards of Practice (Part Two)
Part two of a video series by Clarity Interpreting that corrects common interpreting mistakes.
Switchboard E-Learning: Introduction to Working with Interpreters
Register here to take Switchboard’s new e-learning course on Introduction to Working with Interpreters which covers key terms related to interpretation; the interpreter’s role, including the role of cultural competence in interpretation; and the reasons why quality interpretation is important when providing services to limited English proficient (LEP) clients (Audience: Service Providers).
Switchboard E-Learning: Overcoming Challenges in Interpretation
Register here to take Switchboard’s new e-learning course on Overcoming Challenges in Interpretation which covers how to conduct a pre-session with an interpreter; how to support your interpreter to improve the quality of an interpreted conversation; and steps you can take to address common interpretation challenges (Audience: Service Providers).
The Effective Use of Interpreters (E-Learning series)
This interactive e-learning series for service providers and integration practitioners provides an overview of the skills, protocols and professional behaviors that interpreters are expected to display along with practices that promote an effective encounter. Click here for detailed instructions on how to get started and make the most out of your e-learning experience.
Tips for Working with Interpreters
Tips for service providers on working effectively with interpreters.
Working with Interpreters
A video published by Legal Services of New Jersey that includes tips on how to communicate effectively with a client through an interpreter.
Working with Interpreters in the Community
A video published by the New York City Administration for Child Services covering the responsibilities of service providers when working with interpreters in the community.
This website is funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State, but does not necessarily represent the policy of that agency and should not assume the endorsement by the federal government.