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Small Grant Approved: Interpreting in Zones of Crisis and War – 11.07.06

GIAN Approves Funding for a Distance-Learning Programme for Interpreters in Crisis Situations

A project coordinated by the School of Translation and Interpretation of the University of Geneva (ETI), in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) has just been awarded SFr 33,963 by the Geneva International Academic Network (RUIG-GIAN). The main objective of the project is to develop a distance-learning programme for interpreters working in zones of humanitarian crisis and conflict.

Interpreters in the field are often recruited because they “know” both the local language/dialect and English, the language of international relief operations, and not because they have been trained as translators or interpreters. Thus, they often lack both essential professional skills to perform adequately as interpreters, as well as the necessary professional ethics to support crisis management and humanitarian efforts in a stressful environment. The consequences are often dire, both for the people in need of a professional service and for the interpreters themselves.

Following a proper needs analysis, the project team will develop two training modules to pilot this program. Both modules will be delivered at distance over the Internet, or blended using other suitable media. Module 1 will focus on essential interpreting skills, including sample communication scenarios and essential technical terminology. Module 2 will focus on professional ethics and on empowering the interpreter to better understand what is at stake in various communication situations.

A round-table on the subject of interpreting in zones of crisis and conflict will be organised by the project partners in November 2006 to raise awareness among users of interpreting services in the field and among the public at large regarding the importance of improved multilingual communication.

For further information about this project, please contact:

Ms Barbara Moser-Mercer, Directeur de l’Unité d’interprétation, Ecole de Traduction et d’interprétation (ETI), UNI MAIL, Boulevard du Pont-d’Arve 40, CH - 1211 Genève 4; Phone : +41 (0) 22 379 8736; Fax +41 22 379 8750; E-mail: Barbara.Moser@eti.unige.ch

Related Project(s)

Small Grant - 2006 Interpreting in zones of crisis and war

>See the Project