Sunday, May 17, 2009

Interpretation scene from Spanglish

In this scene we see:

-examples of consecutive interpreting
-examples of simultaneous interpreting
-lack of confidentiality
-lack of objectivity
-yet a high quality of interpretation, nothing is left out or changed

Please see my previous post about interpretation skills.

This scene brings up several good points about interpretation. The little girl does an amazing job interpreting for her mother, but it is entirely inappropriate for her to be the one mediating a conversation between two adults. While I know this is just a movie, I also know that many children end up learning English faster than their parents and therefore often end up interpreting for them. Sometimes they interpret for situations that involve them- like at a teacher-parent conference. Often, non-English speakers don't have a choice because they cannot afford a third party to come interpret for them. But children should not be used as interpreters by their parents and it's as simple as that.

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