Can you request an interpreter based on their cultural background or religion?

group of women in black clothes

When we have linguistic challenges that transcend cultures, we often have to deal with a cross between linguistic challenges and cultural challenges, especially when we are engaged in intercultural conversations with people from different cultures.  This manifests iself into two categories:

  • Cultural Background
  • Religion

This article will focus in on these areas and highlight the importance of the above:

If you are operating any kind of medical practice and your patients are very different, you can benefit from hiring an interpreter if such services are necessary to provide high quality medical interpreting services to your patient. Worldwide Interpreting and Translation offers translation and interpreting services at a reduced price for sign language interpreters, translators and interpreting assistants. Employees in the provider’s office must be qualified to provide medical services through sign language interpreters, but in some instances Medicare will often cover the cost of the sign language interpreter service at no cost to the interviewee. We as the provider of language interpretation services, we occupy the position of the bilingual telephone operator. Worldwide Interpreting and Translation is responsible for providing translation, interpretation and translation services to a wide range of healthcare providers, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities in the Asia Pacific. 

If you feel you are not getting the kind of answer you expected, you can ask the question again and consult the interpreter to better understand whether cultural barriers are hindering your communication. It can be helpful to agree on what signals and words your interpreter can use to convey your security concerns during the interview. Interpreters are encouraged to ask questions and to alert you to possible cultural misunderstandings that may arise. 

Ask your interpreter to describe your own role, such as meeting your family for the first time, or ask the interpreter for the same – gender-specific patient, if you have a choice and feel that the patient would prefer that choice. Ask your child or youth if they would prefer a male or female interpreter if there was a choice. 

These four roles are crucial for mediating inter- and language-cross clinical encounters and for embedding the interpreter’s cultural and linguistic community. When cultural differences make the translation of words impossible, interpreters who take on these roles can intervene in the encounter. 

A native speaker can be a great help to interpreters in their training. If you do not have an interpreter, it may be best to use a non-native interpreter in your own language. If your interpreter works in a hospital or a doctor’s office, for example, he or she could help you understand speakers of other languages. 

This is an opportunity to explain to your healthcare provider your cultural background to a doctor why a particular person or family might react in a certain way during an interaction. Understand the family situation and specific problems of the individual and understand the situation of the family with a specific theme. This is an opportunity for you to provide your doctor and your physicians with an understanding of why certain families react in certain ways during interaction. Understand the families and situations of individuals with specific problems. 

At the very least, an interpreter can be expected to convey a message to the patient that is spoken in the same language, including warning the provider of possible cultural conflicts and helping to resolve them. Instead of using complex medical terms that have the linguistic equivalent of refugee languages, interpreters and translators can ask health professionals to use fewer technical terms to express themselves and ensure an understanding of the message being conveyed. 

An example of pragmatic failure would be if a language that uses the imperative to make a polite request uses the same sentiment as English. The interpreter may be asked to transform the questioning mood into a compelling mood, which could mean semantically “closing” or “opening the door.” 

An anthropological translator of a culture must address both the source and target languages, and cultural translations must solve the main problems. This means that the interpreter must translate the words spoken during the encounter, while providing an accurate translation of the words exchanged between the two cultures and of the cultural context. In order to make the text understandable and meaningful for the readers of the culture, the “source culture” must be respected and not dominated by the target language. This means that it must respect both at the same time, but also be translated to show cultural differences between the texts. The source culture must be “translated” into a text in such a way that it is shown in its original form. 

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