TWO LANGUAGES, ONE CONVERSATION – WORKING SUCCESSFULLY IN INTERPRETED SETTINGS

Who we are
We are an association of around twenty professional, established interpreters from Berlin with a wealth of experience in the areas of conference and community interpreting. As the Berlin Initiative for Good Interpreting, we have been supporting interpreters – and the individuals and organizations that need them – to communicate successfully since 2016.
What we do
Our aim is to transmit knowledge on the visible and invisible tasks involved in interpreting, on how to guide discussions in multilingual situations, and how to communicate more clearly and effectively regardless of language barriers. To achieve this, we seek to create awareness among all participants of the interpreting situation regarding the framework and conditions necessary for interpreting in social, health, educational, legal and administrative settings. We seek to promote the professionalization of interpreting in the community sector by bringing together professional, experienced interpreters with colleagues who have not received formal training.

Our guiding principles

Every individual has the right to participate in information and communication processes.

Nobody should be discriminated against because of their lack of knowledge of a specific language.

We are committed to linguistic inclusion and participation.

We stand for the We stand for the UNHCR’s principles of ethical interpreting.

The act of interpreting includes linguistic and cultural mediation.

In this context, interpreters cannot be replaced by machines.

We continuously incorporate current research and best practices into our work.

We believe in meeting others on equal terms and seek to maintain an active exchange with professional associations.

 

Our demands

Compliance with Article 3 (3) sentence 1 of the Basic Law of Germany: No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith or religious or political opinions. 

To guarantee the participation of all individuals in society through access to qualified interpreting services.

Standardized training programmes and quality standards for interpreting.

State-recognized training and continuing education structures for community interpreters.

Training programmes for the users of interpreting services, such as civil servants, lawyers, judges, police officers, doctors, social workers, therapists and carers.

Fair working conditions and adequate remuneration for interpreters.

What we offer

We come to you! We give support to interpreters and the organizations and individuals that interact with them. Our goal is to optimize their work together and improve the quality of their bilingual communication.

To achieve this, we have developed a series of concepts that we are more than glad to adapt to your specific needs.

For organisations that work with interpreters:

Presentations and lectures

on all aspects of interpreting. We can carry them out independently, or as a part of your internal training programmes or those provided by third parties at your organization.

Awareness workshops for users of interpreting services

Communicating through interpreters places special demands on those involved. The goal of these workshops is to heighten awareness of the most important framework conditions in order to facilitate and optimize communication with interpreters. In our experience, the lower an interpreter’s level of training, the more important it is for the professional user to be aware of the different factors affecting their interaction.

Structural consulting

We come to your organization and “sit in” on one or more interpreted interactions in order to assess your situation together with you. This process allows us to understand your specific situation and expectations regarding the interpreting process and is an ideal first step in developing training concepts and other advisory material (such as manuals or guidelines) that are adapted to your needs.

In-house needs assessment

Nous vous accompagnons dans votre travail et analysons avec vous la situation interprétée. L’observation nous permet de mieux comprendre les circonstances particulières dans lesquelles vous travaillez et vos attentes vis-à-vis de l’interprète. C’est une base idéale pour développer des programmes de formation taillés sur mesure ainsi que des recommandations pour la pratique, qui peuvent par exemple prendre la forme d’un guide.

For interpreters who wish to network and continue learning:

Awareness workshops on different topics

In these workshops and seminars we explain the role of the interpreter and the most important rules of the profession, present interpreting techniques, and provide recommendations on how to deal with stress and difficult interpreting situations. Other topics include note-taking, the use of interpreting equipment, and the particularities of interpreting for different institutions, such as courts, the police, the authorities, or the health sector.

Mentoring

We accompany you as colleagues during your interpreting job. Afterwards, we will go through the interpreting situation together and discuss any specific challenges, the use of interpreting techniques, and other factors such as nonverbal and intercultural communication. This allows us to support you in a concrete way and provide you with highly valuable practical tips that are directly relevant to your work.

Support meetings for colleagues

We meet regularly as colleagues in order to discuss difficult interpreting situations and provide each other with help and support. We get together in groups of five to eight people with varying levels of experience and expertise. Participants are free to present a specific case from their interpreting work for group discussion, as long as they follow some basic rules. Confidentiality and a respectful approach are essential. The only other condition for participating is the desire to carry out self-reflection.

(The team section and more contents are written in German.)

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