At the LRG Interpreters’ Event in June, the ITI launched its new Police & Court Interpreter category. Here, Yılmaz Duzen, who was instrumental in its conception, describes his vision for the interpreting profession.
On 6th June 2007, using the platform of the LRG Interpreters’ Event, the ITI launched its new Police & Court Interpreter category.
As the driving force behind this new category, I welcome the opportunity given to me to introduce it to you.
To understand the vision, one needs to understand its evolution. Indeed, the concepts which lie behind this category have grown out of the accumulation of professional experience and continuous service to the interpreting profession, spanning two decades.
Since 1991, I have served every one of my professional bodies – IOL Council, APCI committee, NRPSI Panel of Experts and ITI Council. In 1993, I was elected to the Council of the Institute of Linguists, thus being at the helm of the NRPSI from its early embryonic stages through to its launch, and I continued to serve on its Panel of Experts until 2000. Since 2004, I have been on the LRG Committee, and in October 2006 I was elected to ITI Council. In both positions, I was elected as the Interpreters’ Representative.
Over the course of my interpreting career I have gained experience in every type of interpreting in a wide range of settings – from the police, courts, probation, prisons, HM Customs and Immigration Service through to international conferences and business negotiations. I have interpreted for prime ministers, foreign secretaries and a string of other ministers as well as CEOs. I have also been assigned by the FCO to act as official interpreter for representatives of the Turkish Government, delegations from the Turkish Grand National Assembly and numerous Turkish dignitaries visiting the UK.
The sum total of my experience and knowledge, I believe, has endowed me with an intimate awareness of what the profession, CJS agencies and the country needs. It is in this light that I am now able to offer a totally new and exciting vision for the future of the interpreting profession. Here it is (as delivered on the night):
- ITI’s new Police & Court Interpreter category will have three levels: for the sake of argument, let’s call them Bronze, Silver and Gold. (What we call these levels at this stage is unimportant. What is important is what these levels represent.)
- ITI will identify the skills and competences of its listed Police & Court Interpreters and list their names according to the aforementioned levels.
- Highly qualified, competent and security-vetted top-class interpreters will be able to attract a greater number of interpreting assignments. These superb, reliable “SAS-equivalent” interpreters will be able to attract better and more lucrative assignments, and, most importantly, market their skills to a wider audience.
- This will result in ITI Police & Court interpreters at lower levels becoming motivated to reach this “Gold” standard.
- This will mean interpreters on the “Bronze” level will actively seek Continuing Professional Development and invest time in becoming better interpreters.
- Criminal Justice System agencies will be able to find the best and most suitable interpreters for their interpretation requirements, whether it is a complex fraud trial, murder or rape case or informant-related work.
- Therefore, CJS agencies will be able to achieve value-for-money where excellence will come at no extra cost!
- The interests of justice will be served in its fullest sense, as criminals will no longer be acquitted as a result of incompetent or sub-standard interpreting.
- This will also mean that members of the public will receive the best possible interpretation services.
- The provision of top-class, skilled and competent interpreters will speed up investigations and trials, thus saving money for the police authorities and courts.
- Moreover, ensuring greater accuracy of interpretation in police investigations will make the costly use of linguistic Expert Witness services in trials unnecessary. This will help the government save a huge amount of money from its Legal Aid budget.
- The provision of the best and finest interpreters in civil and criminal cases will save a great deal of money currently spent on costly re-trials and appeals.
- ITI Police & Court Interpreters’ contact details will be available on the Internet (subject to the interpreters’ acceptance) to all police forces, courts, probations services, solicitors and the entire legal profession, including international arbitration courts, European Court of Justice, human rights organisations, international language agencies and foreign governments.
- The Institute of Translation & Interpreting will be regarded as the centre of interpreting and translation excellence. The attainment of its “Gold” standard will become the ultimate benchmark in the field.
- Indeed, the creation of this category will benefit all parties; it is a win-win situation for all. The interpreters will win; service providers will win; the public will win; the ITI will win; the government will win. Everybody wins.
- The ITI’s new Police & Court Interpreter category will see the birth of a totally new and revolutionary approach to the interpreting profession, which will radically alter the scope and aspect of our work.
- As Interpreters’ Representative of the ITI, I commend this new category to you. Thank you.
Turkish Interpreter & Translator