Interpreting Services for Refugees: Hearing Voices?

Lucy Williams (The European Centre for the Study of Migration and Social Care, University of Kent)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Publication date: 1 December 2005


This article examines current issues in the use of interpreting services, as experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. The paper begins with a review of relevant literature on interpreting services and relates it to the service context and the specific needs of refugees and asylum seekers. There follows a discussion of a small‐scale research project carried out with interpreters working in these services. Recommendations are made which include the need to educate all three parties (the professional employing the interpreter, the interpreter and the client) in not only best practice and practical techniques of working with interpreters, but also broader issues such as the complexity of the interpreting process, the importance of establishing trust, competing agendas and negotiation of meaning that are implicit in the interpretation process.



Williams, L. (2005), "Interpreting Services for Refugees: Hearing Voices?", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 37-49.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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