Can anyone ever know enough? Scientific research shows that the average human brain has a storage capacity of about 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). Continued learning and development is therefore a necessity for people…especially with that mind space to fill. Working with an agency that enriches this could see some more of those gigabytes being put to best use. As a social enterprise based in Bradford, we provide interpreters and document translations for public, private and the third-sector and offer continued professional development to our employed and self-employed workforce.

Last month, Mental Health Counsellor Margaret Trivasse from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust delivered training to interpreters at Enable2’s head office. Margaret has written articles on interpreters within the clinical setting (see Am I speaking your language? It’s all down to interpretation in Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal from August 2001 for some examples) and is experienced in her field. When asked why she believes it is important to provide our interpreters with training, Margaret stated “The interpreter’s role is crucial in all situations.  Mental health is a particularly sensitive area in which the demeanour of the interpreter is almost as important as an accurate translation.  Many mental health concepts are not easily translatable, so encouraging interpreters to think about how they will render certain ideas is useful.  The interpreters are a valuable resource, and we cannot do without them so giving them additional input gives them confidence and helps us to convey how we would like them to work in mental health settings”.

Margaret devised an excellent schedule over three weeks for Enable2’s interpreters and facilitated a question and answer session amongst attendees during closure. The interpreters ranged in languages spoken and the geographical areas they cover.  The training concerned good practice of interpreters within the clinic room as well as sector specific information to deeper their understanding in that setting. The training also included the therapist’s responsibility within a session, proving helpful for Enable2’s interpreters, as it gave them further knowledge of how they can support the therapist who in turn helps the client.

From the feedback collected, 100% of interpreters felt as though the training was beneficial to their professional development and similarly 100% would recommend it to others. One interpreter commented that:

“I really enjoyed and learned more today, special thanks to the whole of Enable2 and to Margaret”

A collage of one of the training sessions

Another wrote:

“Margaret was really good in terms of explaining different ways to adapt in therapy…”

Through group activity, interpreters were able to converse with one another about mental health sessions they have attended in the past:

“It was good to hear other interpreters sharing their experiences”

“…very well-structured course, very informative and great sharing experiences with others”

Greatly received from the interpreters, it is evident here why we aspire to provide on-going development. The benefits (as well as using up some of those gigabytes) are endless. A Forbes article written by Kevin Lynch, CEO at National Industries for the Blind, notes that individuals “who are empowered to achieve in their day-to-day work and career development challenge organizations to evolve and meet rising standards”. Given the competitive nature of the language industry, it is important for interpreting and translation agencies to be unique, recognised and trusted. This training highlights our commitment to adhere not only the development of self-employed interpreters, but also to meet those standards by ensuring our self- employed workforce understand the importance of excellent customer service. 

This professional development is complimentary to attendees, but what they take away is priceless. Kevin closes with another point in that same article, providing on-going training “…will pay dividends in personal and professional advancements”. Enable2 would not have grown to this point was it not for our linguists. It is important to carry this forward and ensure our workforce feel positive about where they work and what the company gives them, when our interpreters succeed we succeed with them. Future training and workshops are set to take place throughout 2018 which will lead to more filling up of our interpreter’s brain space!

References

Lynch, Kevin. “How Professional Development Helps Companies And Employees Succeed”. Forbes. 2018 Forbes Media LLC. 12 April.2017. Web. 02 February 2018