Ethical challenges of interpreter training at the University of Ljubljana
The Faculty of Arts responds to social change
Keywords:ethics, social change, adapting study programmes, interpreter training, remote interpreting
Modern society is changing and becoming increasingly multilingual and multicultural. There is a growing need for interpreting in different contexts and for languages that were previously rarely required in the Slovene context (e.g., Albanian, Arabic, and Persian). This paper is based on the premise that if higher interpreter education is to be performed ethically, it must respond to these changes within its capacity and educate interpreters for the languages and fields that society actually needs, thus ensuring respect of human rights in medical, asylum or judicial procedures. In the past, interpreter training at the University of Ljubljana was limited to conference interpreting. However, due to changes in practice the Faculty of Arts has responded to the emerging needs and also formed educational modules for interpreters working in court and asylum procedures, state administration and in medical settings. It continues to invest efforts to expand the range of language combinations to include languages of lesser diffusion, and to offer quality interpreter training to the interpreters of Slovenian sign language. In the academic environment, we are also constantly confronted with internal ethical dilemmas related to the assessment, enrolment, and accreditation processes. It is the latter that significantly slow down the response of the Faculty to needs in society. Despite the numerous administrative, financial and human resources challenges, we may conclude that the Faculty of Arts is committed to investing its maximum efforts and responding with a high level of awareness to the changing interpreting profession which has experienced, through the rapidly growing use of online interpreting platforms, the greatest leap since the introduction of simultaneous interpreting. All this can only be achieved in close cooperation with all the related stakeholders: professional associations, long-standing external trainers and state authorities.
Baixauli-Olmos, L. (2017): «Ethics codes as tools for change in public service interpreting: Symbolic, social and cultural dimensions». The Journal of Specialised Translation 28, 250–272.
Balogh, K., Salaets, H., Van Schoor, D. (2016): TraiLLD: Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion. Tielt: Lannoo. https://www.arts.kuleuven.be/tolkwetenschap/projecten/trailld/training-in-languages-of-lesser-fiffusion
Brglez, M., Udovič, B., Maček, A. (2021): «Covid-19 and the European Parliament (Policies): A Year of Perilous ad-hoc Solutions». Journal of Comparative Politics, vol. 14 no. 2, 81-97. http://www.jofcp.org/assets/jcp/Articles-2-2021/JCP-July-2021-6.pdf
Corsellis, A. (2008): Public Service Interpreting. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cuminatto, C., Baines, R., Drugan, J. (2017): «Employability as an ethos in translator and interpreter training». The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 11:2-3, 123-138. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2017.1350899
Driesen, C. (2016): «The Tandem Method for Training Legal Interpreters and Translators». In: Katalin Balogh, Heidi eidiHHSalaets, Dominique Van Schoor (eds.), TraiLLD: Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion. Tielt: Lannoo, 80–87.
Driesen, C., Drummond, G. (2011): «The “Tandem” Method Training Interpreters to Work at National Courts». Forum ESIT Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle KSCI 9(2), 139–156. http://www.eulita.eu/sites/default/files/file/TandemForumEn2011_eulita.pdf
Ehrich, L.C., Cranston, N., Kimber, M., Starr, K. (2012): «(Un)Ethical Practices and Ethical Dilemmas in Universities: Academic Leaders’ Perceptions». ISEA, vol. 40, No. 2, 99 – 114. https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/Images/539682-perspectives-impact-on-multilingualism.pdf
Fitzmaurice, M. (2008): «Voices from Within: Teaching in Higher Education as a Moral Practice». Teaching in Higher Education 13(3), 341-352.
Gorjanc, V. (2013): «Tolmačenje za skupnost in vprašanje nadnacionalne odgovornosti.» In Vojko Gorjanc (ed.), Slovensko tolmačeslovje. Ljubljana: Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts, 120–123. https://doi.org/10.4312/slovensko_tolmaceslovje.
Kearns, J. (2008): «The Academic and the Vocational in Translator Education». In: John Kearns (ed.), Translator and Interpreting Training. Issues, Methods and Debates. London: Continuum, 184-214.
Kumar, A. (2007): Personal, Academic and Career Development in Higher Education. SOARing to Success. Abington: Routledge.
Lai, M., Mulayim, S. (2010): «Training Refugees to Become Interpreters for Refugees». The International Journal of Translation and Interpreting Research 2(1), 48–60.
Lai, M., Mulayim, S. (2013): «Training Interpreters in Rare and Emerging Languages. The Problems of Adjustment to a Tertiary Education Setting». In: Christina Schäffner, Krzysztof Kredens, Yvonne Fowler, (eds.), Interpreting in a Changing Landscape. Selected Papers from Critical Link 6. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 287–303.
Lambert, Joseph (2018): «How ethical are codes of ethics? Using illusions of neutrality to sell translations.» The Journal of Specialised Translation 30, 269–290.
Maček, A., Zekhnini, A. (2016): «Pilot Training Arabic-Slovene (University of Ljubljana and SIGV)». In: Katalin Balogh, Heidi eidiHHSalaets, Dominique Van Schoor (eds.), TraiLLD: Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion. Tielt: Lannoo, 154–161.
Noddings, N. (1992): The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education. New York: Teachers College Press.
Pokorn K., N., Čibej, J. (2018): «‘It’s so Vital to Learn Slovene’: Mediation Choices by Asylum Seekers in Slovenia». Language Problems and Language Planning 42 (3), 265–84. https://doi.org/10.1075/lplp.00024.pok.
Pokorn K., N., Mikolič Južnič, T. (2020): «Community Interpreters versus Intercultural Mediators. Is It Really All about the Ethics?» Translation and Interpreting Studies 15 (1), 80–107. https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.20027.koc.
Pokorn K., N., Matičič M., Pokorn, M. (2009): «Medical Interpreting in a New Member State: A Plea for a Proactive Approach.» In: Sonja Pöllabauer, Dörte Andres, (eds.), Spürst du, wie der Bauch rauf-runter? Fachdolmetschen im Gesundheitsbereich / Is Everything All Topsy-Turvy in Your Tummy? Health Care Interpreting. München: Meidenbauer, 171–80.
Pym, A. (2001): «Introduction». The Translator 7 (2), 129–138. https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2001.10799096
Samier, E. (2008): «The Problem of Passive Evil in Educational Administration: Moral Implications of Doing Nothing». International Studies in Educational Administration 36(1), 2-21.
Skaaden, H. (2016): «Training Interpreters Online. An Experiential Dialogic Approach». In: Katalin Balogh, Heidi eidiHHSalaets, Dominique Van Schoor (eds.), TraiLLD: Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion. Tielt: Lannoo, 46–64.
Riccardi, A., Čenkova, I., Tryuk, M., Maček, A., Pelea, A. (2020): «Survey on the Use of New Technologies in Conference Interpreting Courses». In: María Dolores Rodríguez Melchor, Ildikó Horvath, I., Kate Ferguson (eds.), The Role of Technology in Conference Interpreter Training. New Trends in Translation Studies, vol. 31. Oxford: Peter Lang, 7-42.
Wadensjö, C. (1998): Interpreting as interaction. London/New York: Longman.
Yorke, M. (2006): Employability in Higher Education: What it is – What it is Not. Learning and Employability Series 1. York: Higher Education Academy.
Association of Slovene Conference Interpreters
Združenje konferenčnih tolmačev Slovenije ZKTS
Deaf and Hard Hearing Clubs Association of Slovenia
Directive EU 64/2010
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32010L0064, accessed September 2021
European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association EULITA
European Masters in Conference Interpreting EMCI
List of certified sign language interpreters in Slovenia
List of sworn court interpreters at the Slovene Ministry of Justice
Training for Future Project - TRAFUT
Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion Project, TraiLLD
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Amalija Maček, Helena Biffio Zorko
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Verba Hispanica by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.