The current European migrant crisis has brought many challenges both to European communities and to over 1 million refugees who have entered the EU, Norway and Germany searching for a new home. Norway in particular has become a common point of entry, as many refugees opt to cross its border with Russia rather than risk a dangerous sea journey across the Mediterranean.
Though these refugees may have fled war or poverty, they must now cope with being in an unfamiliar place while surrounded by a new culture and language, which presents an unfortunately high barrier to the fulfillment of their basic needs. Miscommunication between refugees and officials such as medical professionals or the police are sadly all too common.
Foreign nationals of any sort can benefit from the services of an interpreter. Recently in Germany, a Chinese tourist was accidentally sent to a refugee camp for 12 days after going to a police station to report a stolen wallet. Due to the language barrier and miscommunication, he was instructed to fill out the wrong form; a situation that could easily have been avoided with the aid of an interpreter.
More than ever, interpreters are crucial for facilitating communication that is vital to providing care and service. Here are some common situations that migrants and others foreign nationals may face where an interpreter can make a real difference:
Medical illness or injury
For many migrants, the conditions of their home country or the perils of their hazardous journey to safety exacerbates medical issues, and they arrive in Europe suffering from illness or injury. It is vital that they obtain access to someone to help them communicate with medical workers to ensure prompt and accurate treatment.
Many refugees incur psychological trauma and stress during their journey. A trusted interpreter can help medical professionals ascertain psychological trauma and refer them to suitable mental health professionals.
Even without the damaging physical or psychological effects of migration, a refugee may still have trouble adjusting to the cultural milieu in which they now find themselves. Interpretation services can help them become a valuable member of their new neighborhood by reducing misunderstandings and improving their ability to participate in community events.
Skiwo interpreters can help both refugees and their host communities embrace the opportunities that are possible. Our all-in-one online interpretation service promises to ease the process of finding talented interpreters to help businesses and government authorities meet the diverse language needs that will grow year after year.