Skiwo provides an online video conferencing platform for qualified interpreters, businesses and governments to book interpretation sessions.
In Norway, a qualified interpreter must be used when due process of law and equal treatment deem it important in order to protect an individual’s interests. This extends not only to the police and courts, but also to medical, education, and other government services. Roughly 300 languages are spoken in Norway, and the need for interpreting has been registered in more than 100 of these. As of June 2014, the Norwegian National Register of Interpreters has registered interpreters in only 64 languages.
A thorough review of the entire interpretation services ecosystem was needed (ref: Høring – NOU 2014: 8 Tolking i offentlig sektor), which brought to light some very serious issues in the system.
The Committee has calculated that approximately 343 000 interpretation assignments were carried out in the public sector in 2013. The total amount of expenditures in the public sector on interpreting assignments was roughly estimated at NOK 490 million for the same year.
The Office of the Auditor General of Norway states that the police spent approximately NOK 64 million on interpreting services in 2009, but that 60 per cent of the interpreters used did not have documented qualifications. A survey undertaken by Helse Sør-Øst (South-East Health District) shows that nine out of ten interpreters used during treatment administered by the specialist health service in 2011 lacked formal qualifications, even though this was listed as a requirement in the call for tenders.
The Committee views with concern how the under- and incorrect use of interpreters results in incorrect court judgements, incorrect treatment, case processing errors, low efficiency, longer waiting times and a drain on resources.
On 18th April 2016, Skiwo will bring online a digital open marketplace for interpretation services. Allowing interpreters to manage their own schedules and assignments, giving them greater control over their careers. Businesses too will have a simple dashboard to post assignments, and manage their entire interpretation needs at the touch of a button.
At this early stage in the company, Skiwo wishes to work with a select group of interpreters and businesses or government agencies, in order to build the features needed for a product that truly solves this crisis-level issue.
Skiwo is one of the many great companies here at StartupLab. We are very impressed with the team and how fast they have been able to launch the products, and we have strong faith in this company’s ability to make a difference and to change the way interpretation is done in the future.
If you are an interpreter, and would like to increase the overall quality, efficiency, and transparency of the interpretation services market in Norway – we urge you to sign up on Skiwo, and help us build the perfect product for you to help you manage your time and build your career.
If you are someone who needs to book interpreters and manage internal and external schedules to provide the best service to your customers or patients – we urge you to sign up on Skiwo, and help us connect the various systems you use everyday to make booking an interpreter as seamless as possible.