A language barrier is a big challenge people face when they are in a multicultural setting.
In spite of the popularity of English, there are thousands of languages in the world and not everyone knows English.
As Campbell River is moving towards a diverse and energetic community that attracts more and more immigrants, language barrier becomes one of the utmost important problems that needs to be dealt with.
Currently, the Immigrant Welcome Centre of Campbell River, also known as Campbell River and Area Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association, (MISA) has a list of interpreters that help service providers to communicate with people who know a little or no English.
But there is exciting news. Four interpreters participated in an online interpreter-training course developed by the Provincial Language Service under the Provincial Health Services Authority.
Upon finishing the course, they have the knowledge and skills to provide community interpretation skills.
A trained interpretation means that the interpreter follows strict rules to respect the privacy of clients and uses abilities that can facilitate an efficient, effective and clear interpretation.
Having local residents trained is definitely a benefit to both new immigrants and service providers.
Executive Director, Rachel Blaney, says, “Interpreters are an important tool to facilitate effective communications. When language is a barrier, interpreters are the tools to break that barrier. There is no need to be frustrated or stop communication. Through the use of interpreters, communication can happen. People feel themselves respected and heard. That’s the way to create a welcoming and inclusive community.“
She continues, “Currently we have over 10 languages available. We keep on building the list.
“Some of them also help us translate our new website, www.welcome2campbellriver.ca, into different languages. They are assets of the community.”
Thuy Sin, the settlement manager, says, “The four newly trained interpreters can help interpret between English and Vietnamese, Mandarin and Cantonese, but there are other experienced and skilled interpreters in town who speak German, Spanish and Filipino (Tagalog) which are all languages that are commonly found in our community.”
Communication can happen even when language is a barrier.
The secret is if you know where to find the tools to overcome this barrier.
If you know someone who needs language help or interpretation services, refer them to the Immigrant Welcome Centre of Campbell River.