A recent lecture at the UEA looked at issues surrounding translation as a human right. The audience were asked to consider questions that span equality, justice and rights. What happens if citizens are denied access to good quality translation services, for example? Who decides? And what happens if your interpreter isn’t up to the job?
Looking to the past, Professor Jo Drugan drew attention to key significant moments which highlight the important role language has to play. For example, simultaneous interpreting first began at the Nuremberg Trials. In the case of Victoria Climbie, the young Ivorian girl murdered in her London home in 2000, her abuser translated for her when social workers asked questions about her care. And in the run-up to 9/11 in New York, information alerting the authorities was allegedly sent, but no-one translated the warnings.
Professor Drugan’s lecture is available to view in full online. She invited the audience to donate to City of Sanctuary as they left, raising £80 for work done locally with refugees and asylum seekers.
Picture credit: Public Radio International