Community interpreters versus intercultural mediators
Is it really all about ethics?
This article compares the professional profile of community interpreters to that of a particular group of intercultural mediators who work as non-professional, untrained interpreters, mainly in healthcare settings. Through a textual comparison of 13 deontological documents for community interpreters and intercultural mediators, this article investigates differences in the ethical positioning of these two profiles. The results show that while the codes of ethics of community interpreters tend to emphasize impartiality, the documents defining the emerging profile of intercultural mediators position advocacy more prominently. Beyond the differences in ethical positioning, the article also considers other reasons for the formation of this new profile and outlines several challenges related to the partial overlap between the two profiles, which include distorted definitions of the interpreter’s competences and performance, conceptual confusion in the research literature, and mismatched expectations of language services consumers.
Keywords: ethics, codes of conduct, standards of practice, intercultural mediators, community interpreters
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