Interesting journey – the making of an ALS interpreter
Her initial plan was only to visit London – now I ask myself, how can someone succeed to understand the complexities of a legal system in a short period of two or three months? Could have been the inspiration of the pub environment, where she has worked before joining ALS, so powerful to bestow on her all the knowledge necessary to interpret in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts in the UK?
When I have asked the ALS interpreter about how long she has been in the UK, she replied that she arrived in this country a few months ago and ever since she had been working as a bar attendant.
The ALS interpreter had also confirmed that she had no interpreting qualification, had not attended any assessments (organised by ALS or otherwise), had no CRB check and no indemnity insurance in place. In fact, she did not even know what CRB check or indemnity insurance mean.
The following is from my observations and recent conversation with an ALS interpreter at Hendon Magistrates' Court in London.
The ALS Interpreter did not interpret important information in court and had failed to inform the defendant that due to the fact that he had arrived late at court, a warrant for his arrest had been issued and later on this had been withdrawn.
The ALS Interpreter also did not interpret very essential information such as the registration mark of the vehicle in question. She had only interpreted the first characters of the registration mark and then she continued in the Romanian language “…and so on”!
The interpreter was not dressed appropriately – she was wearing jeans and overall looked untidy.
She had engaged in communication with the defendant while in the dock and instead of addressing the Magistrates directly she had been using “He [the defendant] is saying that…”
Shall I then conclude that it only takes a plane ticket to become an ALS interpreter and next day you can interpret in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts in the UK?