The government uses many non-qualified interpreters

The Directorate of Integration and Diversity. Director Libe Rieber-Mohn .Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Only one-third of the interpreters used in the public arena are qualified as interpreters according to a new report from the Integration and Diversity Directorate (IMDi).


“We are worried about the consequences for legal certainty, life and health,” said Libe Rieber-Mohn, Director of IMDi.

In addition, a survey shows that many end up being interpreters. There are few permanent jobs, they are priced by private suppliers who have interpreters who are not eligible and they can not live from what they earn. In addition, the number of assignments can be unpredictable.

Last year, over 800 million kroner were spent on almost 750,000 interpreters. The municipal health service is the largest user of interpretation services. They spend the most money and order the most assignments.

“Good communication is important for good integration. It costs money to use qualified interpreters, but it costs even more to provide services that either are not understood or do not meet needs” said Rieber-Mohn.

She believes the public sector must better plan the use of interpreters and that the work must be organised in a way that ensures proper pay and working conditions.

Most of the assignments were in Arabic, Ethiopian and Eritrean, Somali, and Polish. The 20 largest languages comprised over 90% of the assignments.

Qualified interpreters have state authority in interpreting or bilingual tests and courses in the interpreter’s field of responsibility.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today

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