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    Public service interpreting for migrants

Training and education in public service interpreting and translation for migrants and second-generation migrants

As a result of internal mobility and migration most, if not all European countries, are characterised by the growing presence of residents with a very diverse linguistic and cultural background. This causes a growing demand for translation services: interpretation is needed in the framework of immigration authorities, police, local authorities, education authorities, healthcare service, social security systems etc. Several legal acts and recommendations of the Council of Europe and the European Union (e.g. Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings) require the member states to train interpreters and translators, and to guarantee high quality in public service interpreting.Currently, in most European countries, interpreter training is only offered for conference interpreting and mainly for the major world or European languages, with little or no attention paid to languages needed every day in many public settings. Examples of good practice in the teaching of interpretation and the training of interpreters for public services do exist, though, and new training courses can be developed based on the experience of existing models. Migrants and second-generation migrants with an adequate knowledge of both the migrant and the local languages can be the main addressees of such efforts. Even if they may only possess informally acquired competences, they may be regarded as the ideal candidates for public service interpreting and translation courses. The suggested  training and consultancy aims at raising awareness of the need for public service interpretation and translation, providing examples of interpreter training and practice in these contexts and showing ways to set up new or improve existent training schemes and curricula.


The overall objective is to assist member states to raise awareness of the need to address the issue of public service interpreting and translation.

The project teams proposes to offer  training and consultancy to ECML member states wishing to set up or develop further public service interpreting and translation programmes addressed to migrants and second-generation migrants. Such courses are meant to develop professional figures – translators and interpreters – properly trained to operate in public service settings. Through proper training and the professionalisation of public service interpreting and translation the member states can ensure adequate language assistance serving the needs of both foreign residents and public service providers.

Support can either consist in consultancy on existing training curricula for interpreters and translators, i.e. evaluation and further development of such curricula; or in the development of new training curricula according to the needs of the member state.

Target groups

  • national and local authorities;

  • healthcare authorities;

  • education authorities and institutions;

  • public service providers;

  • migrant associations;

  • multipliers (e.g. the media).

Envisaged results and impact of the ECML training and consultancy

  • existing training programmes improved;
  • new training programmes developed and implemented;
  • communities of good practice created or consolidated. 

LEADING TO: Quantitative and qualitative enhancement of interpreting and translation in public services.


Mira Kadric (coordinator), University of Vienna, Austria

Danielle D’Hayer, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Carmen Valero Garcés, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Maurizio Viezzi, Università di Trieste, Italy