The ATIO welcomes court interpreter testing as a good start

OTTAWA, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The President of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), Nancy McInnis, indicated clearly today that her association stands behind the initiative launched by the Ministry of the Attorney General to test the skills of its accredited interpreters.

"The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) commends the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General for taking the initiative of looking into Court Interpreter skills. In order to improve, we need to know where we stand and what is lacking, and this test was a good start", said McInnis today.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has ordered the mandatory testing of all of its accredited court interpreters. Following the first results published last week, some of the Ministry's court interpreters have questioned the validity of the test.

According to Yuri Geifman, Director, Court Interpreters with ATIO, there is a widely held belief that the ability to speak two languages is enough for a person to act as an interpreter.

"Time and again, this view has been proved wrong by research and experience: whenever someone other than a professional interpreter is used, there is always a cost and this is especially critical in the medical and legal setting, where the cost of errors is sometimes paid in human lives" added Geifman, an ATIO-certified Court Interpreter himself.

ATIO stresses the fact that bilingualism is a good foundation to build on, but it is far from enough to practice interpreting at a professional level, and it should come as no surprise to court interpreters that the test administered by MAG covers more than language skills, but interpreting skills as well.

ATIO suggests that concerted efforts between MAG, ATIO and training institutions may be warranted to provide professional training to court interpreters. This would result in higher scores, better rates and more public confidence. Finally, ATIO welcomes practicing court interpreters interested in becoming certified by ATIO.


For further information: For further information: Catherine Bertholet, Executive Director, Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario, 1 Nicholas Street - Suite 1202, Ottawa, ON, K1N 7B7,,, 1-800-234-5030

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