Training refugees to become interpreters for refugees

Miranda Lai, Sedat Mulayim


RMIT University, Translating and Interpreting Program in partnership with the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC, formerly Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs or VOMA), has been offering a National Australian Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) approved Diploma of Interpreting program in rare and emerging languages since 2002. In addition to the usual challenges of starting a program from scratch such as recruiting teaching staff, developing bilingual training materials, the training in these languages present some unique challenges which required modified and/or alternative approaches. This paper will introduce the two languages delivered by RMIT Diploma of Interpreting in 2008, namely Burmese and Swahili, and present the findings of a case study. The paper will also share some of the experiences of the authors who have both acted as coordinators of the program. The findings of this study have implications for the provision of interpreter training programs for rare and emerging languages. It has also implications for both teachers and students in the area of cross cultural management.


refugee; interpreter; training course; new and emerging langauges; NAATI; VMC

Full Text: