Challenges in Community Interpreting Training Flemish-European Style

When:18 Dec 2013, 3pm - 4:30pm
Venue:Morven Brown 310
Who:Prof. Dr. Aline Remael, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Aline Remeal

Interpreting & Translation Seminar

While globalization and its migration streams have changed and continue to change the demographic composition of Europe’s original nation states, thoroughly reshuffling their cultural and linguistic make-up, the economic crisis and rising xenophobia are prompting politicians to resort to protectionist policies in a futile attempt to stem the flow of change. Community Interpreting (CI) is caught in the middle.

Even though the concrete state of CI practice and training differs greatly from country to country in Europe, some concerns are shared by all. Witness to this are the recent establishment of a European Network for Public Service Interpreting and Translation in Brussels on 3 October 2013, the InDialog Conference to be held in Berlin on 15-16 November (, and the interest of the European Directorate-General Interpreting in expanding its services and know-how to include CI.

One of the central concerns for CI in Europe today is how to adapt training to the rising demand for interpreting in multiple languages while maintaining good quality standards. In this presentation I will first survey some of the issues related to training and quality control raised at the European InDialog conference in Berlin and then turn to the situation in Flanders today. I will discuss how training is organized at university level, with special focus on the University of Antwerp, and how this relates to the training and certification offered by the Centrale Ondersteuningscel Sociaal Tolken (the Central Support Unit for Community Interpreting), a governmental centre for the certification of social interpreters in Flanders. I will conclude by surveying some of the CI figures for Flanders and discuss expected policy changes in Flanders and the Netherlands.


Prof. Dr. Aline Remael ( is Department Chair, Head of Research and Professor of Translation Theory, Interpreting and Audiovisual Translation at the Department of Applied Linguistics/Translation and Interpreting of the University of Antwerp. Her main research interests are audiovisual translation (AVT), i.e. intralingual and interlingual subtitling, live subtitling with speech recognition, audio-description, audio-subtitling, and new hybrid forms of remote (community) interpreting that have affinities with AVT. She has published widely on the subject of AVT, hybrid translation-interpreting modes and has co-edited several volumes on media accessibility, including AVT and Media Accessibility at the Crossroads (Rodopi, 2012) with Pilar Orero and Mary Carroll. She is a member of the editorial board of several international Translation Studies journals and book series, a member of the International TransMedia Research Group, vice-chair of the ITU AD Media Access Working Group, a member of the steering committee of InDialog. Mapping the Field of Community Interpreting (Berlin, 15-16 November 2013), and of the steering committee of the European Network for Public Service Interpreting and Translation.

View Past Events