Things Fall Apart? Social Work Across Language Gaps (with and without interpreters)

When:26 Feb 2019, 3pm - 4:30pm
Venue:Central Lecture Block Theatre 3, Kensington Campus, UNSW
Who:Hilde Fiva Buzungu, Oslo Metropolitan University
Hilde Fiva Buzungu

Abstract: The presentation will start with an outline of the interpreters’ perspective when interpreting for social workers in Norway. How do interpreters experience these assignments in terms of complexity/difficulty? Thereafter, based on Hilde’s current PhD research project, she will discuss how things go for social workers when they have clients who they do not have a shared language of communication with? How do social workers and clients perceive the language gaps between them, and the usefulness of interpreters? How do social workers and managers view the importance of qualifications of those who interpret in their meetings with clients? And finally, what can these findings tell us about the status of the social work profession and the interpreting profession, both in society and within the professions?

Bio: Hilde Fiva Buzungu is a certified interpreter (Norwegian/English) in Norway, with 18 years interpreting work experience mainly in the public sector. She has worked with English speaking migrants during their communication with Norwegian immigration authorities, police, courts and social services. She has a MA in social anthropology (2006) based on 8 months of fieldwork looking at interpreted encounters in the Norwegian public sector. After years as a practicing interpreter, having decided to do research, she is working on her PhD at Oslo Metropolitan University. She is currently a visiting scholar at UNSW in term 1, 2019. Her research focuses on communication between social workers and clients, in cases where the social worker and her client do not have a shared language.

This event attracts 10 PD points.

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