The Interpreter: Transmitter of Knowledge and Culture, and Guarantor of Human Rights.

The historically stellar figure of the interpreter throughout the ages shall be examined, culminating in the Nuremberg Trials and interpretation in the EU, and compared to the apparently more modest role of the interpreter in the United States today. It will be argued that, in fact, the U.S. interpreter today plays a more important part than ever, one that is crucial to the fair functioning of our society on a daily basis (courts, medical sector, schools), and to the protection of basic human rights. Translation and interpretation is protected by statute as a language right and is considered a civil right in the U.S. (CRA, 1964; EO 13166; U.S. Constitution – 14th Amendment; and State Constitutions). Not surprisingly, this right is intimately tied to politics and to the swing of power between Republican and Democratic worldviews and agendas. This pendulum process will be analyzed using Ronald Schmidt Sr.’s Language Policy and Identity in the United States, and ethical considerations will be cited as evidence. Some abuses of this statutory right shall be discussed. The status of language mediation in the U.S. under the current administration shall be examined, in particular the impact of the language mediation policies of the Trump administration on the DOJ (Department of Justice), the CRD (Civil Rights Division), and the OCR (office of Civil Rights).
DATE: 20/03/2020 9:00 am
LENGTH: 180 min.
PRESENTER:
Alexander Rainof