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Successful Completion of PLOUTOS WP3: Improving Community Interpreting Skills for TCNs

We are pleased to announce the successful completion of WP3 of the AMIF project PLOUTOS, which addressed the critical need for training community interpreters across Europe. TCNs (Third-Country Nationals) often work as ad hoc interpreters in sensitive settings with little or no training, resulting in a significant gap in effective communication services. WP3 aimed to bridge this gap by providing targeted training for community interpreters, particularly in the financial sector.

Despite the urgent need for interpreting services, there are few training programmes for community interpreters in the EU due to

  • The undefined nature of the community interpreting profession in many EU countries.
  • Constantly changing language requirements and a lack of trained teachers for the languages required.

PLOUTOS therefore created new opportunities for both TCNs and civil servants from partner countries to receive comprehensive training in community interpreting. The programme focused on amateur interpreters who had already been involved in community interpreting but had not received formal training from specialised institutions.

During the first months of WP3, the partners conducted extensive research to gather data on existing literature, the community interpreting landscape, communication gaps for TCNs, and best practices in countries with established community interpreting programmes. These findings enabled Aristotle University to develop a curriculum that addresses the training gaps in partner countries and provides sustainable guidance through online resources. This curriculum equips participants with essential skills and competencies, enhances their understanding of the community interpreting process and encourages further skills development. The programme also aims to empower participants, building their confidence in facilitating communication in their host countries and promoting greater community participation and inclusion.

The course, which ran from October 2023 to January 2024, comprised 13 sessions and involved 41 TCNs from six partner countries. The main objectives were:

  • Understanding Key Interpreting Terms: Introduction to various terms related to the practice of interpreting.
  • Addressing Communication Gaps: Recognising community interpreting as a tool for bridging communication gaps.
  • Skills Development: Practising and improving essential interpreting skills such as listening, note-taking, sight translation and summarising through role-plays.
  • Knowledge of EU Legislation: Becoming familiar with Community legislation on interpreting within the EU.
  • Intercultural Communication: Developing an understanding of and competence in intercultural communication.
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct: Learning about the ethics of community interpreting.
  • Listening Skills: Understanding the mechanics of listening in the context of interpreting.
  • Practical Tools: Getting to know useful tools for community interpreting practice.
  • Continuing Professional Development: Exploring opportunities for continuing professional development.

Stay tuned in order to download the Curriculum which will be available in the following months in English, Greek, French, Swedish, Croatian, Bulagrian and Italian here:

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