Professional community interpreting in a turbulent world: A necessity or a luxury?
Keywords:community interpreting, public service interpreting, practical training, crash courses, full-term courses, NGOs
In this article, we delve into the history, background, development and essence of the community interpreting training process run by the Institute of Translation Studies at Charles University. With the outbreak of the migration crisis in 2022, community interpreting became a highly needed service, and as an academic institution, we had to shift our priorities and rapidly respond to this new situation. In this paper, we share our findings and initiatives and raise several questions that arose during the emergency and are yet to be answered. Some of them are directly related to the training process, while others have a much broader scope and require cooperation with state institutions, NGOs, and other stakeholders. This descriptive study not only maps the current approach and teaching trends in the Institute of Translation Studies but also aspires to draw out possible scenarios for further development in the field of community interpreting, including training. One of the key topics we assess is how to find the right balance among professional, non-professional, and ad hoc interpreting services in the short and long term while maintaining an adequate quality of interpreting.