In response to the growing lack of interpretation services available to third country nationals, METAdrasi has created an integrated programme which aims to train and certify interpreters. Since 2010, METAdrasi has used its own resources to organize numerous interpretation training seminars, designed to create a large pool of trained interpreters in varying fields.
METAdrasi implements a comprehensive curriculum for its interpreters; this curriculum aims to teach interpreters more specialized vocabulary terms and general knowledge related to asylum, medical terminology, trauma, and other subjects. Throughout the year, specialized courses are offered on a regular basis in order for interpreters to improve their translation skills.
The Interpreters’ Training Seminar is a ten day training programme which takes places at the METAdrasi headquarters. Upon their completion of this programme, interpreters must then pass written and oral exams. Once interpreters pass these exams, they receive METAdrasi’s Certificate of Proficiency for the Provision of Interpretation Services, and are subsequently integrated into METAdrasi’s Registry of Interpreters.
The interpreter’s certificate of proficiency is valid for one year. After its expiration, the interpreter is re-assessed as regards the level of services provided in relation to the training he/she has received and the level of improvement as concerns recorded weaknesses.
METAdrasi has adopted a system of supervision and evaluation of interpreters and has drafted a “Code of Ethics”, which is binding for its partners.
The first Interpreters’ Training seminar took place in March 2010. Seminars are intensive and last for 10-15 days (training and certification). Up to this date, 77 seminars have been completed, six of which in English in order to cover languages, in which there are no persons speaking the Greek language at a satisfactory level, e.g. Somali. Participants in the interpreters’ training seminars are primarily persons from the population of concern; asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants, as well as Greek citizens, residing in or outside Attica. In the framework of the Seminars that have already taken place, 1,880 persons have participated in total.
The success rate per seminar ranges between 40-55% and till the end of March 2020 877 people have obtained the certificate of proficiency in 43 languages and dialects: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Asante, Armenian, Badini (Kurdish), Bambara, Bengali, Dari, English, Farsi, French, Georgian, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Kurmanji (Kurdish), Lingala, Maghrebi Arabic, Mandarin, Moldovan, Oromo, Pashto, Portuguese, Pothwari, Pular, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Somali, Sorani (Kurdish), Spanish, Susu, Swahili, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi, Ukranian, Urdu and Wolof.
Seminars so far focus at the specialization of interpreters in asylum and medical issues. The expansion of training for the provision of interpretation services at municipalities, courts, prisons, schools and other sectors with serious problems of language communication is being planned. For this reason, the Organization is elaborating new educational packages for the specialization of interpreters in the respective fields.