Sioux Falls is a community of many ethnicities and cultures. The diversity provides opportunities for all people to come together and learn, share and enjoy new foods, new dances, new customs, and new friendships. There are people from over 100 countries speaking 145 languages and dialects in the Sioux Falls area.
While this salad bowl feeling can be challenging for some, especially those who are resistant to change, the opportunities for personal and even professional growth can be inspiring. One service that is always needed when people of many cultures and languages live together, is that of interpretation and translation. Many documents, legal and otherwise, prepared in other languages, often need to be translated for those who are choosing to make the U.S. their new home.
In addition, the services of interpreters are required in cases of medical emergencies, legal issues, situations with law enforcement, with school activities and more. Too many times, children who have become bi-lingual are used to interpret for their parents. This can result in incomplete and inaccurate interpretations. When relatives are used for interpretations, their own opinions of situations and cultural differences can have a negative impact on the interpretation. In yet other areas, unethical interpreters can “help” a friend or family member resulting in potentially dangerous situations.
Across the United States, there are strict regulations requiring the training of interpreters and the impeccable ethics they must uphold. The Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls provides training which insures only the highest ethics, and best training practices are used. Yet there is still a great need for more translators and interpreters to be trained to address all of the unmet needs in the community. Those who can speak Spanish, Kunama, Oromo, Arabic and Somali, are still desperately needed to provide this critically needed service.
Christy Nicolaisen, Executive Director of the MCC said, “We are always looking for interpreters to help out in emergencies, planned meetings and legal and medical issues. You can imagine how you would feel in a strange country with a medical or legal emergency where you couldn’t understand what anyone was telling you. It would be horrifying.”
The Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls is currently looking for people who speak any of the above languages and are fluent in English. They can apply to be an interpreter or translator for the MCC by calling Christy at 605-367-7401.