In this section of the Prague for All website we provide you with contacts which you as foreigners in Prague will find helpful should you need to arrange interpreting or make an appointment at an office, school, at the doctor’s or anywhere else where the language barrier and the cultural differences make communication difficult.
Who will help you overcome barriers?
If you come to a new environment where people speak a different language, you encounter an everyday language barrier. Communication of any kind is difficult for you. If you are lucky, you may come across someone who understands your language or another language you speak and you will be able to talk to each other. However, in many situations you have to deal with people who do not speak your mother tongue.
Interkulturní pracovníci a komunitní tlumočníci překonávají nejen jazykovou odlišnost, ale také umí zacházet s kulturními rozdíly, které často cizincům pobyt v novém prostředí České republiky ztěžují. Důležitou kvalitou je jejich velká interkulturní citlivost. Vědí, že některé věci se nedají jednoduše přeložit do českého jazyka, protože v té druhé kultuře neexistují a často je nutné překlad rozšířit o oboustranné vysvětlení. Při tlumočení dokážou vystoupit z tlumočnické role a vysvětlit některá specifika a předejít potenciálnímu konfliktu.
Intercultural professionals and community interpreters do not only overcome language differences – they also understand cultural differences which often make a stay in a new environment of the Czech Republic even more difficult. An important quality is their sensitivity to cross-cultural differences. They know that some things cannot be simply translated into Czech as they do not exist in the other culture, which means that apart from a translation, they need to provide an explanation for both the parties of communication. When interpreting, they can step out of the interpreter role to explain the specifics needed, thus avoiding a potential conflict.
Intercultural professionals and community interpreters have a thorough knowledge of Czech culture and life in the CR as well as knowledge of their clients’ country of origin. They are familiar with the relevant legislation, and they know how state administration and important institutions work. All this allows them to understand their international clients and to mediate communication with the other party. In addition, they are able to provide you with useful contacts.
People who work in these two professions have received thorough training and certification.
Services of intercultural professionals are currently widely available in Prague.
For interpreting over the phone, you can also use a special helpline of Caritas Czech Republic.
The line is available in Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Mongolian. It is intended for migrants living in the CR as well as public administration staff dealing with migrants. For contacts and the working hours of the helpline, see the website of Caritas CR, who is the provider of the service.
5. December, 2022