Ian G. Malcolm

Document Type



Mount Lawley College of Advanced Education

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Malcolm, I. (1981). The use of interpreters and translators by professionals : report on a day seminar held at Mount Lawley College on 18th August 1981. Perth, Australia: Mount Lawley College of Advanced Education.


Some professions are, by their very nature, unobtrusive. We are dependent, for example, from time to time, on the professional competence of air traffic controllers, though, unless things go wrong, we are not likely to notice what they are doing for us. They are not in our focus, but they serve to facilitate what is in focus for us. Translators and interpreters are like that. They are at their most successful when they are least obvious. Their professional role is to facilitate communication rather than to participate in it. Their exceptional communicational skills are put to the service of their clients, and their reward comes not from having these skills recognized, but from seeing them function to bring the linguistically-estranged together.

Included in

Linguistics Commons