The new vocational certification would ensure that interpreters were fluent in the jargon of Finnish social insurance, laws, police work, banking, government paperwork and the like.
"Often officials use immigrants’ own relatives or friends, and many immigrants think they'd make good interpreters even though they have no experience in the field at all," says Janne Salo, a planner at the Helsinki Region Interpreting Centre.
Salo says that unskilled interpreters may make situations worse. They may not have the knowledge to explain the details of immigration or government bureaucracy.He says plans are already underway to create a certificate to help fast-track skilled linguists and professional translators into the bureaucratic specialty.
Another benefit of specialists is that unlike random acquaintances, professional interpreters would be bound by the tenets of impartiality, confidentiality, and ethical principles.