Interpreter of the Month: Serry Hassan

Congratulations to Serry Hassan! Affordable Language Services is making him Interpreter of the Month for April due to his consistent hard work as a Qualified Arabic Medical and Legal Interpreter over the last several years. On many occasions Serry has been called out on jobs in the middle of the night and on weekends to interpret for medical patients. Without his devotion to providing this service for Arabic speakers, many may have found it more difficult to understand an already frightening experience at the hospital.  Clearly, this is more than just a job to Serry, so we asked him a few questions to try to understand what drives his commitment and passion for interpreting.


What made you decide to become an interpreter?

To be able to help the Arab patients and their families. Especially those that came from conflict countries and the Middle East.

What are the most challenging aspects of interpreting? The most rewarding?

The most challenging aspect of interpreting is trying to interpret accurately, so the patient and family can understand exactly what the staff (nurses, doctors, or technical) are saying, and also interpreting what the patient and the family are saying.

The most rewarding is when both the medical staff and the patient and family, understand each other as if they spoke the same language.

Are there any concepts/terms that are especially difficult to translate or interpret? Why?

During the eight years I have worked as an interpreter, I have not felt that it was too difficult to do interpretation, maybe because of my medical background. I worked in the medical field since 1957, during medical school, and also at the hospitals.

Why is training in medical interpretation important?

Medical interpretation training is important because the interpreter is the tool that facilitates the understanding between all the parties, and if the interpreter is not trained, there will be misunderstandings, and this can cause a disaster. If the words are changed or if they are not interpreting the correct word, this could change the whole meaning.

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