The United States is often called a nation of immigrants. And it is. This is particularly true in Nashville, Tennessee where the growth in immigrants has created a shortage of translators. As a result, we of see children interpreting for parents are medical appointments and school meetings. At court hearings, non-English speaking witnesses are unable to provide testimonies.
The Tennessee judicial judicial system has a total of 50 certified Spanish interpreters, according to the Nashville Translation Service Association. The number is very low and inadequate. In addition, the ethnography of Tennessee has changed from refugee resettlement to Latino migration and increased the demand for more professional translators with specialized skills in a broader range of languages. This is because Nashville has large Hispanic, Kurdish, Myanmar, Korean and Chinese populations.
According to court officials, there have been instances where non-english translators were needed to testify but were unable to provide testimonials because of a shortage in translation professionals. Translator shortages have also been reported at hospitals and mental facilities across the state. While medical facilitiues have been able to rely on the availability of bilingual personnel, this is no longer the case.
Another problem that exists is that the state doesn’t have the budget to provide translation services. While Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act requires that hospitals and doctors provide translators for patients, nobody wants to pay for it. In fact, there just any funding available for it.
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