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In the Swiss context migrants are dramatically discriminated against in the medical setting because of their inability to speak the local language. In this respect, the presence of a professional interpreter can restore equilibrium between the local and migrant population. Results of a recent research action show that caregivers are sharply divided with regards to the limits of the role of the professional interpreter. So a large number of them would like to see the interpreter's activity limited to a word-for-word translation. However, a minority of caregivers, convinced of the importance of cultural aspects in the definition of somatic and psychiatric troubles, would rather consider the interpreter as an agent whose action orients the content of the consultation.


Pascal Singy
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