In multicultural Hong Kong, many minority groups speak only in their dialect. This presents a problem when going to the doctor, for instance, and has given rise to a demand for medical interpreters. Though the position has existed in the local health care system for many years, it has never been formally recognised.
To give the role some credence, the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) Centre for Translation collaborated with the HKSKH Lady MacLehose Centre in offering a certificate in medical interpreting.
"Medical interpreting has never been a formal job in Hong Kong despite its significance," says Associate Professor Esther Leung Sin-man, of the HKBU English language and literature department