»Wenn Kinder für ihre Eltern dolmetschen müssen«

Projekt ElKiS im Interview mit der FAZ

Eva Stoelzel, Projektleiterin im Projekt ElKiS!, hat im Interview mit der FAZ darüber gesprochen, warum das Ausbilden von Sprachmittler*innen so wichtig für die Kommunikation an Schulen und Kitas ist und mehr Förderung durch die Länder bräuchte.
Unser Freiwilliger Armend Vojvoda hat eine Zusammenfassung in englischer Sprache verfasst, die wir hier zur Verfügung stellen wollen.

The ElKiS project: in an interview with FAZ. Eva Stoelzel, project manager in the ElKiS! Project, spoke in an interview with the FAZ about why the training of language mediators (interpreters) is so important for communication in schools and daycare centers and why more funding is needed from the federal states.
Our volunteer Armend Vojvoda has written a summary in English that we want to make available here.


The article briefly talks and evaluates the situation of the young foreigners, dealing with translation problems in Germany. Many times, the newcomers deal with problems such as language barriers, and as such, someone should play the middle-man role to the Foreign Office or other authorities offices. And, in most of the cases the officers are not able to speak other than German language. And this, unevitably create the language barrier problem, which is more common in the last years.

When we have the language-barrier, someone should translate between the parents and officers, in the school, or other offices, since the issues are important for their future. It‘s about documents, residence permits, certificates, and all other very delicate stuff. One mistake, everything is screwed. As such, in many cases are children those who have to make the middle-man translator, in a circumstance where none can speak a second language (English) and where there is not any regulated translation office.

When the children make the translation, as we have the case of Belinda Becirovic and Wojcichowski. They, differently from kids of their age, had to deal with all these responsible issues. They had to translate for their parents. In schools, in offices. When they did their job well, they felt proud. When they did their job bad, they were responsible for any loss. And, even worser the officers would get angry toward them, or behaving bad toward their parents, which includes the kids into very emotional relationship, which, as a result led to a non-objective translation, with, obviously many mistakes.

According to the young-Bosnian, Belinda Becirovic, children should never deal with such responsibility. Dealing with it, will cause a lot of sense of psychological responsibilities, sense of inferiority, when officers shout at their parents, which, demands lot of job from kids, that is not normal for their age. Same is admitted by Furstenau.

Eva Stoelzel, the coordinator of ElKIS, a project within Friedenskreis Halle e.V., is dealing directly with this problem. The ElKIS project aim is to not let children to deal with translation, otherwise, professional, or semi-professional volunteering-translators, should pick up, and do the objective translation middle-man. The good news is that in the last years, in some states of Germany, the offices pay the project a considerable amount of money, to finance the translation projects. But, this is not the case in every city, and every office. We still lack a lot of human resources, and financial tools, to fully succeed on this aim.

Even now, it happens that many times the officers ask directly the parents, to bring up their relatives, or worser, their kids, to make the translation. And in the end, they, the officers, are unsatisfied with the level of language knowledge brought in by the kids, without acknowledging their success on learning fast. And this situation must end, for the best of the kids.

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