Important points about interpreters:

  • Interpreters are only provided by World Relief Durham to coordinate and execute very specific appointments called “Core Services.” Please evaluate if your interpreting need falls under the category of a “Core Service” by reading here.

  • If you would like to communicate an important message that is NOT related to a core service appointment, please seek out a reliable bilingual community member (relative, friend, or neighbor) to interpret.

  • Interpreters are paid for appointments by the hour. Only WRD staff members can give approval for coordinating an interpretation appointment.

  • Interpreters may interpret over the phone if they cannot attend an appointment in person, or if a message to be communicated is brief.


  • Allow pauses in your speech every five to ten seconds for the interpreter to interpret.

  • Use simple words.

  • Speak to the refugee directly, not the interpreter. This is much more empowering and humanizing for the refugee! It is easy to forget this and to begin speaking directly to the interpreter. While communicating with a refugee you should behave as though the interpreter is not even there.

  • Learn how to use three-way calling on your phone. This is useful if you want to talk to a refugee over the phone and they do not speak English. With three-way calling, you can call the interpreter, have him or her stay on the line, and then call the refugee so that you can relay messages clearly and allow the refugee to ask questions.

  • Don't forget to smile!