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Interpreters play an important role in Sweden.
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Interpreters play an important role in Sweden. Credit: Marcus Ericsson/TT
Nurse Emilia Engman at Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital says a good interpreter can be hard to find.
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Nurse Emilia Engman at Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital says a good interpreter can be hard to find. Credit: Yohaniz Abdul Basir / Radio Sweden

Government seeks to address, understand interpreter shortage

5:44 min

Facing a shortage of trained interpreters, the government rolled out a series of measures on Friday it hopes will boost their ranks.

Interpreters play an important role in Sweden by helping government authorities interact with people who can't understand or speak Swedish with things like doctor visits, court proceedings and immigration issues.

Anna Ekström, the minister for upper secondary school education, says there are simply too few interpreters and those working are being used inefficiently.

She says the government will increase funding to institutions that offer training as well as add more opportunities to become a certified interpreter.

The government is also launching a year-long investigation into the issue, which will be carried out by Gunnar Holmgren, the governor for Västernorrland County.

He'll look at the education and training interpreters receive as well as other ways they could do their job which often requires lots of travel time.

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