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News Chiba City to introduce free volunteer interpreters for foreign residents

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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At government offices and hospitals, Chiba has launched a free, volunteer-based service for on-the-spot interpretation and translation in 12 languages, including English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian. The city hopes it will help foreign residents who worry about communicating in their daily lives: Chiba has been receiving more inquiries about interpretation from foreign residents, neighbourhood associations and others to deal with situations involving overdue administrative procedures, noise and garbage issues, and other conflicts arising from a lack of smooth communication.

According to the Chiba Municipal Government's International Relations Division, there were 30,950 foreign residents in the city as of the end of January 2023, and that number is expected to grow. [...] Until the program began, the city only dispatched volunteer interpreters through the Chiba City International Association (CCIA), in response to requests from public bodies. To provide a finer-tuned response, the new program is open to requests from individuals. The city expects the program to be used in situations such as enrolling children in school, offering academic guidance, vaccinations at medical institutions and administrative procedures at ward offices. As of the end of December 2022, there were 110 volunteer interpreters, known as "supporters," that have received training through the CCIA. The association rewards the volunteers and provides them with insurance so they can carry out their activities without worry. The volunteers include foreign nationals.

Chiba International Association

Chiba International Association

The Chiba City International Association (千葉市国際交流協会) offers information services to foreign residents, as well as consultation, consultation, interpretation, volunteer services, Japanese classes, and more.
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