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Gambians assume role of interpreters in Italy

Apr 1, 2016, 12:05 PM | Article By: Alagie Jinkang in Italy

Two Gambians, Alagie Darboe and Bubacarr Jallow, have been employed as interpreters in the regional courts of Piedmont and the police stations of Turin.

The works of Darboe and Jallow – both arrived in Italy through Libya and the Mediterranean Sea – mainly include interpreting between the Italian officials and Gambians, Senegalese, Malians and Guineans.

Mr Darboe found his native local language, Mandinka, as a source of employment, but he also help interpret in Wollof, Jahanka and Bambara speaking people from Mali and Senegal.

For Mr Jallow, he used his fluency in Fula and Wollof to help sustain himself and others needing his help.

Mr Darboe, from 2013, works with the police and the regional courts of Piedmont to bridge the language barrier between African migrants and the Italian committee.

“I found this work very hard, but interesting. It does not only give me money to help build a good life, but it also helps me understand different cultural backgrounds,” he said.

Mr Darboe, who now is a regular migrant in Italy thanks to his service, said Gambians are not the favourite in seeking asylum in Italy and other European countries.

Mr Jallow, 29, who is studying for acceptance in an Italian university, said seeking asylum as a Gambian in Italy “is not easy”.

“When seeking asylum, the burden of proof rests on you, the asylum seeker, and many people failed in doing this,” he said.  “Also, there are a lot of Gambians with typically the same story which the courts here don’t understand.”

Banding, a young Gambian, said he was refused asylum because his interpreter could not understand him.

Therefore, to him, the coming of the Gambian interpreters “is a good thing”.

“They will understand us and they will help us through,” he said.

Just like Banding, there are many Gambians in Italy who often blame their interpreters for the refusal of their asylum claims.