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What if I cannot understand the interpreter?

Produced by Massachusetts Language Access Coalition
Reviewed August 2023

You have the right to an interpreter you can understand. If she speaks a different dialect, the phone connection is bad, or there is another problem, tell the staff.

If you cannot understand the interpreter, ask the interpreter to repeat herself or say it in other words. If you still cannot understand say, “I cannot understand my interpreter.” She will tell the staff. They should give you a new interpreter.

If they do not give you an interpreter you can understand, complain:

  1. Ask to speak to a supervisor. If the supervisor doesn’t give you an interpreter,
  2. Write down:
    • the supervisor’s name,
    • the name of the program, and
    • the date. 
  3. Report it to the Language Access Coalition:

The Language Access Coalition will investigate.

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