Challenging Language Barriers

  • Esperanza Gómez-DuránEmail author
  • Roland Jones


It is evident that language can form a barrier in practising as a clinician and in carrying out and reporting on assessments in forensic clinical settings. More importantly, language barriers may challenge substantive equality of treatment within the justice system. These difficulties can be mitigated by investing appropriately in services to overcome the barriers such as interpretation and translation services at a clinical and organisational level and into further research to translate and validate assessment tools. Better language training from early school years, as well as new technologies, could help mitigate language barriers. Instantaneous translation of written material and indeed the spoken word using electronic applications on computers and smart phones is already possible and may well provide further options for overcoming language barriers in clinical and therapeutic settings once they become more advanced and their reliability established. Growing difficulties arising from language barriers need to be addressed within the European Union.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hestia Duran i Reynals, Barcelona’s Official College of PhysiciansUniversitat Internacional de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Division of Forensic PsychiatryCentre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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