Types of Interpreting
Conference interpreting is the interpretation of a conference, either simultaneously or consecutively, although the advent of multi-lingual meetings has consequently reduced the consecutive interpretation in the last 20 years.
Judicial, Legal, or Court Interpreting, occurs in courts of justice, administrative tribunals, and wherever a legal proceeding is held (i.e. a police station for an interrogation, a conference room for a deposition or the locale for taking a sworn statement). Legal interpreting can be the consecutive interpretation of witnesses' testimony for example, or the simultaneous interpretation of entire proceedings, by electronic means, for one person, or all of the people attending.
Depending upon the regulations and standards adhered to per state and venue, court interpreters usually work alone when interpreting consecutively, or as a team, when interpreting simultaneously. In addition to practical mastery of the source and target languages, thorough knowledge of law and legal and court procedures is required of court interpreters. They often are required to have formal authorisation from the State to work in the Courts — and then are called certified court interpreters. Incompetent interpretation, can lead to a mistrial.
In escort interpreting, an interpreter accompanies a person or a delegation on a tour, on a visit, or to a meeting or interview. An interpreter in this role is called an escort interpreter or an escorting interpreter. This is liaison interpreting.
Also known as community interpreting, is the type of interpreting occurring in fields such as legal, health, and local government, social, housing, environmental health, education, and welfare services. In community interpreting, factors exist which determine and affect language and communication production, such as speech's emotional content, hostile or polarized social surroundings, its created stress, the power relationships among participants, and the interpreter's degree of responsibility - in many cases more than extreme; in some cases, even the life of the other person depends upon the interpreter's work.
Medical interpreting is a subset of public service interpreting, consisting of communication among medical personnel and the patient and his or her family, facilitated by an interpreter, usually formally educated and qualified to provide such interpretation services.
When a hearing person speaks, an interpreter will render the speaker's meaning into the sign language used by the deaf party. When a deaf person signs, an interpreter will render the meaning expressed in the signs into the spoken language for the hearing party, which is sometimes referred to as voice interpreting or voicing. This may be performed either as simultaneous or consecutive interpreting. Skilled sign language interpreters will position themselves in a room or space that allows them both to be seen by deaf participants and heard by hearing participants clearly and to see and hear participants clearly. In some circumstances, an interpreter may interpret from one sign language into an alternate sign language.
Deaf people also work as interpreters. They team with hearing counterparts to provide interpretation for deaf individuals who may not share the standard sign language used in that country, who have minimal language skills, are developmentally delayed or have other mental and/or physical disabilities which make communication a unique challenge. In other cases the hearing interpreter may interpret in one language then the Deaf interpreter might interpret it into another form of that language (pidgins). They also relay information from one medium of language into another — for example, when a person is signing visually, the deaf interpreter could be hired to copy those signs into a deaf-blind person's hand and add visual information.
By its very nature, media interpreting has to be conducted in the simultaneous mode. It is provided particularly for live television coverages such as press conferences, live or taped interviews with political figures, musicians, artists, sportsmen or people from the business circle. In this type of interpreting, the interpreter has to sit in a sound-proof booth where ideally he/she can see the speakers on a monitor and the set.
Interpreting services can be delivered in multiple modalities. The most common modality through which interpreting services are provided is on-site interpreting.
Also called "in-person interpreting," this delivery method requires the interpreter to be physically present in order for the interpretation to take place. In on-site interpreting settings, all of the parties who wish to speak to one another are usually located in the same place. This is by far the most common modality used for most public and social service settings.
Main articles: Telephone interpreting and Over the phone interpreting
Also referred to as "over-the-phone interpreting," "telephonic interpreting," and "tele-interpreting," telephone interpreting enables the interpreter to deliver interpretation via telephone. The interpreter is added to a conference call. Telephone interpreting may be used in place of on-site interpreting in some cases, especially when no on-site interpreter is readily available at the location where services are needed.
A Video Interpreter sign used at locations offering VRS or VRI services
Main articles: Video Relay Service and Video Remote Interpreting
Interpretation services via Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) or a Video Relay Service (VRS) are useful where one of the parties is deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired (mute). In such cases the interpretation flow is normally within the same principal language, such as French Sign Language (FSL) to spoken French, Spanish Sign Language (SSL) to spoken Spanish, British Sign Language (BSL) to spoken English, and American Sign Language (ASL) also to spoken English (since BSL and ASL are completely distinct), etc. With video interpreting, sign language interpreters work remotely with live video and audio feeds, so that the interpreter can see the deaf or mute party, converse with the hearing party and vice versa. Much like telephone interpreting, video interpreting can be used for situations in which no on-site interpreters are available.
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