What is Interpreting?
Interpreting is the facilitation of spoken or signed language communication between users of different languages. The formal ISO (International Standards Organization) definition for interpreting is as follows:
Rendering a spoken or signed message into another spoken or signed language, preserving the register and meaning of the source language content. (Note: This definition is derived from ISO, 2014, p. 1.)
In the language industry, there are three primary modes of interpreting: consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation. In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter listens and renders the message in the target-language at the same time as the speaker is speaking. In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has stopped speaking. Sight translation is the oral rendition of a written text. In all cases, the interpreter must quickly and carefully convey the meaning, tone, and intent of the original message into the target language. Interpreting requires excellent language proficiency, the ability to quickly analyze and transfer messages between languages, and adherence to professional ethics and standards of practice. Interpreting is performed face-to-face and remotely. Remote interpreting requires technological platforms to facilitation telephonic and video multilingual communication.
Interpreters are employed in a multitude of settings including courts, schools, medical facilities, social services and national and international institutions, and more. Advances in interpreting technologies are facilitating more and more virtual and remote interpretation scenarios, making interpretation achievable in new settings and scenarios.