What is interpreting?
Interpreting happens whenever two people or two groups of people do not share a common language but need to or want to communicate with each other in order to conduct business or share information and ideas. When people who are hearing impaired (and who use sign language) and people who are not hearing impaired (and who use a spoken language) want or need to talk to one another, that’s when interpreters are also helpful.
Interpreters must understand the meanings and intentions expressed in one language (the source language) and then express those meanings and intentions in the other language (the target language). In order to do this, interpreters have to have a high level of fluency in each language. Professional interpreters are bound to a code of conduct, which sets out how they are to conduct themselves and includes guidelines pertaining to issues such as professional conduct, confidentiality, competence, impartiality and the important role of continuing professional development.
On-site interpreting occurs when an interpreter attends a venue nominated by the client. It is then that they usually work side by side with the individual or group of individuals who have a need to communicate with an individual or a group of individuals who do not speak their language.
On-site interpreting might be conducted in a court room, at a doctor’s office, at a business meeting, or during a police interview.
Telephone interpreting is conducted when an interpreter is linked via a telephone to two or more people who do not share a common language. the telephone interpreter’s role is no ensure that the parties for whom he or she is interpreting can communicate effectively and efficiently.
Telephone interpreting can be used to link individuals, or groups of individuals, who are located in remote or isolated locations, or when time might be of the essence. For example, a telephone interpreter may be required when a critically injured patient who does not speak English presents at the emergency department of a rural hospital and there is a need for medical staff to communicate with the patient regarding his or her medical or treatment needs.