About Team Interpreting during Conferences, Business Meetings and Trainings -
Team interpreting is the utilization of two or more interpreters who support each other to meet the needs of a particular communication situation. Depending on both the needs of the participants and agreement between the interpreters, responsibilities of the individual team members can be rotated and feedback may be exchanged.
The decision to use a team rather than an individual interpreter is based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
- length and/or complexity of the assignment,
- unique needs of the persons being served,
- physical and emotional dynamics of the setting,
- avoidance of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) for interpreters.
An interpreter who is hearing may sometimes team with an interpreter who is deaf, called a certified deaf interpreter (CDI). (See CDI Standard Practice Paper for additional information.)
The Team Process
All team members are actively engaged in the process. They may be providing direct interpretation services, actively working between the two languages or functioning in a supporting role. This support is necessary to enhance the team's performance and assure accurate communication takes place and may include:
- monitoring the overall setting
- assuring appropriate and timely transitions
- supporting/cueing other team members as needed.
- At times, more than one team of interpreters may be needed. Some factors determining the number of interpreters needed are:
- size of the audience
- communication preferences of presenter(s) and audience type and interactivity of presentation
Special communication needs of those in attendance (including, but not limited to, the need for tactile, oral or close visual range interpretation) and the dynamics of the scheduled events (concurrent sessions, off site tours, etc.).
When two or more interpreters are working together, the team will need a sufficient amount of time prior to the assignment to determine placement, roles and how to provide support to each other.
Settings where teams work can include, but are not limited to, post-secondary education, ceremonies, lectures, workshops, staff meetings and employee orientations, adversarial hearings and performing arts.
RID believes that through teaming, all consumers can receive optimum communication because each team member can function at their best.