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 Deaf (and who use sign language) and people who are not Deaf (and who use a spoken language) want or need to talk to one another, that’s when interpreters do their work.
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. Most of the time interpreters work simultaneously, which means expressing what someone just said while at the same time focusing on what someone is saying right now. Sometimes interpreters work consecutively, which means listening until someone has completed an idea and then interpreting that idea. Interpreters also have to follow a professional Code of Conduct; one of its most important tenets is to maintain confidentiality. This means keeping private whatever happens in the interactions that are interpreted.
Interpreting is a very challenging and rewarding career especially for those who enjoy the way languages work, enjoy the way that people use language to get things done and enjoy playing an important role in helping people interact with each other.