INTERPRETER WORKSHOP
WELCOME!
Revision
• So this is a revision of a workshop I did a
few years ago for beginning interpreters.
It will have most of the info from class, so
you can just read through this and get the
same info!
Workshop overview and Schedule
• Code of ethics
• Professional conduct and culture
• The interpreting process
• Professional memberships
• Networking
History of Interpreting
• Since the tower of Babel there have been
interpreters.
• Interpreters for the Deaf: no distinction
between “helper” and interpreter until the
1960s.
• Ball State University, Muncie Indiana 1964
the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
was organized.
Helpers vs Interpreters
• In the beginning, “interpreters” were
parents, siblings, friends and pastors.
• Confidentiality and autonomy were issues.
• No professional Interps until Registry of
Interpreters for the Deaf.
NOTE: not ASL interpreters, not
“sign language” but “for the Deaf”.
• These “helpers” were moms and dads and
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brothers and sisters and kids and pastors
Evolved into Interpreters
Originally, idea of “Interp as a machine” to avoid
the paternalism of the past
Later, interps were seen as “Language
facilitators”
Currently, bi-lingual/bi-cultural model is prefered
INTERPRETER
ASL to English
English to ASL
Transliterator
Visual English to Signed English
SEE I
SEE II
Cued Speech
PSE
LOVE
MCE
Other Terps
• Oral Interpreters- for oral deaf
• Tactile Interpreters (Deaf blind)
• Foreign Sign Language Interpreters (Russian,
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German,etc)
GESTUNO Interpreters (created international sign)
MLS (Minimum Language Skills) Interpreters
Team Interpreters (switch back and forth)
3 way interpreters (multi-language or system)
Backup interpreters (help catch signs, supply words, etc)
Turn taking relays (fatigue factors)
Mentoring (brings coach)
Types of Interpreting
Simultaneous- signing or voicing at
the same time someone is voicing
or signing- most common method
in ASL
Consecutive- each language stops
as other is used. Often used in
two vocal languages.
RID- CODE OF ETHICS
1. Interpreters/transliterators
shall keep all assignmentrelated information strictly
confidential
Answering any of these questions
would violate confidentiality- even
if asked by the parent…
• How many Deaf were at the public
meeting?
• Was Johnny in school today?
• Were there any problems in class?
• What doctor’s office did you visit?
• Does Suzy have that class?
Number Two
Interpreters/transliterators shall
render
the message faithfully, always
conveying the content and spirit of the
speaker using language most readily
understood by the person(s) whom they
serve.
What do you think?
• Speaker is giving wrong information
• Deaf person is lying and you know it
• You are totally opposed to the views of
the speaker.
The interpreter cannot interject or modify,
but must still do the job.
Number Three
Interpreters/transliterators
hall not counsel, advise
or interject personal
opinions.
What do you think?
• The speaker is talking about abortion in a
very militant, one sided fashion. You are
totally in disagreement, and can see the
client being swayed toward the speaker’s
POV
• The Deaf client asks you “what do you
think?” on a break.
Number Four
Interpreters/transliterators
shall accept assignments
using discretion with regard
to skill, setting, and the
consumers involved.
What do you think?
• You are asked to interpret a play that you
love, but you are given one day to
prepare.
• You are asked to interpret in court “just to
fill in”.
Number Five
Interpreters/transliterators
shall request compensation
for services in a
professional and judicious
manner.
What do you think?
• “I am just a beginning interpreter, maybe
I shouldn’t get paid”.
• By asking for compensation, we help
establish the value of our service, and
thus the profession as a whole.
Number Six
Interpreters/transliterators
shall function in a manner
appropriate to the
situation.
What do you think?
• Professional working attire, what is it?
• Professional manner?
• What is a low profile?
Interps must conduct themselves
appropriate to the situation.
Number Seven
Interpreters/transliterators shall strive to
further their knowledge and skills
through participation in work-shops,
professional meetings, interaction with
professional colleagues, and reading of
current literature in the field.
What do you think?
• What does this mean?
• Do I have to join RID and NAD? (see
number eight)
Number Eight
Interpreters/transliterators, by
virtue of membership or
certification by the RID, Inc.,
shall strive to maintain high
professional standards in
compliance with the Code of
Ethics.
WHAT DOES THIS ONE MEAN??
Uggg!
Nearly every profession required association
memberships, skills assessment and
continuing education. Membership dues
are just a fact of professional life. 
You might give this some thought:
Think of a Standard
Determine a scenario in which this might be
applied.
What are some challenges to it for you
personally?
What is its purpose?
Your Expectations
The next side was
really for the
workshop, but you can
think about it too…
Homework: Reflections
• The purpose of this assignment is to allow you the opportunity to reflect
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upon yourself as a professional interpreter. Please discuss the following
ideas.
Begin by describing your current work situation, your educational level and
try to give an objective description of your interpreting skills. What kinds of
jobs are you qualified for, what kind should you decline?
What are your professional goals and how do you see yourself
accomplishing them?
Which of the code of ethics do you feel will be the most challenging in your
daily work?
What are your plans to continue your professional growth?
How can you see yourself establishing professional relationships with other
local interpreters?
GOOD MORNING!!
• OVERVIEW
– Code of Ethics- continued: questions and
discussion
– The interpreting process
– Professional conduct and standard procedures
– Networking strategies
Activity
• The next section is about the interpreting
process itself. Let me know if you have
any questions.
The Process
• “The committee”-those internal voices we
all have….
Internal Noises
• Internal noises
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Situations/ interests/ likes and dislikes
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Fatigue
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Comfortableness
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Physical needs: pain
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Day care
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Hunger
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Thirst
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Home stress
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Personal issues
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Grocery list
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Fear
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Self doubt
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Can’t see
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Can’t hear
Language considerations
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Thinking in concepts not words
ASL/ PSE/ MCE/ SEE etc
Region signs
Technical signs
Industry specific signs
Home signs- Minimal Language Skills
(MLS)
Linguistic considerations
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Grammar and syntax
Facial expression
Body language
Palm orientation
Hand shapes
Classifiers
Placement
Sequencing
Mouth movements
Finger spelling
Directional/ non directional verbs
Mouthing English
Client considerations
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Skilled user
Language level
Trust
D/deaf
Cultural considerations
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Punchline delivery
Bi/bi
Idioms
Interruptions
Power/ oppression
Process considerations
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Timing
Holding info
Speed
Concurrent/ simultaneous
Male/ female voicing
Appropriate language level voicing
Self correction
Lag time
External considerations
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Others talking/ signing
Physical environment
Obstructions
Lights
People in the way
The Technical Part of it:
• Understanding
• Conversion from one language to another
• Delivery
UNDERSTANDING
– Ability to perceive the original message
– Interps intimate knowledge of the language
used
– Culture of the speaker
– Specific usage within that country
– Interps background, both general education
and specifics of the topic
Conversion
• Using speech patterns that are appropriate
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Handling problems areas
Metaphors and proverbs
Allusions to literature
Jokes or stories
Speaker errors
Obscure or ambiguous material
Inserting reading from documents that
the interp doesn’t have
Delivery
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Good control of delivery
Good understanding of facial
expression
Changes in tone, inflection and
intensity
Activity
• Divide into groups of three
• One is the interp, one is the hearing client,
and one is the Deaf client
• The Deaf client has an all expense paid
trip to Disney World and wants a
companion. Try to find out enough about
each other to see if you want to go
together.
Professionalism
• Dress and Conduct
• Time management
• Unspoken Rules
• Interpreters Bag
• Freelance vs. educational
• Paid or volunteer
Dress and Conduct
• Cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton Wig!
• Smocks?? Many interps just wear them to
save wardrobe and look professional
• To Paint or not to paint- nails are need to
be well groomed and UN-painted
• Deaf time for interps doesn’t apply!
Professionals are ON TIME!
Educating the Hearing Client
• Address the Deaf person directly
• Do not direct questions or comments to the interpreter even in an
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effort to be friendly. The interpreter is there as a function, not as
another person involved in conversation
The Deaf know normal greetings between themselves and
interpreters are acceptable
Acknowledge interpreter and maintain professional demeanor
throughout assignment
Interpreter is not a family member or close personal friend.
The Code of Ethics protects the Hearing client as well.
Give the interpreter a copy of the speech (lists of names, technical
terms, etc) ahead of time in order to insure accurate interpretation
for the Deaf audience
Time Management
• Date
• Time
• Duration of assignment (4+ hours, requires 2
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interpreters)
Number of hearing impaired participants and hearing
participants (are speakers Deaf or Hearing?)
Contact person's name and phone
Nature of the assignment: voice or sign?, type of
meeting? topics? setting?
Languages/modalities preferred by hearing impaired
Procedures for payment
The Interpreter Bag
• Survival gear
• Better than a purse
• Grab and run
The Interpreter's Bag
• Interpreters, whether working in the community or in
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educational settings, must be prepared for a multitude of
situations and most keep a carry-all bag in order to meet
those challenges. Here are some suggestions:
MATERIAL
– black nylon
– it can be set on the floor and cleaned off easily
– professional and functional appearance
• STRAP
– over-the-shoulder to leave hands free for signing
– Try to carry it on the left side to keep pressure off your
dominant shoulder
Organization of Bag
• Four main compartments:
– Three-ring binder that holds paperwork, maps, etc.
– Food (snacks or a microwave meal, depending on the assignment)
– Professional items:
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cell phone/pager
personal business cards
agency business cards
agency nametags
PDA
pens
notepad
interpreting credentials
small flashlight
extra batteries for flashlight and PDA
extra watch or small clock (just in case)
Personal Items in Bag
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keys
driver's license
extra cash for food or parking
lipstick (for transliterating assignments)
water bottle
book
nail clippers/scissors/tweezers set
cough drops
brush
lotion
contacts case and rewetting drops
spare glasses
tissues
antibacterial gel
chewable Pepto-Bismol
Sudafed
Ibuprofen
A smock
An extra pair of panty hose
More Bag tips:
• A medium-sized bag can be bought for $25 or less. Fashion and cost
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are not as important as functionality!
I always use travel-size items to save space.
Sometimes I have switched over to a backpack for school field trips
- parks, zoos, museums, etc. It is much easier to wear it on my back
than keeping up with a regular bag while interpreting on the go.
An interpreting bag is more than a purse and better than a
briefcase. It is better to feel more prepared - you never know what
will come up!
Most interpreters always try to keep a comfortable pair of shoes in
the car, as well as a change of clothing for emergency situations.
Freelance vs. Educational
• What’s the difference?
– In
– In
– In
– In
time?
pay?
prestige?
experience?
Educational
• Most interps start out here
• Unfortunately, has less prestige, since
most of us started out here. I think this is
unwarranted, as educational settings are
diverse and challenging.
• Pay is less (starts about $9/hr in Spokane)
• Hours are more regular- 30 a week.
Freelance
• Works in the community
• Pays better (starts about $25/hr for non-
certified, $35+ for certs. Much more in
larger urban areas: Seattle, LA)
• Work less stable, “on call”. But reputation
is everything and well known interps will
work a lot!
RID Membership www.rid.org
• General member
• Certification
Types of Certification:
CI
(Certificate of Interpretation)
Holders of this certificate are recognized as fully
certified in Interpretation and have
demonstrated the ability to interpret between
American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken
English in both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign.
The interpreter's ability to transliterate is not
considered in this certification. Holders of the CI
are recommended for a broad range of
interpretation assignments. This test is currently
available.
CT (Certificate of Transliteration)
Holders of this certificate are recognized as
fully certified in Transliteration and have
demonstrated the ability to transliterate between
English-based sign language and spoken English
in both sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign. The
transliterator's ability to interpret is not
considered in this certification. Holders of the CT
are recommended for a broad range of
transliteration assignments. This test is currently
available.
SC:L (Specialist Certificate: Legal)
Holders of this specialist certificate have
demonstrated specialized knowledge of legal
settings and greater familiarity with language
used in the legal system. Generalist certification
and documented training and experience is
required prior to sitting for this exam. Holders of
the SC:L are recommended for a broad range of
assignments in the legal setting. This test is
currently available.
OTC (Oral Transliteration
certificate)
Holders of this generalist certificate have
demonstrated, using silent oral techniques and
natural gestures, the ability to transliterate a
spoken message from a person who hears to a
person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing and the
ability to understand and repeat the message
and intent of the speech and mouth movements
of the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.
This test is currently available.
Certs for Deaf Interpreters
• Certified Deaf Interpreter
• Conditional Legal Interpreting PermitRelay
Why join RID or NAD?
• Newsletters
• Strength in numbers
• RID insurance programs
• Looks good on a resume!
http://www.rid.org
http://www.nad.org
Local Networking
• Hearing and Speech Center
• South Eastern Washington Service Center
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
124 N. 5th Avenue
Pasco Washington 99301
(509) 543-9644 or (888) 543-6598
Voice
http://www.tcfn.org/deafcenter/
Vancouver School Immersion!
http://www.wsd.wa.gov/
Register by June 10
July 13-18
$395 includes everything! (and the tee
shirt!)
ACTIVITY
• What can I do to create a community of
interpreters/ signers?
• How do I see myself involved in
networking?
• How important is it to my language/
career goals?
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!
• You have my website with links
http://www.justsinay.homestead.com
• You have the resources
• Spread the word
• See most of you on Monday!
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INTERPRETER