Glossary of Terms – Interpreting

PDF: GLOSSARY OF TERMS – INTERPRETING

Accreditation

The recognition of educational institutions or training programs as meeting and maintaining standards that then qualify its graduates for professional practice.

Accredited Interpreter

An interpreter who has passed the screening criteria of a particular organization and has been awarded a certain recognition or accreditation. An accredited interpreter is NOT necessarily a Certified Interpreter a Certified Court Interpreter or a Certified Conference Interpreter.

Ad Hoc Interpreter

An untrained individual who asserts proficiency in the relevant language pair, who is called upon or volunteers to interpret. Also called a chance interpreter or lay interpreter.

Bidirectional Interpreting

Interpretation between two languages where each one functions as both a source and target language.

Bilingual Person

An individual who has some degree of proficiency in two languages. A high level of bilingualism is the minimum qualification for a competent interpreter but by itself does not ensure the ability to interpret.

Certificate

A document that attests to the attainment of specific learning objectives. A person who holds a certificate related to interpreter training is NOT necessarily a Certified Interpreter, a Certified Court Interpreter or a Certified Conference Interpreter.

Certification

A process by which a professional organization attests to or certifies that an individual is qualified to provide a particular service. Certification calls for formal assessment, using an instrument that has been tested for validity and reliability so that the certifying body can be confident that the individuals it certifies have the qualifications needed to provide interpreting services. A training certificate does NOT constitute certification.

Certified Interpreter

A professional interpreter who is certified as competent by a professional membership organization through rigorous testing based on appropriate and consistent criteria. Interpreters who have had limited training or have taken a screening test administered by an employing legal, health, interpreter or referral agency are NOT considered certified.

Certifying Body

A professional association that certifies interpreters.

[NOTE: The titles of “certified translator”, “certified terminologist”, “certified interpreter”, “certified conference interpreter” and “certified court interpreter” are granted by the provincial regulatory bodies for these professions – which in British Columbia is the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC]

Client

Individual or organization that purchases or requests interpreting services.

Community Interpreting

Bidirectional interpreting that takes place in the course of communication among speakers of different languages. The context is the provision of public services such as healthcare or community services and in settings such as government agencies, community centres, legal settings, educational institutions, and social services. Other terms have been used to describe community interpreting such as “public service interpreting”, “cultural interpreting”, “dialogue interpreting”, “institutional interpreting, “liaison interpreting” and “ad hoc interpreting”. However, community interpreting remains the most widely accepted term in Canada.

Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive is one of the two modes of interpreting. There are two forms of consecutive interpreting:

  1. Long or classic consecutive is usually used in conference interpreting settings, where the interpreter listens to the totality of the speaker’s comments or a significant passage and then reconstitutes the speech with the help of notes taken while listening.

  2. Sequential or short consecutive interpreting is used in court interpreting as well as most forms of com- munity interpreting and operates at the sentence level instead of working with paragraphs or entire speeches. In this form of interpreting, the interpreter may interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to repeat, clarify or rephrase so as to ensure accuracy and completeness in the delivery of the message.

Conference Call Interpreting

A form of remote interpreting which takes place over the phone between three or more people. This is also called telephone interpreting.

Conference Interpreting

A form of interpreting that takes place in a conference type setting, often interpreting speeches or presentations. It may be either consecutive or simultaneous mode, but involves the interpreter working in “one direction” of language transfer only, usually from one language into their first or preferred language.

Court Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place in a court setting, in which the interpreter is asked to interpret either consecutively or simultaneously for a LEP/LFP individual who takes part in a legal proceeding.

Domain

Subject matter, field, sector or industry.

First-person Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place using the first person demonstrated by “I” statements, also known as direct speech interpreting.

Healthcare Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place in a healthcare setting, in which the interpreter is asked to interpret either consecutively or simultaneously for an individual who does not share the language in which the healthcare service takes place.

Interpreting

The act of facilitating spoken language communication between two or more parties who do not share a common language by delivering, as faithfully as possible, the original message from source into target language.

Interpreting Service Provider (ISP)

Individual or organization that provides interpreting services.

Note: Service Provider is widely used to designate the organization’s staff working with a client.

Interpreter

A person who facilitates spoken language communication between two or more parties who do not share a common language by delivering, as faithfully as possible, the original message from source into target language.

Interpreting Mode

Format and manner of interaction within the interpreting encounter. The modes include: consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. Each mode fits particular needs and circumstances.

Language Pair

The two languages that serve as source and target languages for an individual interpreter in a particular assignment.

LEP/LFP

Limited English/French Proficiency/Proficient.

LLD

Languages of Lesser Diffusion (less common languages).

Message Relay

Interpreting where an interpreter receives a message from one party and subsequently transmits it to another party in the target language.

Note-taking

Note-taking, an essential element of consecutive interpreting, consists of noting on paper, names, addresses, dates and specific terms that might be difficult to remember for the short period before the interpreter intervenes to interpret.

On-site Interpreting

Interpreting done by an interpreter who is directly in the presence of the interpreting parties. Also called face-to- face interpreting.

Professional Interpreter

A fluently bilingual individual with appropriate training and experience who is able to interpret with consistency and accuracy and who adheres to the Standards of Practice and Ethical Principles

Register

A stylistic and/or social level of language used by a speaker. A speaker’s choice of register is generally defined by the particular topic, the parties spoken to, and the perceived formality of the situation. The register is also related to the type of activity, level of education, etc. (e.g. colloquial, legal, medical, scientific, religious.)

Relay Interpreting

An interpreting process in which two individuals attempting a conversation communicate through two interpreters, each of whom speaks only one of the two languages required as well as a common third language. This type of interpreting is also called double relay. While sometimes it is necessary for some of the LLD, it should be avoided whenever possible because it increases the risk of inaccuracies in interpreting.

Remote Interpreting

Interpreting provided by an interpreter who is not in the presence of the speakers, e.g., interpreting via telephone or videoconferencing.5

Sight Translation

Conversion from written material in one language to a spoken version in another language. It also occurs when an instant oral version is required of a written text.

Signed Language

Visual-spatial languages used by Deaf people. Signed Languages are natural languages with their own grammatical structures and lexicon. In Canada there are two official signed languages: American Sign Language (ASL), used by English-speaking Deaf community members, and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) used by French-speaking Deaf community members.

Simultaneous Interpreting

The nearly instantaneous delivery of the speaker’s message from the source language into the target language.

Source Language

Language from which translation or interpretation is carried out.

Target Language

Language into which translation or interpretation is carried out.

Translation

The process of transposing the meaning of a written text from one language (source) to the other (target) by producing an equivalent target text that retains the elements of meaning, form and tone.

Translator

Person who renders the meaning of a written text in a source language to a target language by producing an equivalent written target text that retains the elements of meaning, form and tone.

Transparency/Transparent Interpreting

The principle that during the encounter the interpreter informs all parties of any action he or she takes, including speaking for him- or herself, outside of direct interpreting.

Utterance

A complete unit of speech in spoken language, it is generally but not always, bounded by silence.

Video Conference Interpreting

Remote interpreting that makes use of a video camera when one or more of the interpreting parties are not present at the same location. It enables the parties to see and hear each other via a television monitor.

Whispered Simultaneous Interpreting

Interpreting that takes place whereby the interpreter is seated next to one or more LEP/LFP persons and whispers in the target language the content of the speech. Also called “chuchotage”.

Working Languages

Active Languages – Source and Target languages

  • Language A: Language in which the interpreter has native proficiency in speaking and listening and a perfect command of the language.

  • Language B: A language other than native in which the interpreter has full functional proficiency in speaking and listening and a perfect command of the language.

Passive Language(s)

  • Language C: A language other than native, in which the interpreter has full functional proficiency in listening. Source language(s)

Websites

Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC)

www.stibc.org

Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario – ATIO

http://www.atio.on.ca

Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence – AIIC

http://www.aiic.net

Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators – AUSIT

http://www.ausit.org/ethics

California Healthcare Interpreting Association – CHIA

www.chiaonline.org

Critical Link International

www.criticallink.org

Diversity Rx.

www.diversityrx.org

FITISPos-International Journal (FITISPos-IJ)

http://www3.uah.es/fitispos_ij/OJS/ojs-2.4.5/index.php/fitispos

FIT (the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators)

http://www.fit-ift.org

Healthcare Interpretation Network – HIN

http://www.healthcareinterpretationnetwork.ca

International Association of Conference Interpreters – AIIC

www.aiic.net

International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies – IATIS

www.iatis.org

Institute of Linguists. Code of Conduct of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters

www.nrpsi.co.uk

JoSTrans – Journal of Specialized Translations

www.jostrans.org

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators – NAJIT

www.najit.org

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters – NAATI

www.naati.com.au

National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare – NCIHC

www.ncihc.org

Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf. Code of Ethics

www.rid.org

Red T

www.red-t.org

EULITA (European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association)

https://eulita.eu

​[i]   Glossary has been modified from the National Standards Guide for Community Interpreting Services.