Interpreting for the Community
What is community interpreting?

Community interpreting is a rapidly growing field, particularly in countries such as the US with an increasing number of ethnic minorities. Although this form of interpreting can be found under a variety of different names, such as liaison, dialogue, public service, triangle, face-to-face, and bidirectional or bilateral, there are certain characteristics that always accompany this type of interpreting. It is typically more small scale than conference interpreting. Instead of interpreting a speech to large crowd, a community interpreter works in a more interactive atmosphere, often with a dialogic structure. It can be found anywhere in the community - from hospitals to courtrooms; from parent-teacher conferences to religious sermons. Depending on the circumstance, it can take the form of either consecutive or simultaneous interpreting as chouchotage (which means simultaneous whispering without the use of equipment). It plays a very important role in today's increasingly diverse society, and provides endless opportunity for those who are both interested and qualified.

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© 2004 Olgierda Furmanek, Heidi Achenbach