5. SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERSWhen using an interpreter…
Study of fatigue confirms need for working in teams130
'[M]ost people do not realize that an interpreter uses at least 22 cognitive skills when interpreting,' states Patricia Michelsen in an article published in The Court Management and Administration Report. Other studies of simultaneous interpretation have shown that fatigue is exacerbated by environmental factors that interfere with various aspects of the cognitive process…
While these studies make an important contribution to the body of scientific data needed for a better understanding of the interpreting process and its complexities, they merely corroborate what practicing interpreters have known and argued all along: that work quality - i.e., accuracy and coherence - begins to deteriorate after approximately 30 minutes of sustained simultaneous interpreting, and that the only way to ensure a faithful rendition of legal proceedings is to provide interpreters with adequate relief at approximately half-hour intervals.
Conscientious administrators in several federal courts, the United Nations and the U.S. State Department recognized the need for tandem interpreting adopted the practice early on. Team interpreting, in fact, dates back to the Nuremberg trials. At the State Department, which according to Harry Obst, Director of the Office of Language Services, handles 200 to 300 interpreting missions in 100 different locations per day, it is considered an inviolable policy. In response to a request from Ed Baca of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Obst pointed out that 'The policy on simultaneous interpreters is simple and corresponds to that of all other responsible interpreting services in the entire world (United Nations, European Commission, International Red Cross, International Court of Justice, foreign ministries in other nations.) No individual simultaneous interpreter is allowed to work for more than 30 minutes at a time.' The letter continues, 'This is also done for the protection of the users. After 30 minutes the accuracy and completeness of simultaneous interpreters decrease precipitously, falling off by about 10% every 5 minutes after holding a satisfactory plateau for half an hour.' The reason, Obst explains, is that 'The human mind cannot hold the needed level of focused concentration any longer than that. This fact has been demonstrated in millions of hours of simultaneous interpretation around the world since 1948. It is not a question of opinion. It is simply the result of empirical observation.'"131
Code of Ethics (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf)132
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. [RID] is the national professional association for sign language interpreters in the United States. RID maintains and administers the certifying examination system for interpreters nationwide. RID has set forth the following principles of ethical behavior to protect and guide interpreters, transliterators, and hearing and deaf consumers of interpreting services. Underlying these principles is the desire to ensure the right to communicate for all.
This Code of Ethics applies to all members of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. and to all certified non-members.
6. ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES133
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) increase the volume of a desired sound, such as the soundtrack of a movie or the voice of a tour guide, without increasing the loudness of background noises. Some assistive listening devices are also used to convey audio descriptions to visitors with visual impairments
It is estimated that one out of every 10 people in the U.S. has a significant hearing loss, ranging from 25 dB (mild) to 90 dB (severe). About half of them are older adults. Among people with hearing loss, some wear hearing aids or use other devices to enhance what hearing they have, and some read lips.
ALDs are made up of two parts: the transmitter and the receiver. The transmitter picks up the sound and converts it to a signal, which it then sends out. The receiver picks up a signal and transmits it to the user. Several receivers can pick up the signal from a single transmitter.
There are several types of ALD systems:
Infrared systems transmit sounds via light waves to users wearing receivers. The receiver must be in the transmitter's line of sight to function properly. This limits where listeners with receivers can be located, but it also prevents spillover of sound into other areas. Sunlight and bright incandescent light interfere with the transmitter signal, so an IR system may not be a good choice for outdoors. IR systems are often used in movies, conferences, and live performances.
FM systems transmit sounds via radio waves. With this system, the speaker wears a compact microphone and transmitter while the listener has a portable receiver with headphones or earphones. FM systems are commonly used when the speaker is required to move around. This system is not affected by light, but may experience radio interference. The same system can serve multiple uses (e.g. translations, audio descriptions, etc.) because it can transmit and receive multiple frequencies.134
Inductive or audio loop systems transmit sounds using an electromagnetic field. A special amplifier and microphone used by the speaker send signals through a loop of wire installed around the listening area. Hearing aids equipped with telecoil circuits receive these signals and transmit them as sound to the listener. Listeners who do not have hearing aids or telecoil circuits can use receivers that pick up the signal.
7. CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)135
What is it?
How it's done
|last reviewed/updated on April 2003|
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