» What does an interpreter do?

What does an interpreter do?

The interpreter facilitates the communication between two or more people that use different languages. The interpreter profession is a full profession, with rules, procedures and a code of ethics. A Romanian Sign Language interpreter must have thorough knowledge of the Romanian language and culture, Romanian Sign Language and Deaf culture; he/she must master and easily use the interpretation techniques and have very good intercultural communication skills. Moreover, a high degree of flexibility, self-control and control of emotions are needed, as well as withstanding physical and mental effort.

The interpreter is not a personal assistant or spokesman for the Deaf person, he/she does not perform different tasks on behalf of the Deaf person and does not communicate instead of them. The interpreter offers interpreting services, without giving explanations, information or opinion of his own.

In case it is your first time working with an interpreter, before staring the meeting the interpreter can explain to you how the interpretation will take place, what the condition and the requirements are. In most cases, the sign language interpretation is simultaneous; therefore you don’t need to pause while speaking. If you speak clearly and in your natural pace, the interpreter will simultaneously translate what you are saying for the Deaf person. The interpreter may ask you to repeat in case something was not clear.

The communication process takes place between you and the Deaf person. The interpreter is just a facilitator. Therefore, you should address the Deaf person directly (do not use phrases like „tell him that…”). It is important to position yourself so that the Deaf person can see both you and the interpreter. Talk to the Deaf person directly and if you have any curiosity related to Sign Language or certain signs, the Deaf person is the most suitable to give you an answer.