Posted by: learnsignlanguage | April 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of an Interpreter

Working as a British Sign Language Interpreter

Since qualifying as a sign language interpreter in 2000 I have been both working as a sign language interpreter and co -ordinating a very busy BSL interpreting agency called BSL Communication.

Today though was my ‘day’ for interpreting.

The booking was fairly short notice (normally interpreters need at least 2 weeks due to the huge demand and nationwide shortage of fully qualified interpreters) but I agreed to do it.

In order to prepare I needed to know the names of the Deaf clients, full venue address, type of meeting and how many people were going to be attending…..along with details of whom we invoice afterwards!

I asked general questions about the role of the Deaf people attending, the organisation itself and also an agenda/background material with any acronyms that could be discussed to help me prepare linguistically.

Once this had been given (often though the information isn’t as forthcoming!) I was prepared.

I arrived to the venue about 10 minutes early so I could speak with the organiser and meet the Deaf people….this is helpful because you are able to guage the register of the Deaf people’s language before you start interpreting. I also asked them to let me know if they didn’t understand the signs or wished me to clarify anything…

This meeting only lasted for an hour and so only one interpreter was needed. I would always recommend for meetings longer than this to book 2.

Once the meeting was finished I went back to the office and worked alongside my colleagues with the bookings that had come in for the day.  


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