Interpreting international sign: mapping the interpreter’s profile

Maya De Wit, Onno Crasborn, Jemina Napier

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This is the first study mapping the profile of International Sign (IS) conference interpreters worldwide. Rather than a language, IS is a set of variable communicative practices used by deaf persons in international settings. In addition, international institutions and organisations increasingly offer IS interpreting services in order to provide accessibility. As IS is created through contact by deaf persons with various sign languages, IS is continuously changing and evolving. Because IS is not conventionalised, it requires highly specialised skills of the interpreter. At present there are only ad hoc training opportunities for IS conference interpreters and a new accreditation system has recently been put in place. This study presents questionnaire data from current IS interpreting practitioners, which provides insight into their present demographics and qualifications and which, in turn, can be used to inform educators on how to train future IS conference interpreters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Early online date25 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jan 2021


  • International sign
  • conference interpreting
  • interpreter training
  • sign language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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