I am not currently teaching Introduction to Interpreting (ASL3310).

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Historical evidences of interpreting

As one might expect, interpreting and sign language intepreting have a considerable history. Let’s look at a timeline of noted events and historically important events that have shaped both professions.

Here are some learning outcomes of which we might want to be aware:


Chapter 2 (pp. 13–27) Required

Handout (Stringham) Required

A timeline of interpreting history and dates that affect the necessity of sign language interpreters.

Handout (Giambruno)

Giambruno writes about Title 29, Book II of Leyes de las Indias, political documents and statutes which governed the employment of interpreters by Spanish colonies in the New World.

New Insights in the History of Interpreting (Takeda & Baigorri-Jalón)

Fantastic book about historical evidences for spoken-language interpreting, from early East Asia through the earliest instances of simultaneous interpreting associated with post/World War II.

Roots of Interpreting in Legal Settings

Colleage Anne Leahy discusses the history of sign language interpreters in legal settings from 1198–1800 AD. (The entire thesis is “Interpreted Communication with Deaf Parties under Anglo–American Common Law to 1880.”)

The History of Deafness

“...Despite its existence, there is little reference to deafness by historians or archaeologists, except for those focused on the study of disability. How far back can we look for evidence of deafness?”