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

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What is interpreting?

It seems easy to answer, right? Just sign words that you learned in class when you hear them? Isn’t it just signing at the same time other people are talking? Hardly. In this unit, we’ll take a look at a functional definition of interpreting and some of the skills required to make it happen.

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


Chapter 1 (pp. 1–10)

(This copy is only for students who have not received their books; this copy is not for distribution or resale and will be removed on 9 January 2013.) Required

Entry to Practice Competencies for ASL/English Interpreters (DO-IT Center) Required

Read pp. 1–8. This white paper outlines five domains — theory and knowledge, human relations, language skills, interpreting skills, and professionalism competencies — that professional interpreters are expected to demonstrate in their work environments.

(pp. 1–2) The Interpretive Theory of Translation and its Current Applications Required

Written primarily for spoken language interpreters, Jungwha gives a brief introduction to the Interpretive Theory of Translation. Come for the four pillars (p. 2); stay for the whole thing. How much of Jungwha’s premise applies to SL interpreting or not?

Choi, J-W. (2003). The Interpretive Theory of Translation and Its Current Applications. Interpretation Studies, 3, pp. 1–15.

Interpreter Cognitive Aptitudes

Do interpreters need a certain cognitive skill set in order to be effective practitioners? While there is certainly something to be said for having ‘it,’ there is clear evidence that competence in several cognitive skills — language acquisition and processing, problem solving, multitasking — is necessary to work in this profession.

Is There a Psychology of the Hearing?

This article by Hoffmeister & Harvey investigates motivations behind why non-deaf people learn sign language and/or work with Deaf people, how hearing people perceive Deaf people and American Sign Language. Compare with Cokely’s Creating Rich Realities (2001). Contrast this reading with Stewart, Schein, & Cartrwight’s similar proposition on pp. 1–4 of Chapter 1.