Team interpreting is when two interpreters are responsible for
all the information being presented. The interpreter who is not
actively signing or voicing is listening and processing the information
in order to monitor the interpretation for accuracy as well as to
feed the first interpreter a misheard word or phrase, a list of
dates, numbers, or proper names.
Usually during the assignment the two interpreters will take turns
interpreting roughly 20-30 minutes each. Medical research has established
that one can maintain an efficient level of output for no more than
30 minutes at a time on a job which demands close attention. After
30 minutes of interpreting, the number of errors increase and the
accuracy of the message is affected.
Team interpreting can be critical in preventing interpreter injuries
and production errors. Due to the physically demanding nature of
the job combined with the high level of stress associated with interpreting,
many interpreters have been affected by repetitive motion injury.
The enormous amount of mental processing and concentration required
to interpret is exhausting.
Having a team of interpreters is also beneficial to the presenter.
When there are two interpreters working there is less interruption
of the speaker to ask for clarification of information because the
second interpreter is often able to provide this information while
the presenter continues to lecture.