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Team Interpreting

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.

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