Interpreting and Digitalization

Humanity’s unstoppable desire for fast, cheap and accessible communication has been the driving force of continuous improvements to the world wide web since its advent. The internet has reached a maturity that allows the processing of the high-quality sound feed required for interpreting purposes via the cloud (web real time communication or webRTC), thus creating the possibility for us interpreters to deliver our services from a distance, as well as for speakers and attendees to attend conferences remotely, via so-called Interpreting Delivery Platforms. We adopted this term for our presentation at LocWorld34  in 2017 from Hélène Pielmeier’s and Donald A. DePalma’s article Interpreters at the Push of a Button – How to Select Interpreting Delivery Platforms (IDPs) published by Common Sense Advisory in August 2016. However, Interpreting Delivery Platforms go by many other names, too.

The European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Interpretation features the following definition of IDPs on its website: Simultaneous Interpreting Delivery Platforms are web interfaces and mobile applications that enable interpreters and participants to connect to one another, whether they are local or distant. The Directorate-General for Interpretation of the European Union (DG SCIC) carried out an extensive round of testing of four selected Interpreting Platforms and published the Consolidated test results and analysis in July 2019.

Apps have also been developed to provide support to interpreters before and after entering the booth. CAI (computer-aided interpreting) is already a reality with apps that can be used on cell phones, tablets, and laptops and which make interpreters’ work easier by providing conversion of measurement, temperature or monetary units, terminology mining, glossary building, and research.

Interpreter Commons wishes to explore what is presently available in both above mentioned fields and the risks and opportunities stemming from the irruption of cloud (or remote) interpreting.

Furthermore, Interpreter Commons wishes to provide a home to all interpreting practitioners, consultants, and students to share their views, experience, and first-hand experiences concerning all things interpreting, with special focus on the changes brought about by digitalization. Help us to make use of one of its undeniable advantages – the possibility to easily connect – and become engaged.