This website is devoted to the practice of, and research on, Video-Mediated Interpreting (VMI), i.e. different methods of distance interpreting whereby the participants and/or the interpreter(s) are connected by video link.
VMI is used in connection with both spoken-language and sign-language interpreting and across different fields of interpreting including business, conference and public service or community interpreting (see also What is Video-Mediated Interpreting).
The practice of VMI is not new but has increased and diversified in recent years through technological innovation and evolving demand, but also as a result of cost-cutting in public services. In line with the many forces that drive this development, VMI is often perceived as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, its use as an alternative to onsite interpreting raises questions about interpreting quality and communicative dynamics as well as broader questions concerning the training and skills required of interpreters and their clients in VMI, the interpreters’ working conditions and the clients’ perception of the interpreter. On the other hand, VMI opens up new opportunities for gaining or optimising access to interpreters; meeting linguistic demand; increasing the efficiency of interpreting service provision; and maintaining the sustainability of the interpreting profession.
Research conducted to date has generated mixed results (See also Research on VMI) but the knowledge that we have gained about VMI through research over the past decade has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of its complexities and has begun to inform policies and improve practice. Research will also help to develop viable solutions for VMI.
This website does not advocate the use of VMI. Its aim is to provide a point of reference for work in this field. It documents the results of relevant research, provides links to ongoing and completed projects in this area and makes available publications and resources including project reports, research publications and materials for training. It also provides details about a new training service that uses the medium of videoconference itself to provide training in bilingual videoconference communication.
Most of the resources available at this website were developed in the AVIDICUS projects, i.e. three Euorpean collaborative projects which were carried out from 2008 to 2016 with financial support from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and focused on VMI in legal proceedings. AVIDICUS stands for Assessment of Video-Mediated Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System.