This website is devoted to the practice of, and research into, ‘videoconference interpreting’ and ‘remote interpreting’, two relatively recent forms of interpreting that entail a partial or complete separation of the interpreter from the ‘primary participants’, i.e. the people who need the interpreting service.
Videoconference interpreting (VCI) means that an interpreter is involved in a communicative situation in which the primary participants are at two or more different locations that are linked via videoconference. The interpreter is located with one of the primary participants.
Remote interpreting (RI) refers to a communicative situation in which all primary participants are at a single location, whilst the interpreter is at another (remote) location and linked to the primary participants via videoconference.
Videoconference technology 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 more detailed definitions).
The viability of VCI and RI has been the subject of much debate. While some see these forms of interpreting as ways of speeding up communication processes and providing timely access to qualified interpreters, others are concerned that they will have adverse affects on the interpreters’ working conditions and the quality of interpreting. Indeed, very little is currently known about the viability and quality of VCI and RI. Research conducted to date has generated mixed results (see research).
Such new and emerging forms of bilingual or multilingual communication in which interpreting takes place under the conditions of technological mediation may only represent a relatively small share of the interpreting market but they are perceived as difficult because of the interpreter’s (partial) separation from the primary participants and because of a current lack of guidance and training.
Research will help to gain a better understanding of the potential difficulties and will therefore help to develop viable solutions for VCI and RI. This website does not advocate the use of VCI and RI. Its aim is to provide a point of reference for work related to VCI and RI. It documents the results of relevant research, provides links to ongoing and completed projects in this area and makes available results including project reports, research publications and materials for training on VCI and RI.