Sign language interpretation
Congrestolken provides experienced sign language interpreters for meetings and conferences.
Watch our video clip for an introduction to our sign language services.
A sign language interpreter works between a signed language and a spoken language or between two signed languages. The sign language interpreter does not work in an interpretation booth, but rather stands beside the hearing participants and opposite the deaf participants.
Sign language is not a universal language, rather each country or region has its own sign language, for example Dutch Sign Language, Flemish Sign Language and American Sign Language. There is also International Sign, which is a combination of various sign languages that is routinely used at international and European conferences. Just as hearing people can master more than one spoken language, deaf people may master and use various sign languages. Before booking a sign language interpreter, it is important to check which sign language the deaf participant(s) master(s).
A sign language interpreter generally interprets simultaneously. Sign language is visual and so the interpreter can simultaneously look and listen. At conferences, sign language interpreters work in teams of at least two. The number of interpreters deployed depends on the number of deaf participants and their role at the meeting. The sign language interpreters switch every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure that the quality of their work remains consistently high.
The sign language interpreter stands beside the main speaker and faces the audience. At multilingual events, the sign language interpreter wears headphones to follow the interpretation provided by spoken language interpreters. At events not involving spoken language interpreters, the sign language interpreter requires an audio monitor, and a video monitor displaying the presentation being made by the speaker.