Some Interpreting Assignments Require Two Interpreters
But...If I Pay A Two Hour Minimum, Why Can't One Interpreter Work For The Full Two Hours ?
Repetitive motion injuries plague sign language interpreters. As you watch an interpreter, think about how exhausting it is to move hands, shoulders, and arms the way they do. More than an hour of steady or intense interpreting puts the interpreters health at risk. Often times, interpreters have shortened careers because of repeated injuries.
For these reasons, Deaf Expression carefully screens requests, not only to protect our interpreters from unnecessary injury, but to provide our clients and customers with quality service.
In addition to the physical stress of the job, there is also real potential for mental fatigue. In sign language interpreting, unlike other forms of interpreting (i.e. foreign language) an interpreter must use both cognitive and physical skills by transferring the spoken language into the brain and in turn putting it out on the hands to turn it into a visual language. Research shows that over 300 cognitive processes occur in the brain of a sign language interpreter as they simultaneously interpret the spoken language to the visual. A team partner is necessary for assignments going for extended periods of time because it is mentally draining for the interpreter to transfer that knowledge from one language to the other without having mental "meltdown".
One-on-one and self-paced meetings can use a single interpreter for the full two hours. Because of the slower pace and less formal situation, an interpreter will usually have some natural down time and the opportunity to take a break if necessary. Most requested assignments require only one interpreter, but when it is necessary, two will be sent.
We never want to spend your money foolishly. If we insist on two interpreters after thoroughly assessing your needs, we do so simply to make the assignment a successful and effective experience.