‘International interpreting’ is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of interpreting services that require languages in addition to English and BSL. This could include situations where the deaf customer has moved to the UK from abroad and does not know BSL, or international conferences/events where signed languages other than BSL are used, e.g. American Sign Language (ASL).
International Interpreters work all over the world, often at international symposiums and conferences, or as personal interpreters for deaf professionals who are travelling. International interpreting is considered a specialist branch of sign language interpreting, given the high level of skill that is required.
What is International Sign?
International Interpreters may work in International Sign (IS), which is a kind of contact language used when two signers do not know each other's signed languages.
The World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) (2014) defines IS as "a contact variety of sign language used in a variety of contexts, particularly in international meetings such as the WFD congress and events such as the Paralympics [...]. It can be seen as a pidgin form of sign language, which is not as conventionalised or complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon".
International Interpreting Services
We offer international interpreting as a flexible service, dependent on the client's needs. This could include:
BSL/English interpreting for a trip abroad
IS interpreting at an international conference or event
IS interpreting for deaf clients who have moved to the UK from abroad, and do not know BSL and who require access to public services
Relay interpreting involving additional languages to English and BSL, including other spoken languages and other signed languages, e.g. French > BSL > ASL