Editorial: Interpreter education in emerging settings

George Major
Auckland University of Technology
Ineke Crezee
Auckland University of Technology
All views or conclusions are those of the authors of the articles and not necessarily those of the editorial staff or the publisher.
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We are delighted to bring you this 11(2) issue of the International Journal of Interpreter Education (IJIE) which features contributions by researchers and educators from Kenya, Norway, Belgium, Fiji, China and Canada. The movement of people around the world is continuing, and with it comes the pressing need for trained signed and spoken language interpreters in more settings and countries to mediate interactions between professionals, migrants and refugees. The continued flow of migrants and visitors to countries which did not hitherto provide interpreter services has resulted in an awareness of this need (e.g. Delgado Luchner, 2019; Lee & Choi, 2015). At the same time, the situation of interpreter education and professionalization is highly variable around the world (Bontempo, 2015; Ono, 2015; Phanwichatkul, Burns, Liamputtong, & Schmied, 2018; Roat & Crezee, 2015; Tekin & Esato?lu, 2019). We see vast differences between countries that have a long standing tradition of spoken and signed language interpreter education, accreditation, and even pathways to specialization, while at the same time others are in the very emerging stages of developing the field.
While globalization can be seen to bring an “interconnectedness and interdependence among nations” (Asadzadeh & Ahmadi, 2019, p. 67), we would highlight similar parallels between interpreters and educators at different stages of training and professionalization. As this issue will exemplify, those from more established educational positions have so much to share with those at the beginning of the journey, but it is also reciprocal: sharing ideas opens our minds to new teaching approaches. But first, we would like to mention two conferences we have had the privilege to attend in recent months, and the connection between these and the focus of this issue.
The World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) is driven by the spirit of interpreters supporting each other, and their conference, which was held in July 2019 in Paris, focused strongly on the sharing of ideas between interpreter researchers and educators at all sorts of stages of interpreter education development. The conference brought together deaf and hearing signed language interpreters, educators, and researchers from over 80 different countries, which is an incredibly inspiring environment to be in. Presentations ranged from analyses of the development of interpreter education in countries such as Uganda (Busingye Bonnie), the Philippines (John Xandre Balize and Christina Sison), and Malawi (Maria Chale and Heather Schmerman), to more critical debates on directions in the profession globally (e.g. Anna-Lena Nilsson’s presentation on the accessibility and status of International Sign at an international level). The keynote presentations were live streamed and are still available for viewing on the RID website: https://rid.org/wasli-live-stream-2019-paris-conference/.
The third InDialog conference (held in Antwerp in November 2019) provided a platform for both signed and spoken language interpreter researchers to share their research and exchange ideas. The conference was co-hosted by two universities (University of Antwerp and KU Leuven) and organized under the auspices of the European Network of Public Service Interpreting and Translation (ENPSIT). Presenters reported on interpreter-mediated interactions involving professionals and migrants, tourists and refugees in a range of different countries, including Afghanistan (Lucía Ruiz Rosendo) and Turkey (Duygu Curum Duman; Jonathan Ross). Oladipupo Wumi Omobosola and Olufemi Adigun presented on signed language interpreter education in Nigeria.
Presentations showcased a wide range of methodological approaches and keynotes by Professors Sabine Braun and Claudia Angelelli. A number of researchers presented studies investigating empathy in interpreter-mediated interactions and the need for shared preprofessional learning between interpreters and medical or legal professionals. In addition to the provision of signed language interpreting throughout the conference, two professionals also provided respeaking services, with text appearing above the content in presenters’ slides. From 2019 onwards, the InDialog conference will be hosted in a different European country every three years, again under the auspices of ENPSIT. The conference program can be seen using this link: https://www.indialog-conference.com/programme.php.
We think that this issue of IJIE also embodies this spirit of learning and sharing ideas between educators and researchers working in vastly different contexts. In this issue we are delighted to bring you two research articles as well as other thought-provoking contributions, including interviews, a commentary, and a student article.
In her paper entitled Contextualizing Interpreter Training in Africa, Carmen Delgado Luchner presents two case studies from Kenya, both implemented between 2010 and 2015. The first one involves a Master’s degree program in conference interpreting, while the second refers to a Certificate program in community interpreting.
In Cooperation as a Coping Mechanism When Interpreting between Deaf Refugees and Hearing Professionals, Elisabet Trengereid Olsen reports on the nature of interpreters’ cooperation: how they work with each other (including deaf/hearing interpreter teams) and all participants in order to prepare and ensure that information is accessible. This article highlights challenges involved in interpreting with deaf refugees when there is no shared signed language.
In the Student Work section, Evy Cox (a graduate from the KU Leuven, Antwerp campus) reports on Accuracy: Omissions in Consecutive versus Simultaneous Interpreting by examining interpreted renditions of student interpreters. This is the first Student Work section submission we have received in a while and we are so pleased to see this through the process to publication. The Student Work section is a wonderful avenue for emerging researchers to get their first taste of having their work published.
In their commentary piece, Hilde Haualand and Anna-Lena Nilsson from Norway offer a critical exploration of some terminology that we use to talk about interpreters and the interpreting process. They suggest a re-think of the terminology that we use to better highlight the actual work that interpreters do as well as the collaborative process between participants in an interpreted interaction. We think that this critical discussion will be relevant to educators from a wide variety of settings and stages of educational development.
We have four dissertation abstracts on a range of topics related to interpreter education, again by newer researchers in the field – from the United States, Germany and New Zealand. As always, we strongly encourage postgraduate students to submit the abstracts of completed dissertations in order to share new research in the field, and also to consider submitting work based on their dissertations.
This issue also features two interviews with interpreter educators from countries where signed language interpreter education is emerging. We are grateful to Debra Russell for being such a proactive commentary Editor and for sourcing a wide range of perspectives to enrich the journal. The first interview, with Joneti Rokotuibau (a signed language interpreter from Fiji and current regional representative for the Oceania region of WASLI ), shows that interpreters in the small island nation of Fiji are working very hard to establish an interpreter education program, which may in the future position them as leaders in this field in the Pacific. As interpreter educators from a relatively privileged country in the same region (New Zealand) we believe we have an obligation to support and share resources with our colleagues at the forefront of emerging interpreter education, while at the same time marvelling at how much we can learn in return. Secondly, we present an interview with Professor Xiaoyang Xiao from Xiamen University in China. Professor Xiao is a spoken language interpreter and linguist who is working to develop signed language interpreting in China. Both these educators are pioneering and inspiring in the work that they do, and the close relationships they have with Deaf communities in their countries. We strongly believe, in the spirit of WASLI, that we should support, open our doors, share resources, and be open to learning new approaches.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue. We would like to conclude with a proverb (albeit with the pronouns changed by us to be gender inclusive) which reflects the nature of IJIE as a platform for the exchange between interpreter researchers and educators internationally:

It takes a wise [person] to learn from [their] mistakes, but an even wiser [person] to learn from others. (Zen proverb)


Asadzadeh, M. & Ahmadi, T. (2019). The role of translation in globalizing trade for developing countries. MultiLingual, 30(2), 66-71
Bontempo, K. (2015). Signed language interpreting. In H. Mikkelson & R. Jourdenais (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of interpreting, (pp. 124-140). London, England and New York, NY: Routledge.
Delgado Luchner, C. (2019). A beautiful woman sitting in the dark. Interpreting, 21(1), 91-114.
Lee, J. & Choi, M. (2015). Recommendations for interpreter training for asylum interview settings: The South Korean case. International Journal of Interpreter Education, 7(2), 39-54.
Ono, N. (2015). Medical interpreter education in Japan: History, current status and prospects. ?????, 16(4), 147-165.
Phanwichatkul, T., Burns, E., Liamputtong, P., & Schmied, V. (2018). The experiences of Burmese healthcare interpreters (Iam) in maternity services in Thailand. Women and Birth, 31(3), e152-e161.
Roat, C. E. & Crezee, I. H. (2015). Healthcare interpreting. In H. Mikkelson & R. Jourdenais (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of interpreting, (pp. 248-265). London, England and New York, NY: Routledge.
Tekin, ?., & Esato?lu, A. E. (2019). Evaluation of the medical interpreter and patient guidance training in the migrant Hhalth services: The case study in Turkey. European Journal of Social Sciences, 2(2), 57-62.