Remote interpreting

Remote interpreting: towards a convergent research agenda

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a ‘seismic’ shift in the world of professional interpreting. As part of the global move towards remote working, many interpreting assignments have been—and continue to be—delivered online. This has accelerated the evolution of remote interpreting (RI) from a relatively marginal practice of interpreting ‘offsite’ for individual clients or selected events to interpreting in fully virtual and complex hybrid event configurations. Despite the benefits RI can yield, research has consistently shown that RI entails challenges for the entire interpreting ecosystem. Their implications for the effectiveness of interpreter-mediated communication in RI settings have yet to be fully understood. At the same time, increased exposure to RI has enabled interpreters and clients to develop new competencies and has begun to change perceptions of RI.

The factors that facilitate adaptation are therefore a further key aspect for future RI research. Similarly, improvements in online communication technologies and the rapid evolution of language/speech technologies driven by artificial intelligence promise better support for interpreters in RI, potentially mitigating some of its specific challenges, but they also require further exploration. One aspect that currently hampers these research efforts is the lack of convergence in RI research across different fields such as conference, legal and healthcare interpreting.

This panel will have a dual focus: providing an update on current RI research and advancing the RI research agenda by identifying overarching questions in relation to RI as a complex, deeply socially embedded and context-dependent form of human-machine interaction, and by discussing methodological approaches that foster cross-fertilisation of ideas and new insights about RI across its different fields of use.  


Sabine Braun profile image

Professor Sabine Braun

Professor of Translation Studies, Director of the Centre for Translation Studies, Co-Director (FASS) of the Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence

Elena Davitti profile image

Dr Elena Davitti

Associate Professor in Translation Studies