A Matter of Interpretation
A recently revised ASTM International standard aims to help interpreters and their clients better understand the importance of proper language interpretation. The standard (F2089, Practice for Language Interpreting) defines the minimum professional standard for quality services in language interpreting and is intended to be used by purchasers and providers with varying levels of expertise in interpreting.
"The standard helps users understand the key factors involved in ensuring a successful interpreting experience under a variety of circumstances and in a multitude of settings," says ASTM member Monique Roske, chair of Subcommittee F43.01 on Language Interpreting. "It will also help interpreters provide a blueprint of what their clients can expect."
Roske, president, M2 Language Consultants LLC, notes that interpretation goes beyond simply knowing a second language and is a skill that needs to be developed separately from learning the language.
"In the world of corporate or government contracts, interpretation can be quite an enigma for many who organize international conferences, lectures or meetings," says Roske. The standard can help identify interpreting needs, understand the required mode of interpretation and select the best possible approach to achieve the desired professional results.
The standard explains many areas of interpreting, interpreter qualifications, certification and credentialing, as well as acode of professional conduct. The extensive revisions to F2089 expand on all key sections of the standard.
ASTM Committee F43 on Language Services and Products developed F2089 and is currently planning a proposed standard guide for testing interpreters. All interested parties are encouraged to join F43.