24 Nov 2020

What makes for a great interpreting performance?

The Best Performance on an Assignment – Interpreting category has been at the heart of our awards programme since this was expanded in 2016. It is open to both individual and team entries.
Lauren Shadi, winner of the ITI best performance on an interpreting assignment award 2020

ITI is now inviting entries for the ITI Awards 2021.

The winner of the 2020 interpreting assignment award was Lauren Shadi, who the judges recognised for her work interpreting between a female asylum seeker held in custody on a charge of attempted murder and a psychiatrist who was making an assessment of her mental state. Challenges included reproducing the client’s emotions; their reluctance to talk; working professionally in the face of the client’s distress; and the setting – an open room where other legal visits were taking place.

In assessing submissions, no particular type of assignment or sector work is valued above any other – it just depends on the achievements of the individual or team concerned in getting the job done to a high standard. And, of course, our judges will take into account that fact that the nature of achievements across our award entries will be very different.

However, the following aspects of performance will be considered during the judging process.

Professionalism – the level of professionalism shown in preparing for the assignment and conducting themselves; dealing with colleagues (when working in a team), clients and other individuals involved with the assignment; providing a consistent level of service

Interpreters need to be able to balance meeting the needs of the client, the specific situation and sometimes the unexpected, with ensuring that they continue to comply with the ITI Code of Conduct and other relevant industry standards

Skills demonstrated – the depth/variety of skills required to do the work. For example, a conference interpreter may be required to use a variety of different techniques within an assignment – such as chuchotage, dialogue and on-stage consecutive interpreting

Subject matter – the challenges presented by the specific subject matter involved

The situation – how did this test the interpreter(s)? We have already seen how a conference situation might be demanding. Another example might be interpreting for a patient or in a courtroom setting which could be emotionally draining and traumatic at times. In certain situations, consistently conveying emotions as well as the meaning of words will also be very important.

Outcomes – to what extent does the assignment set an excellent example within the profession and promote high professional standards? Are there examples of specific positive outcomes, and feedback from the immediate client and other participants?

Did you successfully complete a project in 2019 that challenged you and others could learn from? Then it could be time to put in an entry for the interpreting assignment award. This category is open to ITI members and also non-members where the assignment was undertaken for an ITI Corporate Member.

The deadline for submitting entries is 15 February.

Further information about this and all other awards is available here.