AIIC recognises that conference interpreters use spoken and/or sign languages.
All of AIIC members are conference interpreters, engaged in conference interpreting, irrespective of whether they do so by means of spoken languages only, sign languages only, or a combination of both
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At its 37th Assembly held in January 2018 in Valencia (Spain), AIIC passed the resolution affirming that all members are conference interpreters irrespective of whether they practice their profession with spoken languages only, sign languages only, or a combination of both.
Resolution number R402 - Resolution on Sign Language Interpretation
- The Buenos Aires Assembly, in 2012, resolved “The Assembly decides that AIIC recognises sign languages as fully-fledged conference languages and accepts them for the purposes of membership and language classification.”;
- 6 years later, AIIC already boasts 3 members and 6 pre-candidates with a sign language in their language combinations and has produced several sets of Guidelines covering mixed spoken/sign conference interpreting teams, placement of sign language conference interpreters in conference rooms, etc;
- AIIC’s Sign Language Network has, in the course of its mission, run across a modicum of misunderstanding regarding the role of sign language interpreters, even when doing sign language conference interpreting, namely when endeavouring to put them and it on an equal footing with spoken language conference interpreting and spoken conference interpreters;
The AIIC Assembly meeting in Valencia 2018 resolves as follows:
- AIIC hereby states the self-evident truth that all of its members are conference interpreters, engaged as such in conference interpreting, irrespective of whether they do so by means of spoken languages only, signed languages only, or a mix of both;
- Likewise, professional conference interpreting, irrespective of whether practiced by AIIC members or otherwise and across the private and agreement markets, does not depend on whether languages are interpreted into/out of spoken or signed languages; and
- Finally, none of the above depends on the exclusive dedication of practitioners to conference interpreting, many conference interpreters – irrespective of whether spoken or signed - at different times practicing also other professions, such as translation or indeed other types of interpretation.