Demystifying ISO 13611:2014 and ISO 20108:2017

simultaneous interpreter

Demystifying ISO 13611:2014 and ISO 20108:2017

When you need a professional language services provider, you usually have quite a few options available. However, focusing on organizations that are ISO-compliant is wise if you want a high-quality experience.

While ISO standards aren’t legal requirements, language services providers that follow them ensure they offer the best possible experience. The standards outline specific interpretation and translation best practices, giving language services providers clear guidance designed to help them maintain quality standards.

If you’d like to learn more about ISO standards in general, please see ISO for Interpretation and Translation Services – What It Is and Why It Matters. If you would like to learn more about ISO 13661:2014 and ISO 20108:2017 and how they impact the language services industry, here’s an overview of what those standards cover.

Understanding ISO 13611:2014 – Community Interpreting

ISO 13611:2014 focuses on community interpreting, a specific type of interpretation that ensures community and public services are accessible. Interpreters in this space aim to make sure that individuals with limited language proficiency in the primary language in which the services are offered can get the support they need.

One of the main purposes of ISO 13611 is to outline best practices and core principles for providing quality language services within the community interpreting niche. The aim is to address the needs of everyone involved in these forms of discussions, including community organizations, public service agencies, and those receiving services.

ISO 13611 defines the primary settings for community interpreting as schools, community centers, social services organizations, healthcare institutions, real estate companies, insurance agencies, faith-based organizations, emergency assistance providers, and similar entities.

Additionally, ISO 13611 includes law enforcement agencies and entities involved with the justice system. However, it notes that community interpreting and legal interpreting are not the same. There are situations where the services needed cross into the legal interpreting category and should be handled as such.

Within ISO 13611, there are also codes of conduct to ensure interpreters working as community interpreters act ethically. There are also standards relating to interpreter qualifications and competency. Those guidelines ensure that those serving as community interpreters have the appropriate amount of training and language proficiency, allowing them to offer a high-quality service to those who need language support.

Along with basic qualifications and competency standards, ISO 13611 also outlines the responsibilities for language service providers in relation to other participants, including community organizations and non-language-proficient individuals who need language support. Addressing the situation from both directions ensures that the interpreter acts fairly and with both parties’ needs in mind.

Understanding ISO 20108:2017 – Simultaneous Interpreting

ISO 20108:2017 applies to simultaneous interpreting, where interpreters interpret what’s being shared by participants in real-time. Specifically, it covers sound transmission and images input during larger-scale events, like conferences or lectures. Its goal is to ensure clear communication between parties. This standard applies regardless of whether it’s an in-person gathering or if distance interpreting is involved.

Much of ISO 20108 is designed to ensure that audio and video information is accessible to the interpreters. By addressing points relating to interpreting equipment and technical staff members, this standard aims to create higher quality experiences by making sure that interpreters have everything they need to remain on top of what’s being shared, allowing them to relay the information effectively and efficiently.

Often, ISO 20108 is used in conjunction with other ISO standards that outline simultaneous interpreting equipment requirements. For example, ISO 2603 and ISO 4043 both cover booth use during simultaneous interpreting, outlining equipment standards. ISO 20109 covers broader equipment requirements relating to simultaneous interpreting, including microphones, headsets, consoles, booths, and more.

It may also be used alongside ISO 22259. That standard discusses conference systems in general, allowing it to apply regardless of whether any interpreting is also occurring.

Do You Need Dependable Interpreters or Other Language Services?

Many organizations have a distinct need for high-quality, reliable language services. By going with a language services provider that follows ISO standards relating to interpreting, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the top-tier interpreting experience you need.

If you require a professional interpreter for any purpose, Acutrans can help. Acutrans offers high-quality interpretation services, including on-site, over-the-phone, and video remote solutions, covering both general interpretation and specialty interpreting services, including medical and legal. Additionally, Acutrans can supply certified document translations – including medical and legal documentation – within 24 hours.

The Acutrans team can offer a fast, reliable, and professional solution, whether you need dependable interpretation services or accurate document translations. Contact us for a free quote today.