Italian sign language interpreting

SoundTrad, your Italian sign language interpreting agency

What is sign language?

International and Italian Sign Language

Sign language is a language in which communication takes place through a coded system of hand gestures, facial expressions and body movements.

It is a communication method with verbal features (gestures) and non-verbal features (intonation expressions).

It is done with precise gestures made with one or both hands, with a specific meaning, just like words.

Each one is given one or more meanings.

Sign languages use the visual-gestural channel, so the message is communicated with the body and perceived through one’s eyesight.

As with all languages in the world, sign language changes from one country to another, which is why there is more than one international sign language.

Italian sign language interpreters will therefore interpret in the sign language used here in Italy, while users from other countries will need to request sign language interpreting services in their own language.

Here are a few examples of international sign language:

  • Italy: Italian sign language, LIS
  • United States: American Sign Language, ASL
  • United Kingdom: British Sign Language, BSL
  • France: Langue des Signes Française, LSF
  • Finland: Suomalainen viittomakieli, SVK
  • New Zealand: New Zealand Sign Language, NZSL
  • Brazil: Língua Brasileira de Sinais, LIBRA
  • Romania: Limbaj Mimico-Gestual Românesc, LMG
  • South Africa: South African Sign Language, SASL
  • Nicaragua: Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua, ISN

Who are sign language interpreters?

Sign language interpreters work in communities of hearing and deaf people and, unlike all other spoken languages, use a visual gestural channel to communicate.

LIS in Italian stands for Italian Sign Language and is a language used by the sign community.

In sign language, the message is received visually and transmitted using hand gestures.

A sign language interpreter is therefore a professional who interprets or translates from a speech language to a sign language, or from a sign language to another sign language of a different country.

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An Italian sign language interpreter must have in-depth knowledge of the language and its spatiality, as well as visually more effective translation techniques, a good memory and translation fidelity.

However, one of the most important skills necessary to be a good sign language interpreter is to have a very good knowledge of the sign community’s culture.

A good interpreter knows how to combine all these characteristics and special features to ensure accessibility and an optimal communicative exchange.

The differences between sign language translator and sign language interpreter

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A sign language interpreter is a professional who encodes a message and simultaneously translates it from speech to sign language or vice versa, taking into account the specificities of both the sender’s and the recipient’s culture.

 A sign language translator, on the other hand, deals with the translation of a written text into a sign language video recording, or from a video recorded in sign language to a written text.

Qualifications to become a sign language interpreter

Learning sign language and becoming a LIS interpreter requires years of study and compliance with ministerial decrees.

In fact, following the Prime Ministerial Decree of 10/01/2022 with the subject ‘Provisions concerning the professions of interpreters in Italian sign language and tactile Italian sign language’, a professional Italian sign language interpreter must meet these requirements:

  • Have obtained the university degree referred to in Article 2 of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 10/01/2022;
  •  Have the certificate issued by the professional associations registered with the MISE pursuant to Articles 7 and 8 of law 4/2013 within six months of the publication of the aforementioned Prime Ministerial Decree of 10/01/2022;
  •  Be certified as compliant with the applicable UNI technical standard pursuant to Article 9 of the same law within twenty-four months of the publication of the aforementioned Prime Ministerial Decree of 10/01/2022.

When to request LIS interpreting services?

LIS interpreting, or Italian sign language interpreting, is specifically required in two areas:

 In negotiation services where a sign language interpreter is required, to enable deaf users to communicate in contexts where it is necessary to engage in dialogue between parties (hospitals, courts, with a notary, real estate agencies, etc.). In this case, just one interpreter may be enough to perform the requested service.

During conferences, where, through the service of a sign language translator, a specific public event can also be made accessible to deaf people (conferences, seminars, training courses, round tables and openings). In these types of events, a team of two or more sign language interpreters is generally required (the number varies depending on the duration and type of event), who must alternate between each other to perform the service.

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