Religious interpreting typically occurs in settings which are spiritual in nature. These settings may include worship services, religious education, retreats, confession, study groups, counseling, pilgrimages, weddings, funerals and other special ceremonies.

An intensive knowledge of liturgical terminology is often required to effectively interpret in religious settings. Interpreters will want to understand the consumer’s cultural expectations, including attire and conduct, and other preferences.

Preparation for a religious setting becomes increasingly necessary in proportion to the projected psychological and historical context of the text and of the event. Sufficient preparation includes having a clear understanding of the logistics of the event or ceremony as well as having access to materials and sufficient time to prepare.

Interpreters in religious settings should have access to and familiarize themselves with:

  • Specialized vocabulary both signed and spoken that relate to the specific setting
  • Texts specific to the setting (e.g. Koran, Torah, Bible)
  • Materials used (e.g. sermon notes, homilies, multimedia presentations)
  • Belief system(s), doctrine(s), creed(s) and ceremonial prayer(s)

What does the law say about accommodations?

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Interpreters will want to accept assignments in a religious setting where they can faithfully and impartially interpret the message. Whether an interpreter needs to be a practicing member of a certain faith or follower of its precepts is a decision made by those requesting interpreting services. These issues should always be discussed with the interpreter and consumers prior to delivery of interpreting services.

Interpreters who are members of RID must adhere to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct regarding confidentiality and should keep all interpreted information confidential, such as confessions, counseling and private meetings.

Eaton has a select number of interpreters who interpret for weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services, or retreats on a case by case basis.