Skip to main content

Working with an Interpreter

Type of interpreting assignment

Irish Sign Language (ISL)/English interpreters work in a variety of formal and informal settings such as medical, legal, education, on television, conferences etc. Interpreters also work with people in everyday work and personal settings.  The context and the nature of each assignment varies and requires a specific approach and preparation in advance.  Some interpreters will have more experience in specific settings e.g. court or hospital.

Book in advance 

There is currently a shortage of interpreters in Ireland. Best to book interpreters well in advance.

Booking One Interpreter

Assignments lasting less than one hour can usually be carried out by one interpreter. However, each situation should be assessed to identify the requirements.

Booking Two Interpreters

For assignments that are over one hour, a team of two interpreters will be required. To maintain high-quality standards, the interpreters will take turns every 20-30 minutes depending on the assignment.

Booking a Deaf Interpreter

For some assignments, a Deaf interpreter and a hearing interpreter will be required. In cases where the Deaf person has limited or no English or special needs, it is advised to book both a Deaf and a hearing interpreter. This is to ensure high-quality working standards and to ensure the Deaf person’s needs are met.


Interpreters and agencies usually have a half day rate (up to 3 hours) and a full day rate (over 3 hours). There are additional costs for assignments that require high-skilled interpreters, such as in medical or legal settings. Additional charges, such as travel and accommodation expenses, should be clarified in advance with the interpreter or agency.

Preparation material

It is important an interpreter receives preparatory materials prior to an assignment.  This allows the interpreter to familiarise themselves with the subject or situation.


ISL is a visual language, the positioning of all parties involved is extremely important.

The interpreter and the organiser should agree the best setting or placement taking lighting and other factors into consideration. In case of video/audio recording or livestreaming, the agreement of the interpreter is required in advance for recording and sharing of any filming.


Interpreting is a demanding cognitive task, therefore, to provide and maintain a high-quality standard, interpreters need regular breaks throughout the interpreting assignment which can be agreed in advance.

For additional information, please click on the link below

Back to top