Interpreting teams being blunt with each other for the sake of consumers

They did not seem to find a need to soften the statements with qualifiers or with the use of questions. As indicated earlier, this may be due to their comfort level with each other.

–Shaw, 1995 p. 265

I read the above statement in an article by Risa Shaw called “A conversation: Written feedback while team interpreting” and it summarized the many examples of respectfully blunt notes the interpreting team wrote to each other. I envy their rapport, that they were able to be so blunt with each other for the sake of their consumers! I felt the same envy when I read the article in the Views last spring by the husband-wife interpreting team and the notes they wrote to each other while teaming (Snyder & Snyder, 2011). I have not had many experiences with no-nonsense, helpful, “just-say-it” note-taking; yes, I have done notes, and it has been helpful, but I don’t think the notes between me and my partners have ever been as dedicated to excellence as these examples are.

Have you had the pleasure of such note-taking with your team interpreters? I would love to read some examples of notes you have written to each other that have had positive affects on the work at hand. Consumers: Have you even been aware of the feedback your interpreting teams are giving each other that is positively or negatively affecting the service you receive? Please leave comments.


Shaw, R. (1995). A conversation: Written feedback while team interpreting. In Elizabeth W. (Ed.) Mapping Our Course: A Collaborative Venture, pp. 245-276. Charlotte, NC: Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Retrieved from

Snyder, C. & Snyder, N. (2011). Let’s go team! Views 28(2). Alexandria, VA: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

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