Expectations of qualified deaf interpreters (DIs)

How do hearing interpreters feel about DIs’ contribution to the market?


  • Gro Hege Saltnes Urdal Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9881-4250
  • Ingeborg Skaten Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway




sign language interpreting, profession, interpreter agencies, qualified hearing interpreters, qualified deaf interpreters


Qualified deaf interpreters (DIs) are starting to enter the sign language interpreting market in Norway. This poses a challenge for both the interpreter profession and interpreting agencies, which have thus far provided work for hearing interpreters offering interpreting services for deaf individuals, not by them. This explorative study shows that more information is needed regarding the way in which DIs influence the interpreting market. At the same time, hearing interpreters see opportunities for their own professional development when collaborating with DIs, specifically for the improvement of their own linguistic and cultural competences.


Download data is not yet available.


Abbott, Andrew. 1988. The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor. 4th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226189666.001.0001

Adam, Robert, Markus Aro, Juan Carlos Druetta, Senan Dunne, and Juli af Klintberg. 2014. “Deaf Interpreters: An introduction.” Deaf Interpreters at Work: International insights: 1–18. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2t5xgm8.6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2t5xgm8.6

Agenda Kaupang. 2016. “Helhetlig gjennomgang av tolkeområdet (R9158)”, edited by Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet. Oslo: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet.

Alvesson, Mats, and Kaj Sköldberg. 2009. Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research. London: Sage. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13642531003746857

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. 2004. “Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 9 (2): 239–46. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enh025. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enh025

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. 2008. “Introduction: Listening to Deaf Studies.” In Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking, Edited by H. L. Bauman, 1–34. Minneapolis: University of Minesota Press.

Boudreault, Patrick. 2005. “Deaf Interpreters.” Benjamins Translation Library 63: 323–355. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.63.17bou. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.63.17bou

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2000. Pascalian Meditations. Translated by Richard Nice. Oxford: Polity Press.

Brück, Patricia, and Elke Schaumberger. 2014. “Deaf Interpreters in Europe: A Glimpse into the Cradle of an Emerging Profession.” The Interpreters’ Newsletter 19: 87–109. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/41178581.pdf.

Bryman, Alan. 2012. Social Research Methods. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burr, Vivien. 2003. Social Constructionism. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203694992

Carr, Wilfred, and Stephen Kemmis. 2003. Becoming Critical: Education Knowledge and Action Research. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203496626

Danske Døves Landsforbund. 2015. Evaluering af brugen af døve tegnsprogstolke. København: http://deaf.dk/files/deaf.dk/evalueringsrapport_-_doeve_tegnsprogstolke_epinion_0.pdf:

Danske Døves Landsforbund. https://ddl.dk/wp-content/uploads/evalueringsrapport_-_doeve_tegnsprogstolke_epinion_2015.pdf

De Meulder, Maartje, and Isabelle Heyerick. 2013. “(Deaf) Interpreters on Television: Challenging Power and Responsibility.” In Sign Language Research, Uses and Practices Crossing Views on Theoretical and Applied Sign Language Linguistics, edited by Laurence Meurant, Aurelie Sinte, Mieke Van Herreweghe and Myriam Vermeerbergen, 111–36. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvbkk4dr. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614511472.111

De Wit, Maya. 2020. A Comprehensive Guide to Sign Language Interpreting in Europe (2020 Ed.). Self-published. Create Space, Baarn: M. de Wit.

Eckert, Richard Clark. 2010. “Toward a Theory of Deaf Ethnos: Deafnicity≈ D/deaf (hómaemon• homóglosson• homóthreskon).” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 15 (4): 317–333. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enq022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enq022

European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters. 2017. “The inclusive notion of Sign Language Interpreters and Translators.” https://www.efsli.org/efsliblu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Policy-Statement-The-inclusive-notion-of-Sign-Language-Interpreters-2017-1.pdf.

Forestal, Eileen M. 2011. Deaf interpreters: Exploring Their Processes of Interpreting. PhD diss., Capella University.

Freidson, Eliot. 2001. Professionalism, the Third Logic: On the Practice of Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Haualand, Hilde. 2018. “En ung profesjon - tolking som offentlig tjeneste.” In Tolking. Språkarbeid og profesjonsutøvelse, edited by Hilde Haualand, Anna-Lena Nilsson and Eli Raanes, 242–259. Oslo: Gyldendal.

Heyerick, Isabelle. 2021. “A Descriptive Study of Linguistic Interpreting Strategies in Dutch - Flemish Sign Language Interpreting. Exploring Interpreters’ Perspectives to Understand the What, How and Why.” PhD diss., KU Lueven: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Humphries, Tom. 1977. Communicating Across Cultures (Deaf-Hearing) and Language Learning. Union Institute and University. https://www.proquest.com/docview/302878949/abstract.

Langholtz, Dan. 2004. “Deaf Interpreters Today: A Growing Profession.” WFD News 17 (1): 17.

Mathers, Carla. 2009. “Modifying Instruction in the Deaf Interpreting Model.” International Journal of Interpreter Education 1: 68–76. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/ijie/vol1/iss1/5.

NAV. 2020. “Tolketjeneste for døve, døvblinde og hørselshemmede.” Arbeids- og velferdsdirektoratet. https://www.kunnskapsbanken.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Tolketjeneste-for-d%C3%B8ve-d%C3%B8vblinde-og-h%C3%B8rselshemmede-folder.pdf.

Norges Døveforbund. 2015. Mellomtolk. https://www.dam.no/prosjekter/mellomtolk/.

O’Connell, Noel P, and Teresa Lynch. 2020. “Deaf Interpreters’ Perception of Themselves as Professionals in Ireland: A Phenomenological Study.” Journal of Interpretation 28 (2): Article 4. https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/joi/vol28/iss2/4 1-22.

Olsen, Elisabet Trengereid, Ingeborg Skaten, and Gro Hege Saltnes Urdal. 2018. “Grenseløs tolking - tolking mellom fremmedspråklige døve og norske talespråklige.” In Tolking. Språkarbeid og profesjonsutøvelse, edited by Hilde Haualand, Anna-Lena Nilsson and Eli Raanes, 222–241. Oslo: Gyldendal.

Parsons, Talcott. 1978. Action Theory and the Human Condition. New York: The Free Press.

Sander, Thorbjørn Johan. 1993. Døveorganisasjonen i kamp gjennom 75 år : Norges døveforbund 1918-1993. Bergen: Døves forlag.

Skaaden, Hanne. 2019. “Ethics and Profession.” In Ethics in Public Service Interpreting, edited by Mary Phelan, Mette Rudvin, Hanne Skaaden and Patrick Stefan Kermit, 147–201. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315715056-4

Skaten, Ingeborg, Gro Hege Saltnes Urdal, and Elisabet Tiselius. 2020. “Exploring Deaf Sign Language Interpreting Students’ Experiences from Joint Sign Language Interpreting Programs for Deaf and Hearing Students in Finland.” Translation and Interpreting Studies 16 (3): 347–367. https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.18033.ska. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.18033.ska

Stone, Christopher. 2005. Towards a Deaf Translation Norm. Bristol: University of Bristol.

Stone, Christopher. 2013. “The UNCRPD and ‘Professional’ Sign Language Interpreter Provision.” In Interpreting in a Changing Landscape. Selected Papers from Critical Link, edited by Christina Schäffner, Krzysztof Kredens and Yvonne Fowler, 83–100. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.109.08sto. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.109.08sto

Stone, Christopher, and Sofia Isari. 2018. “Becoming Conference Interpreters: The Deaf Experience.” In Deaf Interpreting in Europe. Exploring Best Practice in the Field, edited by Christopher A. Stone, 92–102. Copenhagen: Danish Deaf Association.

Talks, Karen, and Helle Skjoldan. 2018. “Ethical Challenges among Deaf and Hearing Interpreters.” In Deaf Interpreting in Europe. Exploring Best Practice in the Field, edited by Christopher A. Stone, 103-117. Copenhagen: Danish Deaf Association.

Tester, Christopher. 2018. “How American Sign Language-English Interpreters Who Can Hear Determine Need for a Deaf Interpreter for Court Proceedings.” Journal of Interpretation 26 (1): Article 3. https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/joi/vol26/iss1/3.

Tolkene i Akademikerforbundet. 2020. “Tolkeforbundets yrkesetiske retningslinjer.” https://www.akademikerforbundet.no/sfiles/8/01/79/1/file/etiske-retningslinjer-tof-2017.pdf.



30. 06. 2023




How to Cite

Urdal, G. H. S., & Skaten, I. (2023). Expectations of qualified deaf interpreters (DIs): How do hearing interpreters feel about DIs’ contribution to the market?. STRIDON: Journal of Studies in Translation and Interpreting, 3(1), 51-69. https://doi.org/10.4312/stridon.3.1.51-69