SHS Web of Conferences (Jan 2022)
Chinese–Russian distance interpreting landscape: a local perspective
This paper discusses the Chinese–Russian interpreters’ views on the adoption of distance interpreting (DI) technology in the local Russian context. From the intergovernmental to the people-topeople level, the Sino-Russian relationship has been developing as a strategic partnership. Due to travel restrictions and other pandemic containment measures, the demand for virtual communication technology and remote interpreting has been on the rise, which highlighted a variety of implications for the interpreting profession. We present the results of a series of interviews with Chinese–Russian interpreters from Moscow and Chelyabinsk, Russia (n=6), accompanied by a small-scale online survey (n=26). The exploratory study focuses on the interpreters’ experience with technology, and on their perception of DI in general and video remote interpreting in particular. The results suggest that the common DI scenarios in the local Chinese– Russian interpreting market (Chelyabinsk region) include video-mediated and over-the-phone consecutive interpreting in business and education settings. The study also reveals an overall positive attitude to the DI technology among the surveyed interpreters, despite such reported challenges as psychological discomfort, connection problems and technical difficulties on the clients’ part, which often lead to new responsibilities of an interpreter.