Sight Translating Interview Transcripts

Karlheinz Spitzl, Jim Hlavac

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Providing a translation of an interview transcript (also called transcript, written statement, protocol, interview report, or interview record; hereafter, ‘transcript’) is one of the most critical things that an interpreter may perform in an asylum procedure. As the source text is in written form, the term that is used to refer to this is ‘sight translation’. The sight translation of a transcript functions as a checking procedure for the content of the transcript. Depending on the country that the interpreter works in, there may be different conventions in how oral statements made by asylum applicants are written down. In most countries, a transcript of an asylum applicant’s words is then sight translated back to them by the interpreter. In other countries, the convention may be that there is no sight translation of a transcript. The information provided in this unit applies to situations in which the interpreter is required to provide a sight translation of the transcript to the asylum applicant during the course of the asylum interview.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUNHCR: Handbook for Interpreters in Asylum Procedures
EditorsSonja Pöllabauer, Iris Topolovec
Place of PublicationVienna Austria
PublisherFrank & Timme
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783732904426
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Interpreting, Sight Translation, Conversational Analysis, Interpreter Training

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