Providing service to end-users who have cross-linguistic communication needs is the societal role of interpreting as a profession. The contexts in which interpreting services are needed are very diverse. The degree of development of interpreting as a profession is diverse too: significant differences in interpreters’ wages, professional authority, and accountability for the quality of the service delivered are present across sectors. There is an equally diverse array of contextual factors, which have an imprint on the way interpreting is performed and is expected to be performed. This chapter looks at interpreting from an inside-out perspective. We will look into different

kinds of actors who are not within interpreting circles: they are not interpreters nor interpreting scholars themselves. They are external to the profession, and yet they play a key role – whether actually deployed or (still) only potential – in the way the discipline and the profession evolve. Focusing on “key external players” is an opportunity to situate interpreting within a complex societal web of interests, powers, rights, and responsibilities. This chapter has two objectives; one is descriptive, aiming at a characterization of the variety

of external players, and the other is analytical, reflecting on the implication of external player configurations. This analysis will inform recommendations for professional and research practices that are aware of external players. The end of the chapter will briefly consider future directions in connection with the approach proposed here. We will place a gravitational centre on the user of the interpreting service. This underlines

the fact that the interpreting profession is a service that meets needs in society. Figure 3.1 represents different typologies of players around the service user that contribute to the delivery of interpreting services. Internal players have been covered in Chapter 2. External players, as categorized here, include grantors, receivers and providers of the service. Grantors is the category of players who have power to determine whether the interpreting service is provided or not. Grantors are typically either decision-makers, resource holders or both. They play a crucial role in whether the receivers, who are the end-users of the service, obtain what they need or not. Providers include agencies, which often play the role of intermediaries between interpreters and end-users. They are in such close contact with the profession that they could potentially be

considered internal players but, as we will see, they do not always become proactively involved with shaping the profession (hence their hybrid character as represented in the chart).