The evolution of communication technologies has created ample opportunities for distance communication in real time and has led to alternative ways for delivering interpreting services. On the one hand, mobile and internet telephony have made telephone communication more flexible, enabling conference calls with participants in two or more locations. On the other hand, videoconferencing has slowly established itself as a tool for verbal and visual interaction in real time, also between two or more sites. Two main uses of telephone and videoconference communication can be distinguished in

connection with interpreting. One of these, remote interpreting (RI), refers to the use of communication technologies to gain access to an interpreter in another room, building, town, city or country. In this setting, a telephone line or videoconference link is used to connect the interpreter to the primary participants, who are together at one site. Remote interpreting by telephone is nowadays often called telephone interpreting or over-the-phone interpreting. Remote interpreting by videoconference is often simply called remote interpreting when it refers to spoken-language interpreting. In sign-language interpreting, the term video remote interpreting has established itself. Remote interpreting is best described as a method of delivering interpreting. It has been used for simultaneous, consecutive and dialogue interpreting. A similar method is required for interpreting in a telephone call or videoconference between

parties at different sites who do not share the same language, i.e. for interpreter-mediated telephone or videoconference communication. In this setting, the interpreter is either co-located with one of the parties or at a separate site. The latter configuration leads to a three-way telephone or videoconference connection. The method of interpreting required in this setting can be termed teleconference interpreting to cover both telephone and videoconference communication. However, the terms telephone interpreting and videoconference interpreting may also be used here. In relation to sign-language interpreting, the term video relay service is used for this method. Given the above definitions, the term telephone interpreting emerges as a cover term for remote

interpreting via telephone and working in interpreter-mediated telephone calls. However, in this chapter, telephone-based interpreting will be used as a cover term to avoid ambiguity. With regard to videoconferencing and interpreting, the cover for term for remote interpreting via

videoconference and interpreter-mediated videoconferencing will be videoconference-based interpreting. To return to the difference between remote and teleconference interpreting, it should be

noted that these methods or modalities have different underlying motivations, i.e. the use of communication technology to link an interpreter with the primary participants vs. its use to link primary participants at different sites, and that they are not interchangeable. However, both methods overlap to a certain extent, for example in three-way telephone or videoconferences, which can be seen as a combination of remote and teleconference interpreting. Moreover, both share elements of remote working from the interpreter’s point of view. Both methods will therefore be discussed in this chapter. Although Paneth noted in 1957 – in what is probably the first reference to remote interpreting –

that this was “a very neat and obvious use of interpreters” which “might easily be developed further” (Paneth [1957] 2002: 39), the actual development of remote and teleconference interpreting has sparked heated debate among practitioners and interpreting scholars and has raised questions of feasibility and working conditions; but the debate has also been linked to the efficiency of service provision and the sustainability of the interpreting profession. While uptake in traditional conference interpreting has been relatively slow, there is a growing demand for remote and teleconference interpreting in legal, healthcare, business and educational settings, and both methods are used to deliver spoken and sign-language interpreting alike.