Speech-to-text interpreting in Finland, Sweden and Austria

Ulf Norberg, Ursula Stachl-Peier, Liisa Tiittula


Speech-to-text (STT) interpreting is a type of intralingual interpreting mostly used by late deafened and hearing impaired persons who have a spoken language as their first language. In Finland, Sweden and Austria the speech-to-text transfer is performed in real-time by interpreters using a (specially adapted or standard) keyboard that is connected to a screen. As a result of different legislative frameworks governing services for the disabled, STT interpreting has developed differently in different countries and so far there has been little international cooperation. STT interpreting has also been largely ignored by Translation and Interpreting Studies. This paper examines the situation in Finland and Sweden, where STT interpreting training programmes have been available since the 1980s, and Austria, where the first training programme started in 2010, and investigates the norms, values and expectations that guide STT interpreters’ practice in the three countries. It also looks at the factors necessary for the development of a distinct ‘STT interpreting culture’.


Speech-to-text interpreting; Translation culture; Public Service Interpreting; STTI training; equal access for hearing impaired people

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