Why are you here?
Do you require conference interpretation services? Do you want to become a conference interpreter? Did you land on this page by mistake?
Then this is what you need to know about this profession:
Conference interpreters aren’t just machines where you hit the play and stop buttons (This might seem too obvious, however experience has shown me otherwise).
Respect the standards of the profession; they exist for a reason, and they benefit both the interpreters and the clients: the interpreter will benefit from having standard and decent working conditions and consequently, the client will benefit from a successful communication, the outcome of which will almost certainly be a successful meeting.
Look for experienced interpreters; qualifications are essential, however paths are made by walking.
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Here are some more basic concepts about the profession:
Interpreting is not translating.
Interpretation is spoken, translation is written. Interpretation is carried out in real time (simultaneously) or very close to it (consecutively). In interpretation communication is immediate, involving an interaction between speakers, listeners, and interpreters.
The skills of the conference interpreter.
Interpreters must have complete mastery of their working languages, including an excellent command of their native language. They need an immediate grasp of their passive languages.
Another essential requirement is a good mind. Interpreters need:
a good level of general education, analytic capacity, the ability to put themselves in the minds of the people for whom they are interpreting, to be able to concentrate, have a good memory, have a pleasant voice and good diction, be physically and mentally robust. Interpreters need to be willing to travel, since their work often takes them a long way from home.
So, as described above, there is a lot going on during the interpreting process and many skills are needed, which is why there are always 2 interpreters per language taking turns every 30 mins.
In simultaneous mode, the interpreter sits in a booth with a clear view of the meeting room and the speaker he listens to and simultaneously interprets the speech into a target language. Simultaneous interpreting is used when a large audience is involved and it requires equipment (booths and headsets).
The interpreter providing consecutive interpretation sits at the same table with the delegates or at the speaker's platform and interprets a speech into the target language after the speaker speaks.
The speaker pauses regularly to allow the interpreter to reconstitute the message thanks to a purpose-developed note-taking system.