Conference Interpreting on the Small Screen

Conference interpreting is very demanding job. Interpreters for conferences are often admired by the rest of the translation and interpreting community for their concentration skills. But there are a number of requirements which need to be fulfilled in order for them do their jobs in a positive working environment.

This handy guide is taken from advice given by the AIIC (Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conference. English: International Association of Court Interpreters). The guide provides guidelines for linguists wanting to get into conference interpreting.

The advice here is given specifically for situations where the interpreting takes places on television.

Preparation:
It is always a good idea to have a script for the programme. This means that everyone knows how long each section will take, and any inserts with audio can be timed appropriately.

Sound:
The interpreter will be provided with his or her own headset, but these should have their own volume controls in order for the interpreter to be able to work properly. The headphones should also enable the interpreter to communicate with technicians without interfering with the broadcast.

Recognition:
Make sure that you are credited. Legally, your name should appear either as a bar that flashes up as you interpret, or in the credits at the end of the programme.

In order to work effectively, conference interpreters need to have the aforementioned criteria satisfied, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. We would love to hear from linguists with experience in conference interpreting with more suggestions. Do you have anything to add to our list?

Conference interpreting is very demanding job. Conference interpreters are often admired by the rest of the translation and interpreting community for their concentration skills, but there are a number of requirements which need to be fulfilled in order for them do their jobs in a positive working environment.

For more information on Lingua Translations’ experience in this area, please visit the conference interpreting page on our website.