Conference Interpreting: The Basics

Here at Lingua Translations we often deal with requests for interpreting from large companies who have experience with procuring these services.

However, many of our customers from smaller organisations may not be as familiar with the spectrum of interpreting that is available to them. This blog post is therefore a rundown of what is meant by the term conference interpreting.

Conference interpreters are required for multilingual meetings or conferences where delegates will need to be addressed in their own languages.

The term conference interpreting can be applied to many different settings, from a small business meeting with a prospective client to a complex event staged for 500 people.

Conference interpreting, and interpreting as a whole, can be carried out in a number of different ways. It depends on the environment and type of assignment. In general however, there are two main types: simultaneous and consecutive, which may both be used in a conference environment.

Conference or simultaneous?

Simultaneous interpreting may be the most suitable form for events where a larger number of languages will be used. Consecutive interpreting may be more appropriate for smaller meetings. Normally involving technical or confidential material, where fewer languages are involved.

In terms of information for students, the main organisation for this branch of interpreting is the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). There are currently over 2,000 members in over than 80 countries.

Becoming a member of a professional association in you chosen area of specialisation will open up a mine of information and advice. An essential  first step into the industry.

Are there any budding conference interpreters out there? If you are a translator, why did you make the decision to move away from interpreting? Maybe you do both! Please share you experiences with us. We always love to hear from our readers.

For more information about how we can help you with interpreting requirements, please visit our conference interpreting page.