AIIC (Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence) is the International Association of Conference Interpreters. Its aim is to set and strengthen ethical and professional standards internationally.
Consecutive interpreting means that the message is transferred to the target language after the original speech. Professional interpreters can faithfully render speech segments of up to 8 minutes. This mode is especially suitable for formal addresses or presentations in a bilingual context. Time management is particularly important in this setting.
Community interpreters work in a very different setting compared to conference interpreters. They are typically responsible for enabling people access to medical, educational, social or legal services, to name but a few. Community interpreters need not only to be fluent in their working languages; they must also be aware of the cultural implications relevant for interpreting work in order to allow people with potentially very different backgrounds or perceptions to communicate, even if the setting might be governed by unequal distribution of power and knowledge. Consecutive interpreting is the most common form of communication used in community interpreting.
Interpreters are bound by confidentiality in the course of their work. Discretion and confidentiality are a key aspect of our professional code of ethics.
The work of interpreters is protected by intellectual property rights: Their output is only intended for the conference/meeting etc. itself and must not be recorded or broadcast without their explicit consent. Any use of their interpretation must be agreed.
Interpreting means to listen, understand and speak – all at the same time! Interpreters orally transfer spoken messages to another language. Since this requires outstandingly high levels of concentration, team work and solid interpreting skills are a vital requisite.
Soundproof booths are the work place of simultaneous interpreters. Built-in, permanent booths must meet the requirements of ISO 2603:2016, while portable, mobile simultaneous interpreting booths must be in line with ISO 4043:2016.
The languages with which an interpreter works are usually accompanied by the letters A, B or C. An A language is typically the interpreter’s mother tongue, while the letter B refers to any other language spoken at native-speaker level. C languages are passive working languages, i. e. any language which the interpreter does not actively work into but from which they interpret into their mother tongue.
In dialogue situations, e.g. business negotiations, bilateral liaison interpreting is the most widely used form. It consists of shorter segments of a spoken message which are interpreted consecutively or whispered simultaneously.
Portable radio systems such as those often used for guided tours of museums or factory plants can sometimes be suitable for smaller events or mobile settings. Because the interpreters do not work in a soundproofed booth, the strain on the team increases significantly in this mode.
In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreters work in soundproof booths and simultaneously transfer the original message into the target language. They take turns of up to 30 minutes. This mode is ideal for conferences with several languages.
In most cases, teams will consist of two interpreters. Especially long settings sometimes require teams of three or four. Hiring a well-practised team always pays off!
The predominant technological solutions for simultaneous interpreting have a number of strengths and weaknesses. Infra-red technology and FM (frequency modulation) interpretation systems are the options most commonly in use. The requirements to be met by interpreting technology are set forth in ISO 2603:2016 and ISO 4043:2016.
Interpreting and translation are two different activities that are often confused: Translators work with written language, while interpreters work with spoken language.
The German Association of Conference Interpreters.
Whispered interpreting means the interpreter sits close to the listeners and whispers the interpretation into their ears. This mode is typically used if only a very small number of participants (1 or 2) do not understand the language spoken.