Conference interpretation can be simultaneous, consecutive or whispered. Simultaneous interpretation is provided from a booth and requires sound control equipment, whereas consecutive interpretation is given after the speaker has finished. Whispered interpretation is a kind of simultaneous interpretation for just one or two participants and does not require technical equipment.
Contrary to the widespread belief that knowledge of one or more foreign languages is sufficient to work as a conference interpreter, many other carefully honed skills are required. Perfect comprehension of foreign languages is the sine qua non, but not sufficient to become a conference interpreter.
People often mix up the terms “interpreter” and “translator”. While these two professions are linked, given the intellectual processes involved, the means, or implementation, are totally different.
An interpreter provides an instant rendering of oral presentations made in different languages. This entails keen analytical skills and a perfect mastery of the languages concerned. In a speech, part of the message is not actually stated, but remains implicit. This must also be conveyed by the interpreter, on the strength of his or her broad general culture and rigourous preparation of the topic under discussion.
Conference interpreters are also highly resistant to stress, and able to keep pace with even the fastest speakers.
Given the special profile of this profession and the fact that it is not regulated, we would advise all those who intend to recruit interpreters to be highly selective in their choice and to obtain guarantees of rigorous professional standards, such as :
- membership of AIIC
- knowledge and experience of the topics concerned
- references in the area
After twenty years’ experience of conference interpretation, we have become the trusted partner of a growing number of organisers. We cover not only the main congress centres on the French Riviera, but also elsewhere in France, in Europe and throughout the world. Membership of the International Association of Conference Interpreters enables us to recruit interpreters living locally or near the conference venue so as to avoid travel and accommodation costs.