The role of a conference interpreter

  • Catching the slightest nuances of a speech and quickly translating it.

    “Non verbum e verbo, sed sensum exprimere de sensu.” (St. Jerome)

    Translating means transposing the meaning from one language into the other. This process calls for a thorough knowledge of the grammar, vocabulary, and culture of both languages. Therefore, any written or oral text should not be translated either absolutely literally or in a manner that ignores the immense and relentless cultural evolution that any language expresses.

    In simultaneous interpreting, which at times is improperly defined as simultaneous translation, the interpreter conveys the meaning expressed by the words of the speaker, as he/she is speaking, into another language. This is the most frequently requested service in numerous types of event, from international conferences to working meetings attended by people speaking different languages.

    The quality of interpreting services depends on the professional competence of the individual interpreters, who should be able to understand the slightest nuances of a speech in a foreign language, as well as the wealth of cultural references that that language enshrines. Assigning this task to people with poor professional competence is a waste of resources.

  • Who is a professional conference interpreter?

    “Speaking two languages does not make you a translator or interpreter any more than having two hands makes you a pianist.” (M. Eta Trabing)

    A conference interpreter provides his/her service during meetings or conferences in various fields (e.g. political, legal, economic, financial, scientific, cultural, or religious) for international, European, and national institutions or private parties.

    Use is made of various modes of interpreting: simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting, whispered interpreting (chuchotage), and sight translation.

    All the members of Assointerpreti have attended the best schools of interpreting in Italy and abroad and have acquired a professional experience of at least 10 years, specialising in a small number of sectors.

    A good interpreter ensures effective communication between or among participants in any event, with particular regard to intercultural aspects that, if ignored, may compromise the communication.

    The interpreter will make the necessary decisions in an autonomous and responsible way, selecting reliable documentary and terminological sources, pertinent to the context of his/her work.

    In a world where national borders are increasingly blurred, a working meeting involves many participants, different languages, and the need for saving time.

    This is why the professional role of the conference interpreter is continuously evolving and becoming increasingly specialised.

    The start of simultaneous interpreting is usually traced back to the Nuremberg trials. Actually, it began some decades earlier, namely at the International Labour Conference in Geneva in 1927. Since then, sound transmission technology has experienced several breakthroughs, and nowadays the headsets of participants pick up the voice of interpreters via sophisticated radio and/or infrared transmission systems.

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