Conference interpreting is a language service provided by a professional (the conference interpreter) who orally translates during an event delivering the highest possible quality standards while keeping the strictest confidentiality.


Take an international event, for example. Speakers may come from all around the world, but not all of them might be fluent in the most spoken language of the country or organisation hosting that event. If you have hired professional conference interpreters they will ensure that those international guests speak freely in their own mother tongue while conveying the message into another language (or more, depending on the team composition).


When we establish contact for the first time we will have to cover a series of issues regarding your specific needs, such as the subject, date, time and place of the assignment; the number of people attending or needing interpretation; the duration and kind of assignment; and the source and target languages, amongst others. This parameters will influence the setting up of the team of interpreters, the interpreting mode, etc. Bear in mind that a greater number of conference interpreters will be needed to cover more languages! Read further to understand how interpreting works, what to keep in mind to prepare your multilingual event and why you should hire professional interpreters.

Are you organising a multilingual event and need conference interpreting services? Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

In order to set up your multilingual event or conference, you will need to provide us with several details so as to propose the service that best meets your needs. This includes:

  • nature of the meeting and subject matter;
  • dates, venue and working hours;
  • technical equipment available (if any);
  • language regime (the languages we will work from and into);
  • whether the interpretation will be recorded and/or broadcast;
  • travel expenses and accomodation (if needed).

You might also be uncertain about whether your event needs a specific type of interpretation. We will be happy to walk you through the whole process and assist you in drawing up a solution that best adapts to what you are looking for. Once the formal quote is accepted, a contract will be signed between the organising party and the interpreters.

We work with a network of trusted partners and fellow interpreters who abide by the strictest rules of professionalism and confidentiality.

Should I hire professional conference interpreters?

Yes! Conference interpreting is a specialised trade that not everyone can perform. Quality is ensured thanks to years of training and practice. Speaking a language is not the same as being able to interpret from that language into a different one.

AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, has set up the highest standards in the profession. Working with AIIC interpreters ensures the quality of the service thanks to the association’s professional standards and working conditions. As Members of AIIC, we fully abide by its code of professional ethics.

How does conference interpreting work?

Given the nature of the profession, conference interpreters work in pairs. There are different ways in which the service may take place, and each interpretation mode is best suited for a different kind of setting.


Simultaneous interpreting

This is one of the most widespread modes of interpreting. The professional interpreters sit in soundproof booths around the meeting area with a clear view of the room. Those booths are equipped with a professional console per interpreter, connected directly to the sound system of the meeting room.


The sound from the active microphones in the room will get directly to each interpreter’s individual headset and he/she will then simultaneously translate what is being said into a target language. The guests needing interpretation will be listening to the interpreters directly in their own set of headphones. This saves time and ensures there are no breaks in the middle of any speeches.


The booths the interpreters work in can be built-in booths, such as the ones available in the premises of most international organisations, or separately rented and set up by a team of technicians. We will gladly help you work out the solution that best meets your needs.


Suited for: international conferences and events; international meetings; press conferences; workshops;


Consecutive interpreting

Not every room is suited to have booths, and not every setting is appropriate for simultaneous interpreting. This is the case for instance in formal dinners and other events where addresses are to be given or short presentations have to be made. In this cases, the conference interpreter can provide what is known as consecutive interpreting: while the speaker is using the floor, the conference interpreter will take notes. After a few minutes, the speaker will stop and allow the interpreter to relay what was said in the target language. The speaker will then resume his speech and the whole process starts again.


In this situations the interpreter will have to be in the room with the other guests and speakers, usually close to the person(s) requiring the service. The professional will always remain discrete and observe protocol and rules of etiquette where appropriate. This mode of interpretation is very often coupled with that is known as whispered interpreting.




Suited for: small conferences with few foreign guest speakers; bilateral meetings; receptions;


Whispered interpreting and liaison interpreting

Some small meetings or workshops might have few guests speaking one or more foreing languages. They usually take place in rather small premises unsuitable for interpreting booths or mobile equipment. In these kind of situations, the team of interpreters will be closed to the people needing their services and whisper in their ear what is being said. Should they wish to take the floor, the interpreter will switch to consecutive (see above).


You might also find yourself in a situation where you are on the move and there is no possibility of having fixed or portable equipment. Official visits, field trips or technical inspections might often require the assistance of interpreters if a team is made up of people speaking different languages. In this situations, the interpreters will remain with the group at all times, whispering what is being said to those who need their assistance and relaying their questions or comments in return either in consecutive or in short sentences (liaison) to ease the communication process. The interpreting team will therefore be part of either the visiting or the hosting party, but their services will be used by all.


Suited for: small meetings with few guests speaking a different language; field trips; official visits; on-site inspections; workshops;