Making the right choice
Home >Making the right choice > Teams of Interpreters

Teams of Interpreters (Article 6 of AIIC Professional Standards)
Given the physical and mental fatigue that are caused by sustained concentration, certain constraints will necessarily apply to the composition of teams in order to guarantee that the work done will be of an optimum quality.
The minimum number of interpreters required to make up a team is a function of these constraints as well as the mode of interpretation, the number of languages used, the language classifications of the interpreters making up the team, the nature of the conference, its duration and the workload.
  • Consecutive interpretation
Number of languages used:Minimum number of interpreters:
Two languages into two Two
Three languages into three Three
Under exceptional circumstances and provided the principles of quality and health are taken into full consideration, it shall be possible to recruit just one interpreter instead of two or two interpreters instead of three.
  • Whispered Interpretation
For a conference involving the interpretation of one or two languages into one other language and where there are no more than two listeners, whether or not consecutive interpretation is provided in the other direction, at least two interpreters shall be required.
  • Simultaneous interpretation
Teams of interpreters must be put together in such a way as to avoid the systematic use of relay. However, when there is no alternative to the use of relay for a given language, the team shall comprise at least two interpreters able to provide a relay from that language. In addition, if the relay is provided from a two-way booth, at least three interpreters shall work in that booth.
As a general rule, a team is composed of at least two interpreters per language and per booth. This is to ensure adequate coverage of all language combinations and to guarantee the necessary quality.
The number of interpretation booths is the same as the number of target languages, except for the case of two-language conferences where a single booth may suffice.
No. of languages used in the conference roomNo. of boothsNo. of interpreters (1)
One-language conference:  
Into one other language 1 2 (*)
Into two other languages 2 4 (*)
Two-language conference:  
Into one of the languages used 1 2 (*)
Into both languages used 1 ó 2 3 (**)
Into three languages (2 + 1) 3 5
Into four languages (2 + 2) 4 7
Three-language conference:  
Into one of the languages used 1 2
Into two of the languages used 2 3
Into three of the languages used 3 5 (***)
Into four languages (3 + 1) 4 7
Into five languages (3 + 2) 5 9
Four-language conference:  
Into one of the languages used 1 2
Into two of the languages used 2 4
Into three of the languages used 3 6
Into four of the languages used 4 8 (***)
Into five languages (4 + 1) 5 10
Into six languages (5 + 1) 6 12
Five-language conference:  
Into one of the languages used 1 2
Into two of the languages used 2 4
Into three of the languages used 3 6
Into four of the languages used 4 8
Into five of the languages used 5 10
Into six languages (5 + 1) 6 12
Into seven languages (5 + 2) 7 14
Notes on the Team Strength Table:
(1) This number shall be increased if:
  • The language combinations are such that the minimum number of interpreters shown on the table is insufficient to cover them.
  • The working hours are long.
  • The conference involves the presentation of a large number of written statements or is of a technical or scientific nature requiring extensive preparation.
back to table
(2)And so on: each booth working non-stop must have at least two interpreters. Moreover, in the case of relay via a two-way booth, such booth shall have at least three interpreters.
back to table
*An interpreter shall not, as a general rule, work alone in a simultaneous interpretation booth, without the availability of a colleague to relieve her or him should the need arise.
back to table
**One of whom must be able to relieve each of the other two. In certain circumstances this number may be reduced to two (particularly for short meetings or meetings of a general nature, provided that each of the two interpreters can work into both languages).
back to table
***Under certain circumstances and providing the principles of quality and health are fully respected, this number may be reduced by one (short meetings or meetings of a general nature).
back to table
Information provided by the interpreters of ESPaiic - Spanish Region of AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters) Copyright ESPaiic, 2001.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information