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AIIC Glossary (International Association of Conference Interpreters)
When organising a meeting with interpretation, an understanding of the following terms will be of assistance: this list is intended to facilitate your conference planning.
Simultaneous interpretation:
in this mode, interpreters work from soundproofed booths, with a clear view of the meeting room. They listen to the speakers’ presentations through headphones and interpret them live for delegates in the room who in turn listen through headsets. A minimum of two interpreters per booth and active language are required.
Consecutive interpretation:
in this mode the interpreter, sitting next to the speakers, listens and takes notes during each presentation, and subsequently interprets it into another language. This mode may be appropriate for meetings which are either short or involve relatively few participants: negotiations or business meetings, after-dinner speeches, press conferences, interviews, etc.
Active language:
the target language interpreted into.
Passive language:
the source language from which interpretation is carried out. (These terms may refer to either the conference or the interpreter.)
Language combination of an interpreter:
A language:
the interpreter's mother tongue (or another language strictly equivalent to a mother tongue).
B language:
a language, other than the mother tongue, of which the interpreter has a perfect command and into which he or she works from one or more of his or her other languages. Some interpreters work into their B language only from their A language or in only one of the two modes of interpretation (consecutive or simultaneous).
C language:
passive languages, i.e. those of which the interpreter has a complete understanding and from (but not into) which they work.
Native booths:
AIIC encourages interpretation into the interpreter’s mother tongue – or its strict equivalent – as this ensures a more elegant, accurate rendition in the appropriate register and style.
Relay:
a practice which involves indirect interpreting, based on the interpretation provided by another booth instead of working directly from the original speech. (The interpretation equipment must allow for the necessary connections to be made.) In order to meet user expectations and to guarantee high-quality interpretation, AIIC holds the view that this system is best avoided, it being preferable for all booths to interpret directly from the speaker’s language. This will avoid both loss of accuracy and long gaps between original and interpretation.
Consultant interpreter:
one whose main task is to put together interpreting teams. He or she will provide advice on technical and professional matters related to interpretation, drafting an estimate tailored to the client’s needs. He or she will act as liaison between the conference organiser and individual interpreters, and will be answerable to the organiser for all aspects of the interpretation service provided.
Information provided by the interpreters of ESPaiic - Spanish Region of AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters) Copyright ESPaiic, 2001.

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