Interpreting A to Z

Learn to speak our language!

As in most professions, interpreters speak a certain lingo. Here’s a handy glossary of terms from A (“A” language) to Z (Zero). What’s a bidule? And what does RSI stand for?

Mother tongue. Interpreters interpret from and into this language.

Active foreign language. Interpreters interpret from and into this language.

Passive foreign language. Interpreters interpret from this language.

Interpreting provided in a setting in which interpreters, speakers and audience are not all in the same location.

We are bound to the ethical standards of our professional associations, e.g., the Code of Professional Ethics of AIIC.

Interpreting fees include the time spent on site as well as preparation time. Additional costs for travel, per diems, consulting or extra preparation may also be incurred.

We are committed to the principles of confidentiality, professional qualification, impartiality and transparency.

Interpreters’ hearing is their most valued asset. This is why our requirements on audio quality are exceptionally high - higher than those who “just” listen.

Oral translation from one language into another.

While jokes and puns are often amusing in the source language, they do not always work in the target language(s).

Many meetings require that a written record of proceedings is produced, known as the minutes. We can also provide this service in our working languages.

When we recruit, we endeavour to use colleagues who are as local as possible to your event in a move to minimise the event’s CO2 footprint.

The dimensions of a mobile simultaneous interpreting booth are 1.60 x 1.60 x 2.00. Please account for 4m² per booth and 6m² including equipment.

A special technique the interpreter uses during consecutive interpreting. Not to be confused with stenography or shorthand.

In case of large interpreting assignments we will provide one contact person - your Consultant Interpreter - who is responsible for organising the entire team of interpreters plus technical equipment.

The more material you can provide early, the better the team can prepare. Please send us your agenda, presentations, videos etc. - drafts are also welcome!

Quality comes with a price tag.

RSI stands for remote simultaneous interpreting - frequently used during the pandemic, for instance.

Oral translation of the spoken word virtually in real time. Simultaneous interpreters work from a sound-proof booth.

A tour guide system, also known as bidule, is electronic equipment that is used as an alternative to whispering or during guided tours.

Written translation from one language into another.

Interpreters have very stringent requirements concerning audio quality. This is because we don’t just need to hear - we also need to understand.

Our ears are our most important asset, so volume control is crucial. Also, please do not knock on or blow into the microphone when testing!

Simultaneous interpretation for one to two listeners in a very low voice. Also known as chuchotage.

Are you are planning a large event? That’s our home turf. Let us organise the entire team of interpreters including technical equipment.

Why, when, how… we (usually) have all the answers. Just get in touch!

Interpreting is indeed the second eldest profession in the world: Interpreter Zero is said to have accompanied Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492.