How Our Interpreters Work
Useful things to know.
Here, you’ll find useful information about working with our interpreters. You don’t have to know everything on this page, but if you understand what’s possible, you’ll be much better able to plan.
If you have a specific question, give us a call on +43 (1) 406 07 60. We’ll be happy to tell you more!
Our Interpreters’ Qualifications
Why a title isn’t everything.
Not every fantastic simultaneous interpreter has a university degree. By the same token, an academic title isn’t necessarily a guarantee of outstanding interpreting talent. With this in mind, we’ve defined our own quality standards.
In order to work for you, our interpreters need:
- Specialised linguistic training
- 5 years of verifiable experience as a simultaneous interpreter
- At least 80 days of interpreting assignments per year
- Membership of a recognised interpreters’ association
- dRecommendations from at least two of our permanent interpreting team
Please don’t hesitate to give feedback on our interpreters. We are delighted to receive praise and take criticism very seriously.
Interpreters Come In Twos
Why interpreters are team players.
Simultaneous interpreters always work in the booth in twos, with both working in the same language. The reason for this is that it’s only possible to maintain the requisite level of concentration for 20 to 30 minutes. Once this time is up, the other interpreter takes over to give their partner a rest.
We send single interpreters only for exceptionally short events – for a half-hour press conference, for example. It’s essential that you discuss this with us, since it’s no good for anyone if a single interpreter starts to flag after 45 minutes of work!
A word about small and large breaks.
Concentration is also the reason behind the regulation of breaks. Simultaneous interpreters don’t just swap over regularly with a partner – they also require proper breaks throughout the day. The best way to distribute breaks is the optimal way for your participants, too: half an hour to stretch the legs every one and a half hours and a whole hour at midday. This way, you have four blocks of work time, three breaks – and nothing but satisfied faces.
In fact, breaks for our interpreters are so important that we stipulate them in writing when we make an agreement with you. If there’s no space at all for breaks in your day, please get in touch to discuss it – we’ll be happy to find a joint solution.
Rates for Interpreting Services
Two options are available to choose from: a daily flat rate and a half-day flat rate.
The daily flat rate covers 8 hours of work including breaks. This corresponds roughly to the average length of a conference.
The half-day flat rate covers 4 hours of work including breaks. The half-day variant can only be offered in Vienna and the surrounding area.
If your meeting or conference lasts longer than planned, we will include the accrued overtime on the invoice.
Preparation time is always included.
What interpreters really want.
Interpreters are very practiced in reading up on specialist subject areas. Support them by providing quality documentation – and send it early enough to allow time for reading and research! Our preference is to receive documents a week before the event. To have a realistic chance of being read, however, documents should reach us three days in advance at the latest.
Interpreters like to have:
- Itinerary, agenda
- Power Point presentations to be given by speakers (!)
- …failing these, manuscripts, abstracts, etc.
- Websites on the topic, etc.
If you are not able to obtain the final versions of presentations in time, copy them onto a USB stick and take them to the event. Almost all interpreters work with a notebook and will be able to access the files immediately.
We realise that it’s often not easy to obtain documents in a timely manner. Nevertheless, please try your best! By doing so, you’re guaranteeing the quality of your interpreting service – and making two interpreters very happy indeed.
Interpreters’ Travel Costs
Our interpreters and technicians attend events in the farthest-flung corners of the continent. Even if an event is taking place abroad, the benefits of booking an interpreting team you already know and trust will usually far outweigh the disadvantage of any extra additional travel costs.
We book our interpreters’ travel immediately after an assignment is issued to keep the flight costs as low as possible.
When it comes to overnight accommodation, it often occurs that customers with well-negotiated block bookings can get better prices than we can with an individual booking. Please discuss this with our planning team.
Please ensure that the team receives a meal at the event – e.g. a share in the lunch buffet for participants. If this is not possible, we will arrange with you for their food-related expenses to be reimbursed.
About the Different Types of Interpreting
Simultaneous interpreting, whispered interpreting…what else?
On a general level, a distinction is made between translation and interpretation. Books, instructions and school reports are translated (in writing). Negotiations, lectures or interviews are interpreted (orally). Though easymeeting specialises in interpretation, we’d be happy to advise you on the best translator for your translation needs.
When it comes to interpreting, a distinction is made between consecutive and simultaneous techniques. Negotiations are usually interpreted consecutively (= following the statement(s) in the original language): the Chinese businessman says two or three sentences and the interpreter repeats them in English. The problem with this type of interpreting is immediately obvious: it causes the negotiations to last twice as long as they otherwise would have.
In contrast to this, interviews or lectures are interpreted simultaneously (= at the same time). The foreign film star speaks normally, but you hear the interpreter in English. While this has the benefit of saving time, it also require the use of some interpretation equipment – since when two people speak at the same time, it’s hard to understand either one of them properly.
“Whispered interpretation” is simultaneous interpreting without the use of technical aids. It’s used readily by groups such as politicians: the interpreter sits directly next to Angela Merkel, for example, and whispers to her what Putin is saying. This helps her understand him while avoiding disturbing anyone else. Because whispered interpretation is designed not to be heard by many, it is suitable for only two or three guests.