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History of the profession

Mon Congrès de Vienne

Pendant mes presque 60 ans de carrière professionnelle, j'eus assez souvent l'occasion de me rendre à Vienne pour des réunions de tout genre, y compris deux Assemblées de l'AIIC. Mais mon "Congrès de Vienne", celui qui m'a marqué le plus, fut une conférence européenne des partis socialistes se tenant du 3 au 7 juin 1948, à un moment crucial pour le mouvement socialiste international.

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Wroclaw, les interprètes évanouis, Picasso et l'officier d'occupation

Lieu : été 1949, Wroclaw, ex-Breslau en Silésie orientale, devenue " terre récupérée " de la Pologne. Ville gravement endommagée lors d'une des dernières grandes batailles sur le front de l'Est avant la chute de Berlin, mais avec un Palais des expositions épargné et de la place pour loger quelques centaines de participants au 1er Congrès Mondial des Intellectuels pour la Paix organisé sous le patronage de l'UNESCO.

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Bookwatch

Jesús Baigorri has published a timely reminder of the role played by interpreters in the history of The United Nations, that most international of all international organisations. “Interpreters at the United Nations” completes the narrative the author embarked on in his earlier “La interpretación de conferencias: el nacimiento de una profesión. De París a Nuremberg.”

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Lunch with a legend

Peter Less has been living in Chicago, where he practices law, for over 50 years. He attended the Geneva School of Conference Interpretation and, in 1946, interpreted at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals. Less, whose mother, father, sister, and grandmother were killed by the Nazis, had to sit in the courtroom and interpret for some of the masterminds responsible for these atrocities. How could he do it?

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From dragomans to interpreters: a brief overview of the profession in Turkey

At a time when Turkey is about to start accession negotiations with the European Union it is interesting to note that Europe's first institutionalised effort to train interpreters goes back to the 17th century when France reached an agreement with the Ottoman Empire, then in its heyday, to set up an interpreting school in Istanbul.

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Pat Longley – in memoriam

On Friday 27th June, interpreters, academics and students gathered at the University of Westminster to commemorate Pat Longley. The event marked the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the postgraduate course in conference interpretation – the course still known to many as PCL, the Polytechnic of Central London.

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Some memorable moments

The profession, as such, was scarcely known in the 1950s. It is not, after all, so many light years away (the year that AIIC was founded) that I was greeted as a kind of being from outer space, with newspaper articles headlined "Ruth Makes a Living Just Talking” or "Ruth Talks Her Way Around the World" in the Australian press.

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