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The Real Value of Interpreting

What do people find so hard about communicating with interpreters? Why is it difficult? What’s going on? In search of an answer, I began to compare community and conference interpreting. In each setting there is a different discourse about interpreting among the people who are being interpreted and those doing the interpreting.

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Fair winds: AIIC Assembly highlight

AIIC members travelled to the banks of the River Plate in great numbers and their Argentine hosts had them dancing in the conference room and the streets. Speeches were heard, cheeks were pecked, issues debated, steaks eaten, and legs well and truly shaken.

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Off mic with Phil Smith: ordem e progresso

Have you tried decluttering? It's very therapeutic. Most of you go for well-ordered neatness in the booth. The water glass and pens are in perfect alignment and all documents labelled and tidy. I’m sure you’re all smiling in happy recognition of our work environment.

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My accidental Greek wedding

I have an irrational passion for phrasebooks. Whenever I go to a country where I don't know the language I take along a phrasebook. I often take one with me even when I go to a country where I do speak the language. Sometimes in a foreign country I suddenly stop in the middle of the road. People walk into me, but I don't notice because my mind is wholly taken up by the question: Why? What are phrasebooks for?

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A really Nice assembly

Every three years AIIC holds its Assembly, which this January took place in Nice. As a governing body the Assembly has to approve the actions of its officers since the last Assembly and decide on strategy for the coming three years. It hears from various committees, elects officers and approves the budget. But really the event is an excuse to catch up with your friends.

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Say it in terpreting

Perhaps something like this has happened to you. Say it's Tuesday and you are comfortably ensconced in your booth. You have absorbed all the vocabulary you need and the meeting is so routine that most of your mental effort is directed towards using words which are anagrams of the Chairman's name.

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Secrecy

Our predecessors, the founding fathers of the profession - and of AIIC - have left us a priceless legacy: the trust of those for whom we work, who know they can count on us to be discreet in all circumstances, and maintain secrecy forever.

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The Henri Methorst award

In 2001, the members of the Congrestolken Cooperative and the AIIC Region of the Netherlands, upon the suggestion of then AIIC Council member Javier Ferreira, instituted an award for good causes named after the founder of Congrestolken Henri Methorst.

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Technical standards in interpreting: at work in Turkey

Recently the Turkish Region of AIIC, in collaboration with the BKTD, our national association of conference interpreters, decided to focus attention on professional development and communication with other stakeholders. The reasons are clear: good training and professionalism alone do not ensure high quality service; pre-conference coordination and proper equipment are essential to our work. Thus communication with equipment suppliers and professional conference organisers (PCOs) is important. A collective effort offers a better chance of success.

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Q&A: elusive idioms

We are all acutely aware that language can trip us up. Some websites offer well thought out advice on particularly difficult words or expressions, but interpreters need to deal with language straight away. So if we are having difficulties at work we nip round to the appropriate booth and ask what the UK/Argentinian/Belgian delegation just said. With luck our colleagues will be able to tell us. We call it team work.

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