The Interpreters: A Historical Perspective - interpreting at the United Nations

Made as part of the UN 50th Anniversary Oral History Project, the film follows the interpreting profession from the League of Nations through to the 1990s.

On the occasion of the UN's 50th anniversary, AIIC-member Evelyn Moggio-Ortiz (AIIC) had the idea of producing a video film - "The Interpreters: A Historical Perspective". She obtained sponsorship for the production from AIIC, the French Government, Philips, and the UN 50th Anniversary Oral History Project. Evelyn is the film's executive producer and creator. The production was commissioned to Euro-Pacific Film and Video Productions, represented by Mr David Calderwood, Producer and Director. Evelyn established a research working group composed of interpreters of the six booths in the UN headquarters. It has carried out all the research, all the translations and voice-overs.

The film gives a historical perspective of how the profession developed from the League of Nations to present day. It is aimed at the public at large, with the dual purpose of educating about the profession and providing a historical perspective of the UN. To this end, more than 60 interpreters of all generations were interviewed in New York, Paris and Geneva, as well as ambassadors and other users of interpretation services.

The video is produced in the six UN official languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic). The UN Department of Public Information will distribute it to the UN information offices worldwide. It is an official part of the UN's fiftieth anniversary celebration.

A tripartite contract was signed by AIIC, Philips and the United Nations. AIIC retains the copyrights and will also receive copy of all the material used that went into the production, some 30 hours worth of interviews. An excellent starting point for the archives.

A French version can be found on AIIC's YouTube Channel.

DVDs can be purchased by contact the AIIC Secretariat.

Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "The Interpreters: A Historical Perspective - interpreting at the United Nations". March 11, 2004. Accessed September 15, 2019. <>.

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