Leitlinien der AIIC für das Ferndolmetschen (Distance Interpreting) (Version 1.0)

Die AG Distance Interpreting (Taskforce on Distance Interpreting – TFDI) wurde als zentrale Kontaktstelle für Fragen im Zusammenhang mit sämtlichen Formen des Ferndolmetschens ins Leben gerufen.

Following the publication of the AIIC Position Paper on Distance Interpreting (DI) in March 2018 and the study of the TFDI and Distance Interpreting Research Committee , AIIC's ExCo entrusted TFDI in September 2018 with the development of more specific guidelines for distance interpreting ,

The document sets out the minimum requirements and best practice recommendations for working conditions for video-based simultaneous interpreting in simultaneous interpretation. It provides guidance for work situations where the interpreters are not in the same room as the speakers and the audience. Although these guidelines are primarily intended for conference interpreters, they are certainly also helpful for interpreters of interpretation, event and conference organizers, consultant interpreters, and developers of technical equipment for DI. 

The document also deals with the labor requirements for sign language interpreting. 

These guidelines should be the starting point for a collaborative process bringing together AIIC members and relevant stakeholders outside the association and allowing AIIC to support the development of Distance Interpreting in world markets by developing the most up-to-date requirements and recommendations take into account the technology available for the provision of interpreting services by means of remote interpreting.


The following describes the minimum requirements and best practice recommendations for working conditions for simultaneous video-based interpretation in Simultaneous Interpretation ( also known as Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) or Distance Interpreting (DI) ). [1]

This document provides guidance for situations in which the interpreters are not in the same room as the speakers and the public. Distance interpretation (Distance Interpreting) referred to from the provision of Simultandolmetschleistungen from a remote location, wherein the interpreter / inside in addition to the audio signals also receive one or more image signals are displayed on one or more screens.

These guidelines are intended primarily for conference interpreters. However, they may also be of assistance to interpreters of interpretation, event and conference organizers, consultant interpreters and developers and suppliers of the technical equipment for remote interpreting. The document also deals with the working conditions for sign language interpreting. A detailed description of the requirements for sign language interpreting can be found in the AIIC document "Guidelines for positioning of language interpreters in conferences including web streaming" ( https://aiic.net/page/print/7821 ).

Note: Events where interpreters are used but no pictures of the speakers and / or the audience are transmitted to the interpreters are not covered in this document.


Simultaneous interpreting at conferences is a team effort. The interpreters must be able to work with their language team and the other language teams smoothly (eg communication, collaboration, alternation). To ensure effective collaboration, it is strongly recommended that all interpreters work in the same room (also known as the "Remote Interpretation Hub"). In order to avoid additional cognitive load, the team members of the individual language teams ("cabins") must be in the same room. [2]

In a remote interpreting hub, members of a team can work together in the same location in the presence of a technician. It is a controlled environment where the Hub and / or Platform Provider is responsible for, and is responsible for, the following:

  • Quality and continuity of the data connection; [3]
  • Confidentiality of the entire communication;
  • Providing a soundproof environment of its own (ideally cabins complying with ISO standard 2603 (fixed cabins) or 4043 (mobile cabins);
  • Provision of interpreting consoles according to ISO standard 20109: 2016 Annex B.1 or interpreting interfaces offering the same basic functions;
  • Access the interpreters to the conference materials and ensure that they can follow the footage shown live as well as the audience.

The reception of signals via an indirect source (eg screen and / or audio playback) is an additional cognitive burden for the interpreters. Depending on the duration of the event, the interpreting teams must be reinforced in a remote interpretation situation by additional interpreters to ensure consistently high-quality interpretation. [4]

Availability of a conference technician

  • There must be at least one qualified conference technician on site during the event to ensure that the technical equipment functions properly and supports the interpreters in their use. Monitoring and control of the entire interpreting system may be carried out by the technician on site or by a second technician. The second technician may either be physically present at the location where the interpreters render their services, or they may be at a different location.

Equipment and equipment of the cabins

  • Interpretation consoles must comply with the requirements of ISO standard 20109.
  • If software-based interpreting interfaces are used, they should provide the same basic functionality. Access to the software must be via a separate computer / dedicated workstation that the provider of the remote interpreter platform must be able to access throughout the deployment.
  • All interpreters must have access to a work space that provides enough space for a laptop and documents.
  • All interpreters must be provided with an adjustable work chair. [5]
  • For each interpreter, a compact, adjustable table reading lamp with low heat radiation must be provided.
  • The interpreting equipment (consoles, interfaces) must be able to be operated by everyone, including older interpreters and interpreters with disabilities.

Access to relevant documents

  • The interpreters must have centralized access to all documents relevant to the communicative event. This access must be established within a reasonable period of time prior to the start of the event and be available throughout the duration of the event.
  • During the event, the interpreters must have a contact person to provide them with missing documents referred to.

Confidentiality and privacy

  • Confidentiality and data protection must be defined in a binding agreement between the parties providing the workplaces and the data transmission systems. It sets out who is responsible for ensuring that the infrastructure associated with the event's data system complies with all necessary confidentiality and privacy practices. It is not recommended that the interpreters work from their own premises.

Personal data

  • The rules on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the rules on the free movement of personal data must be complied with at all times. [6]


  • The interpreters should receive a "technical briefing" to ensure that they know how to operate the respective DI platform. For the associated time, they should receive an appropriate remuneration.
  • Customers should conduct a "test run" with the DI platforms to ensure that the level of support provided by each platform meets their expectations. It is recommended to hold a preliminary discussion with the interpreters, the speakers and the organizers of the event before the event. The interpreters have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the voices and the speech or signing style of the speakers, to get important information about the event and to prepare for the interpreting show.

Recording and Webstreaming

  • In accordance with the rules on the protection of intellectual property  [7]  , the interpreter's prior written consent must be obtained when recording the interpretation.
  • Interpreters should include in their contracts with customers precise provisions regarding the use of their individual interpretation.
  • The recordings transmitted and / or stored on the Internet should be accompanied by a note stating that interpreting video and audio (including all forms of interpreting over an audio and video channel) is intended to facilitate and facilitate communication does not represent an authentic record of the event.


A special function integrated in the interpreting console requires interpreters to communicate with other relevant actors at all times. This function must be designed in such a way that its use only slightly increases the cognitive load and does not affect the main function - interpreting. Intercommunication must be possible between the following persons:

  • the interpreters and technicians,
  • the interpreters and the moderator of the event,
  • the interpreters and interpreters who use the same source language channel
  • all interpreters and interpreters participating in the same event.

Sign language interpreters do not work with an interpreting console. Therefore, prior to the event, a different form of communication between the relevant actors should be agreed. This can be z. B. directly with the management of the interpreting team.


Since the interpreters are in a different location away from the conference room, they must get the visual information through screens or video monitors.

The screens - if possible LED screens - should be so large that the interpreters can read the text displayed or clearly recognize all the pictures. Speakers who are connected from any location, as well as any visual material presented to participants and / or the public, will be made available to the interpreters as a separate video feed during the event, ideally broadcast to a separate screen. The active speaker should be visible on at least 65 percent of the main screen. It is important to pay attention to the correct aspect ratio. Other participants, including the boardroom / bureau and an overall view of the function room, will be shown on the remainder of the screen or on other screens. During a presentation or contribution in sign language, the signer is shown on the screen from the waist up to slightly above the head. If a text interpretation is offered [8] , a separate screen is required for this live text.

Sign language interpreters need to be provided with several video feeds that show the following views:

  • a panoramic view of the room,
  • the speaker, moderator or participant who speaks or behaves,
  • the sign language interpreter / sign language interpreter (to check their position and placement),
  • the documents, just as they see the audience.

The screens can be placed in each cabin. Alternatively, a larger screen can be placed in front of the cabin (s). Sign language interpreters need the same visual information. The screens have to be positioned diagonally in front of them so that the users have a clear view of the sign language interpreters. [9]

The images shown on the screen should be of high quality (sharpness, color, contrast, brightness and smoothness) and be large enough to be seen. The interpreters must be able to adjust the contrast and brightness of the image.

Placement of sign language interpreters and sign language interpreters

  • The team of sign language interpreters needs to have enough space to work together. The team members must be able to see each other. The active interpreters need at least approx. 1.5 x 1.5 meters (maximum 2.0 x 2.0 meters) space.
  • The supporting interpreters sit around. 1-3 meters in front of the straight interpreter. Their chairs are preferably non-rotatable and have either low armrests or none at all. They should be ergonomically adjustable so that the working interpreters can adjust them according to their needs.

Visibility of the sign language interpreters

  • Behind the sign language interpreters, a background screen must be set up. This must be a strong color, z. B. blue-gray, which forms a contrast to the interpreter or the interpreter, and does not represent a visual distraction.
  • Sign language interpreters need indirect light that is focused on them and does not create shadows on their face and hands.

Video and camera images of sign language interpreters and sign language interpreters

  • The sign language interpreters must have their own cameraman. The cameraman has the task of adjusting the image height to the size of the interpreters.
  • The camera should face the working interpreter or working interpreter head-on so that they can look directly into the camera.
  • People who use sign language interpretation prefer to use chroma key effects. The interpreters stand in front of a blue or green background (blue screen or green screen technology) and the technician fades the interpreters into the web-streamed image of the event. The sign language interpreters should be visible on at least 1/6 of the screen.
  • For students who contribute to the discussion, the camera should focus on the signer rather than the person translating the signed contribution into spoken language.

technical requirements

There are a number of internationally recognized and widely used ISO standards available. They include the technical requirements for the equipment used for simultaneous interpretation, as well as the quality and the transmission of image and sound to the interpreters in presence-based interpretation situations (ISO 2603, 4043, 20108 and 20109). Although there are some specific requirements for the modalities of Distance Interpreting in the ISO standard 20108, although the ISO standards mentioned here are not specifically defined for Distance Interpreting, they do contain a number of relevant parameters for simultaneous interpretation, which is also applicable to this application Find.

The basic parameters and functionalities described below also apply to simultaneous interpreting in the remote interpreting mode.

microphone management

  • It should always be turned on only one microphone. The system should be designed for different settings for the control of microphones in order to take into account special situations (eg interactive discussions with fast speaker changes).
  • There should always be one person (eg, the moderator, the operator, or the session leader) who will turn off all other microphones if necessary.
  • All external sound sources (including laptops, smartphones, etc.) must be controlled by the system.
  • Sign language interpreters usually do not sit in an interpreting booth, even if they are interpreting from another location. If sign language interpreters are to translate back into a spoken language, they need a handheld microphone to interpreting in spoken language.

frequency response

  • Microphones and headphones of the speakers and interpreters (the interpreters' microphones become speaker microphones when operating in relay mode) must reproduce the entire frequency range from 125 to 15,000 Hz. [10] Important: This requirement also applies to handheld and clip-on and headset microphones as well as all other types of microphones, as well as to sound input from external sources such as laptops and videoconferencing systems.

Prevention of feedback and blast trauma

  • In order to ensure that interpreters and participants do not suffer from hearing loss, measures must be taken to avoid feedback and provide protection against blatant trauma. [11]
  • The systems must be designed to reduce the degradation of sound caused by too many powered microphones.

Acoustic echo cancellation

  • In all places connected to the communicative event (conference), acoustic echo cancellation must be guaranteed.

External sources

  • The audio signal from external sources such as laptops and videoconferencing systems must have a modulation range that is at least equal to the range described in the "Frequency Response" section.
  • The microphones used in a videoconference must be able to be turned ON and OFF and muted.

picture quality

  • The quality of the image signal sent to the interpreters must be kept at a level that is free of visible disturbances such as blurring and freezing of the image.
  • If severe blurring, freezing or glitches occur, interpreting may need to be interrupted until a stable image is obtained.
  • If videos are recorded from another location during a communicative event, the interpreters can only provide simultaneous interpretation if they are given this video (along with the embedded sound) via a separate video channel (which is not in the main video channel) is embedded), and the requirements listed in this document are met. If these requirements are not met, the simultaneous interpretation must be set.


  • Sound and images sent from a remote location must be synchronized.
  • The sound must not arrive more than 45 ms later than the image.
  • The sound must not arrive more than 125 ms earlier than the image.


  • Picture and sound must arrive at the source on the screen and the headphones of the interpreters within 500 ms from generation.
  • The latency period between the original speech and the receipt of the simultaneous interpretation must not exceed 1000 ms.


Cognitive load

Based on research on mental workload and the theory of cognitive load, the term "cognitive load" is defined as the part of the limited cognitive capacities of interpreters who are used for the performance of interpretation in a given environment.

Distance Interpreting

Interpreting a speaker who is in a location other than the interpreter and enabled by information and communication technology (ICT). (Source: ISO 20108)

Individual language teams

Cabin colleagues or colleagues who interpret into the same languages.


A room or location where a platform provider gives multiple language teams the opportunity to work together.

Remote Interpreting

Interpreting a speaker who is in a place other than the interpreter and who is enabled by information and communication technology (ICT), with either only the audio of the speaker (audio remote interpreting) or the sound and image of the speaker being interpreters and interpreters (video remote interpreting) is transmitted. 

simultaneous translation

Interpretation with simultaneous reception of the source text (listening in) and production of the target text (speaking). In sign languages, the source text can either be signed or spoken and the target text can be either signed or spoken.

Video Remote Interpreting

Interpreting a speaker who is in a place other than the interpreter and enabled by information and communication technology (ICT), with the sound and image of the speaker being transmitted to the interpreters.

Key Features: The interpreter has no direct view of speaker and audience. The visual information (image of the speaker, the audience and visual material for the audience) is shown to the interpreters on one or more screens.


The interpreters must require the platform provider to sign a disclaimer whereby the interpreters are barred from any liability for technical problems relating to the transmission of sound and images to the interpreters, as well as the transmission of sound to the public during the event Event is released. Furthermore, the interpreters assume no liability for the loss of data. It is recommended that the interpreters request a briefing prior to the event in order to get an introduction to the use of the equipment and that they will participate in it.

Before accepting DI orders, the following topics should be considered and clarified:

  • Fees and additional fees for exploitation rights
  • Which technological platform is used?
  • Conformance of the platform with ISO 20108/20109
  • Technical support during the event
  • Live communication with teammates and event partners
  • liability issues
  • confidentiality
  • Sufficient time to test the system
  • Customer / end user
  • Is return interpreting possibly necessary?
  • Interpretation in the case of sign language interpreting

Note: This checklist is not exhaustive and will be updated periodically depending on technological developments.


AIIC Position on Distance Interpreting (2018)

Amato, A et al. (eds.) (2018),  Handbook of Remote Interpreting , Erasmus + Ka2

Project no. 2015-1-IT02-KA203-014786 SHIFT - Shaping the Interpreters of the Future and Today

Belisle-Hansen, JP (2016) Interpreting at a distance: A comparative analysis of turn-taking in video remote interpreting and on-site interpreting , Unpublished MA thesis, University of Oslo, 

Bower, K. (2015) Video Relay Service (VRS) , Stress and BurnoutJournal of Interpretation  24 (1): 1-16. 

Braun, S. (2015) Remote Interpreting, In H. Mikkelson & R. Jourdenais (Eds.)  Routledge Handbook of Interpreting . London / New York: Routledge.

Causo, JE (2012) Interpretation of information and communication technologies - experiences from the European Commission DG Interpretation

Flerov, C. (2015) Remote Simultaneous Interpreting: Options and Standards, ATA 2015.

Napier, J.  et al.  (eds.) (2018) Here or There: Research on Interpreting via Video Link. Washington DC: Gallaudet.

Napier, J. and Leneham, M. (2011). "It's Difficult to Manage the Communication": Testing the Feasibility of Remote Video Signaling Interpreting in Court, "  Journal of Interpretation : Vol. 21: Iss. 1, Article 5. 

Seeber, K. (2018) Cognitive Load in Simultaneous Interpreting: New Models,  Interpreting , 13 (2): 176-204.

Seeber, K. (2018) "Distance Interpreting Survey: Answers to seven questions"members.aiic.net  .

Seeber, K. et. al. (2018)  Interpreting from the sidelines , in M. Field (ed.)  Communicate!  no. 73: 8-11.

Skinner, R. et al. (2018) Interpreting via Video Link: Mapping the Field, Here or There: Research on Interpreting via Video Link, J. Napier, S. Braune and R. Skinner (eds.), Washington DC: Gallaudet, 11-35.

Ziegler, K. and Gigliobianco, S. (2018) Present? Remote? Remotely Present !, In C. Fantinuoli (Ed.)  Interpreting and Technology (Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing 11) . Berlin: Language Science Press.


[1] The guidelines below have been developed by the Distance InterpretingTask Force on Distance Interpreting (TFDI) ofthe International Association of Conference Interpreters AIIC. They are based on publicly available information and on the research results of various scientists, committees and groups of AIICs and individual interpreters. Wherever possible, these Guidelines are based on and refer to the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed internationally by competent experts and adopted by the ISO members by the respective national standardization bodies, as well as relevant research results.

[2] Remote Interpreting solutions currently available on the market use text chat features. These lead to an increase in the cognitive burden on the interpreters.

[3] Internet Connection / Bandwidth: 4 Mbps are required for each HD video feed, including audio. If the configuration z. B. 1 video feed for the speaker (close-up showing the speaker's facial expressions), 1 video feed for the speaker on the stage facing the audience, 1 video feed for the presentation of the documents, is a total download speed of 16 Mbps needed. This bandwidth must be continuously and reliably available; it can not be an approximate reading.

[4] Research projects are planned in which this aspect should be examined in more detail. At present, the European Commission's interpreting service SCIC reduces the length of the meeting by providing DI services for the European Council's lunches and dinners.

[5] For further details see ISO 20109, Annex B.

[6] See, inter alia, the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGV) of the EU.

[7] See Universal Copyright Convention Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

[8] In English alsore-speaking, live speech to text interpretation, velotyping, courtreportingandcaptioningcalled.

[9] See AIIC document "Guidelines for positioning of language interpreters in conferences including web streaming" (https: //aiic.net/page/print/78 ... https://aiic.net/page/7821 ) that contains all the specifications.

[10] Further details can be found in ISO 20109, chapter 4.

[11] The interpreters should ask before accepting an order if a compressor / limiter will be installed. We also recommend that interpreters have their hearing examined (to have a baseline value), take out occupational disability insurance, consider purchasing hearing protection equipment (eg PreservEar) and report all incidents.

Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "Leitlinien der AIIC für das Ferndolmetschen (Distance Interpreting) (Version 1.0)". aiic.net August 7, 2019. Accessed October 16, 2019. <http://aiic.net/p/8848>.


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Excellent - and comprehensive - work. Thanks to all who worked on these guidelines.

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