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Giorgia De Zen

Interpreter and translator 

Italian, English, spanish and dutch


Conference Interpreting

Close shot of switched-on microphone during a conference, in the background blurred profiles of people are seen.

I work with Italian and English in international conferences,conventions and seminars.


As one can easily understand by its name, it is used against more "formal" backdrops like international conferences, congresses and seminars indeed, but also workshops, open-air presentations, festivals.​









There are two main modes to carry out a conference interpreting task, namely simultaneous and consecutive interpreting.


Simultaneous interpreting is possibly the most known mode of conference interpreting: straightforward and fast-paced. 

When interpreting simultaneously, one booth and two interpreters are usually necessary for each language combination. 

Why is a booth necessary?

​According to the official AITI (Italian Association of Interpreters and Translators) webpage, simultaneous interpreting requires a booth for each language combination (es. Italian to English and viceversa). Fixed booths must comply with ISO standard 2603 and mobile booths must comply with ISO standard 4043. The audience and speakers will be able to listen to the translation with the provided headset.

Why are two interpreters necessary?

Simultaneaus interpreting provides for "at least two interpreters for each foreign language are needed. Simultaneous interpreters work in a soundproof booth, from which they can see the conference room. Interpreters take turns in interpreting: they hear the voice of the speaker in their headphones and translate almost simultaneously into a microphone" (Assointerpreti). Such an activity entails considerable multitasking skills, in fact the interpreter has to listen to, understand, translate the original speech, deliver its translation and take notes of potential dates or numbers, all at the same time. It is an extremely tiring job because it requires the maximum level of attention, hence the second interpreter in the booth. A simultaneous assignment can last 7 hours maximum, if longer, a third interpreter becomes necessary to grant enough resting time.

A rally race is an analogy that well renders the experience of simultaneuos interpreting. During a race, the driver must be ready for anything, no matter how well he has prepared themselves or have studied the itinerary:  he must remain calm, steer at the right time, avoid holes. But he is not alone, the co-driver is always by his side, helping him with precise information and support along the whole race. As for the driver, that is true for the simultaneous interpreter as well: the more kinship and trust there is, the better, both during the preparation phase prior to the event, and during the job itself.


Despite the clear advantages of simultaneous interpreting (first of all the absence of downtime), specific prerequisites are however necessary, which are not always possible. That is why the consecutive mode sometimes proves to be more functional and effective.

The consecutive mode sees the interpreter normally sitting beside the speaker and the only necessary tools are basically a pen and a notebook, other than a good memory and a sound note-taking technique. The speaker talks in chunks, in other words in pieces of variable length, from 5 to 8-10 minuti, and leave time to the interpreter afterwards to translate the speech to the audience.








As a conference interpreter I work with Italian and English in both directions.


Write me to have an estimate and discuss the details.


Here you may have a look to some of the jobs I undertook with these two modes.








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