Simultaneous interpreting requires interpreters to listen or watch and speak or sign at the same time someone is speaking or signing. Simultaneous interpreting requires a high level of concentration. For that reason, simultaneous interpreters usually work in pairs, each interpreting for about 20 to 30 minutes and then resting while the other interprets. Simultaneous interpreters are often familiar with the subject matter so they can anticipate the end of a speaker’s sentences.

Who Should Attend?

  • University graduates demonstrating great command of spoken English and Arabic
  • Interpretation trainees/students already mastering the basics of simultaneous interpretation
  • Any person interested in translation, particularly those interested in building their career in interpretation

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the capability and competency in using the simultaneous/consecutive interpretation tricks doing live simultaneous/consecutive interpretation in various settings.

Course Content

A crash course in practical skills development for simultaneous interpreting.

  • Stress and how to handle it
  • Mental resistance to fatigue and routine
  • The frustration of always conveying somebody else’s ideas or views
  • Doubts about accepting or refusing a contract/challenge
  • Discipline and the need to build a good reputation
  • The advantages of respecting professional ethics and standards, seen as concrete aids to professional practice and not simply as “ideals”
  • The ways in which open-mindedness and a humble approach may contribute to a successful career

Course Duration: 5 days


Topics to be covered

   What do conference interpreters do?

  • bridge the gap in all kinds of multilingual settings (conferences, negotiations, press briefings, seminars, depositions, TV broadcasts, etc…)
  • do not do written translation: translators work with written texts, interpreters convey ideas orally
  • do not just parrot: they convert ideas expressed in one language (the source language) into another language (the target language) as smoothly and idiomatically as possible, preserving the meaning, tone and nuance of the original speaker
  • interpret “consecutively”: i.e. the interpreter is in the same room as the participants, listening carefully to what is said, perhaps taking notes; when each speaker pauses, the interpreter conveys the same message from source to target language
  • interpret “simultaneously”: i.e. the interpreters work in a team sitting in a soundproof booth; they take turns conveying each speaker’s ideas from source to target language in real-time; the audience in the conference room listens through headsets
  • interpret using “chuchotage” or “whispering”: i.e. the interpreter is in the same room as the participants providing a whispered interpretation in real-time to a small number of listeners

What will a conference interpretation training programme teach me?

To interpret … or more specifically

  • to understand what the speaker wants to say
  • to grasp what lies behind the speaker’s words
  • to keep the message in context
  • to convey it consecutively or simultaneously
  • to learn a special note-taking technique
  • to practice concentration, discourse analysis and fast reaction
  • to build useful glossaries
  • to develop public speaking skills
  • to prepare for different types of assignments
  • to manage stressful situations
  • to observe a code of conduct
  • to prepare for entry into the profession

What kind of personal traits do I need to be a conference interpreter?

These are some of the key skills that interpreters make use of at one time or another:

  • a polished command of their own native language over a range of registers and domains
  • a complete mastery of their non-native languages
  • a familiarity with the cultures in the countries where their working languages are spoken
  • a commitment to helping others communicate
  • an interest in and understanding of current affairs, plus an insatiable curiosity
  • world experience away from home and school and a broad general education
  • good training (and usually at least an undergraduate university degree)
  • the ability to concentrate and focus as a discussion unfolds
  • a pleasant speaking voice
  • a friendly, collegial attitude
  • calm nerves, tact, judgment and a sense of humor
  • a willingness to adhere to rules of conduct (e.g. confidentiality)

How can I prepare?

  • Some things you can do to increase your chances of success before starting a training programme:
    • to enhance all of your languages, selectively and actively read, watch TV and listen to radio in all your languages
    • expand your range of command of your native language
    • go and live where your languages are spoken and immerse yourself in the culture
    • learn more about your planet and your immediate environment
    • increase your general knowledge
    • follow international affairs
    • learn to use a computer
    • learn to take care of yourself and to manage your stress well
    • develop good study skills
    • cultivate patience and the ability to integrate feedback
    • research your training options carefully

Will I find work after training?

EMTI provides all kinds of advice and support for newly trained conference interpreters entering the profession, even offering you the chance to ask questions.

Day 5 Test Discussion of test results


Before the course Material given during the training: Compiled translated material related to the course

Each delegate will be asked to complete a Pre-Course Assessment Form to determine their current level and objectives for attending the course. The content of such Form will be used by the trainer only to give tailored training that is focused on each group of delegates.

At the end of the course

Each delegate will be asked to complete an Individual Development Plan and Vocational Completion Certificate.

* Discounts available for multiple bookings