Tips for Conference Interpreters

The level of pressure when interpreting at a conference is quite high, as it is easier to make mistakes when working with an oral speech simultaneously than translating documents that are due one or more days after being received.

At a conference, the Chinese interpreters not only translate the discourse of the speakers, but also convey the ideas in a concrete and direct way, respecting the message but providing some elements to make the meaning of the message understood in the target language.

If you are enthusiastic about developing yourself in the area of interpreting, here are some important tips.

Chinese conference interpreter


There are several types of interpretation: consecutive interpretation, where the professional listens and takes notes to express these ideas in another language; simultaneous interpretation, where the message is transmitted in real time while the interpreter is in a booth; bilateral interpretation, where the interpreter must transfer the language between two speakers; and whispered interpretation, which is also given in real time, but to a limited number of participants since, as the name indicates, the interpreter whispers the message.

When interpreting at conferences, the most common is simultaneous interpreting, in which short-term memory is used most often.


This step applies not only to the days leading up to a conference, but to any day in the life of a interpreter, because if you have the goal of becoming an interpreter it is important that you know that preparation is the most essential thing.

Some of the methods that interpreting professionals use to prepare themselves include language immersion in a foreign country and of course keeping abreast of the latest national and international developments.

Constant reading is also essential to increase knowledge in various areas that you may need to interpret at a conference at some point. However, depending on whether you want to specialize in a particular area you can focus on specific topics, for example: engineering, medicine, law, among others.


In the work of conference interpreting, voice is our main working tool, which is why it is essential to use it in the best possible way so that it is not affected during the day.

It is recommended to rest very well the night before the conference because the vocal cords are muscles that relax during sleep, you should drink enough water and not force your voice when speaking, since for that you have microphones.

I also advise you to do exercises every day, read aloud and record yourself so you can hear if you have pronounced all the words correctly. Remember that your interpretation must be clear with an open articulation and a good vocalization and of course be projected with sufficient volume.

As a last piece of advice regarding voice, it is in your best interest to maintain a proper posture at the time of the conference, as a bad posture will not allow you to take the amount of air you need to speak well. Regardless of whether we have a bad or uncomfortable chair, we must maintain a correct posture.


Conferences usually last more than an hour and interpretations exceeding one and a half hours require the work of two interpreters, and from the moment of preparation for the day of the event, it is necessary to learn to work as a team.

Professional interpreting requires the interpreter to prepare, research and have glossaries, of course if there are two people studying, it can be much more comprehensive as the workload is shared.

The same thing happens at the time of the conference, while one interprets the other writes or looks for terms to support their partner or if one of them needs to rest, the other person is in charge of continuing with the interpretation.

And the last advice I can give you is to never stop practicing, we know that interpretation requires certain skills that are innate in some people, however practice makes the teacher and if you really intend to work as a conference interpreter you can achieve it with perseverance, lots of preparation and above all practice.

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