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Conference Interpreting

Conference Interpreting » Conference Interpreting

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Conference interpreting constitutes one of the most complex cognitive tasks. When simultaneous interpreting was introduced for the first time in 1928 at the ILO Labour Conference most consecutive interpreters at the time refused to adopt this new mode of interpreting arguing that it would not yield the same high level of quality. Our Ecole d’interprètes, as it was known at the time, played a decisive role in the 1940s and 50s in the development of new pedagogical approaches for simultaneous interpreting and the definition of optimal working conditions.

75 years onward FTI’s Interpreting Department continues to pioneer pedagogical approaches for the training of interpreters, the integration of new technologies in the professional interpreter’s and the student interpreter’s work place, and the scientific study of interpreter’s working conditions. The Interpreting Department offers a variety of MA curricula (French version) to cater to a multitude of language combinations, an Advanced Masters degree in interpreter training, specialised and continuing education courses for interpreters working for the European institutions and international organisations, foreign governments and humanitarian organisations, as well as update courses for free-lance interpreters. The PhD in interpreting offers experienced professional interpreters the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research.

Our trainers are all professional conference interpreters working for international organisations, the European institutions, the Swiss government or the private market. They teach exclusively in their certified language combination and through their regular professional activities they ensure that practice and training are closely linked. Professional realities are thus reflected in the curricula and syllabi and the Department’s physical proximity to a large number of UN specialized agencies, international organisations and NGOs allows for a constant give and take between practice and training. Many of our staff members are actively shaping the profession as members of AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.

Pedagogical innovation and perfection is part of our quest for quality assurance in training and professional practice. We believe that changes in the workplace should be subject to rigorous scientific inquiry in order to ensure that quality in interpreting is not compromised. To that effect we have invested considerable technical and scientific resources to continue to service the interpreting profession and interpreter training. 

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