MA in Conference Interpretation
Ranked by the Association Internationale de Interprètes de Conférence as one of the top programs in the world.
About Conference Interpretation
Conference interpretation enables participants in a multinational meeting to communicate with one another in a seamless fashion, making the language barrier almost imperceptible. Such interpreting is generally performed in two modes: consecutive and simultaneous.
In consecutive interpretation, the interpreter usually sits with conference delegates while a speech is being made, listens to the speech, and takes notes. When the speaker pauses or finishes, the interpreter renders the speech in the first person in the target language. Speech and interpretation generally occur in segments no longer than 10-15 minutes.
In simultaneous interpretation, interpreters sit in soundproof booths (one booth for each language), where they listen to the speech from the meeting room through headsets. As the speaker talks, each interpreter interprets at the same time into his or her native or A language. The interpreter's words are spoken into a microphone and transmitted via headset to meeting participants. In this manner, the same speech can be interpreted into several languages at once with very little time lag. In each booth, interpreters work as a team, sharing the workload at regular intervals.
Many conference interpreters work on a freelance basis, since staff positions at organizations requiring the services of conference interpreters, such as the United Nations, the European Union, and the US State Department, are limited. Both freelance and staff conference interpreters are eligible for membership in the Association Internationale des Inteprètes de Conférence (AIIC) based in Geneva and the American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS) based in Washington, D.C. Each maintains high admissions standards in order to guarantee the professional expertise of its members and their respect for professional ethics.
The languages offered for the degrees in conference interpretation are: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish. All of these langauges are paired with English. Read about the ten ways you can prepare for our Translation, Interpretation and Localization Management programs.