Conference Interpretation

A rare glimpse into the exclusive world of conference interpreters

In a little over 15 minutes, director Barnabás Tóth unveils what happens in the interpretation booth. The Hungarian who once flunked admission into interpreter school after graduating from Business Studies in English and French gives us rich details on what happens in international conferences.

Laugh-worthy are the appropriately gesticulating Italian interpreter, a colleague applying make-up, and the verbal agility games between two maestros in the booth. Although the film ends up telling the world what conference interpreters should never do, there’s also a lot of realia in the air: glossary sheets on the booth walls; the fact that interpreters are not part of the protocol and not even part of the guest list.

The title is very a propos, as chuchotage means whispering, in French and also a form of interpreting where the interpreting stands or sits alongside a small target audience and whispers a simultaneous interpretation of what’s being said in the simultaneous mode, so it takes less time than consecutive interpreting.

Grab some popcorn and watch the trailer at: https://vimeo.com/290342030.

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