InterpretimeBank is an online community for professional interpreters and interpreting students. It was created in August 2014 by a group of former classmates who wanted to create a network of professional interpreters working worldwide, to foster knowledge exchange and to have a platform that could be used as a life-long learning tool.

Interpretimebank is not meant to replace on-site training, instead it allows you to easily access a pool of qualified peers willing to help you practise. Living far away from a practice group, or being unable to afford a course is no longer a reason to stop you from polishing your skills. All you need is to be willing to give your time.

How it works

If you need someone to listen to your interpretation and give you feedback, it is as easy as posting an exchange requesting feedback and waiting for another InterpretimeBank member to reply. The platform will automatically match your language combination with that of other members with relevant combinations for your needs. All you have to do is specify the time and date that suits you best for the exchange to take place.

Once you have a partner for the exchange, you can communicate privately to specify further details (speech to be interpreted, modality and goals). You are free to decide how the exchange takes place ̶ via Skype, Hangouts or any other platform of your preference. The Interpretimebank platform will keep track of the duration of the exchange. During the session, you will spend time (our currency) and the person listening to you will earn time that will be credited to their account.

You can also participate in exchanges posted by other members, listen to their interpretations and give them feedback. By doing so you will earn time credit that will be saved up in your account. If you run out of credit time, because you had many people listening to you, you can earn some by either participating in other users’ events or by purchasing time units.


1.Create a profile and choose a type of membership.

2.Become a Basic member. This free account comes with 30 minutes of initial credit to start exchanging time. You can accumulated up to 90 minutes of credit that will be valid for three months. Need more time? You can purchase time credit or become a premium member.

3.Become a Premium member for €5/month or €50/year. This account comes with monthly 30 minutes of non-cumulative recharge that allows you to start exchanging and accumulating your own unlimited time credit. The purchase of additional time credit is also available to Premium members.







AIIC Conversations

AIIC presents CONVERSATIONS – a series of talks among conference interpreters about their profession and craft. Created by Lourdes de Rioja and Luigi Luccarelli with AIIC coordination and support by Gisèle Abazon, CONVERSATIONS will be rolled out in September 2016 with four videos exploring the lives of diverse groups:

Interpreters working on staff at international organizations …
Consultant interpreters serving a broad clientele …
Young interpreters addressing how they entered the field …
Trainers commenting on trends in professional development.

Watch for more information on AIIC’s website and social media channels. And come back in September to join us in the conversation!

And subscribe to AIIC YouTube channel!

Tipografía: la voz escrita


Pedro Arilla Cortés es diseñador gráfico especializado en el diseño de tipografías. Graduado en Diseño Gráfico por la Escuela Superior de Diseño de Aragón. Diseñador de tipos en ‘Tipotecture’, su fundición tipográfica donde vende sus fuentes y realiza trabajos de consultoría tipográfica.

La palabra «tipotecture» —tipografía+architecture— es la clave para entender su filosofía sobre ‘construir’ o diseñar letras. Es un término prestado del tipógrafo holandés Piet Zwart (1885–1977) que se llamaba a sí mismo ‘typotekt’ ya que, de la misma manera que él construía páginas con tipos, Pedro busca construir ideas, emociones y vínculos a través de la misma forma de las letras.

Autor del blog & podcast sobre tipografía ‘Don Serifa’, escritor en la sección de tipografía de la revista ‘Gràffica’, miembro de ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale), ‘Unos tipos duros’ y ‘Lletraferits’, co-organizador y profesor de ‘Glíglifo’, divulgador de la tipografía a través de clases, talleres y conferencias en España y Latinoamérica y artículos en blogs y revistas, y formador online en ‘video2brain/’ y ‘Domestika’. Asistirá al MA Typeface Design de la ‘University of Reading’ (UK) en el curso 2016/17.

Franz PÖCHHACKER: A conversation about research on conference interpreting

(We also include in this post a review of a seminar recently conducted by Franz Pöchhacker in Rome in January this year) :

Conference Interpreting: WHAT WE KNOW – A REVIEW

Published by Northern California Translators Association and their magazine TranslorialNCTA

It is not every day that one has the opportunity to meet a world-class researcher in conference interpretation. The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), as part of its Training of Trainers series, sponsored a seminar led by Franz Pöchhacker for teachers of conference interpretation. Sessions were held in Rome, Italy, January 29 through February 1, 2016.

Franz Pöchhacker is an Associate Professor of Interpreting Studies at the University of Vienna. He has worked as a conference and media interpreter and has published articles and monographs on various domains of interpreting, including the textbook Introducing Interpreting Studies (Routledge, 2004/2016).

The format of the event-a mix of lectures and discussions – allowed coverage of a significant variety of topics on conference interpretation, training, accumulated knowledge, and exchange experience. So, what do we indeed know?

Quite a bit, actually. Research on conference interpreting started in the 1960s, but by psychologists measuring decalage (the lag between the original and its simultaneous interpretation) and not by interpreters themselves. Interestingly, recent research suggests that shorter decalage may be a sign of quality in interpretation, indicating that the interpreter is coping well with the source speech.

Several periods and schools can be identified, and various decades saw interest in different topics: the so-called Paris school in the 70s and 80s, for example, downplayed the significance of language-pair-specific differences in interpretation and argued that a specific language combination does not matter too much, whereas the Trieste Symposium opened the field of conference interpretation (CI) to empirical research that was then actively pursued from the mid-80s. For a while a “struggle”; was going on between the two `camps´; epitomized by the theorie du sens (deverbalization) proposed by Seleskovitch and the push for empirical research spearheaded by Gile, best known for his Effort Models.

An attempt was made to make CI research more interdisciplinary and to introduce insights and methods from cognitive psychology, but it proved difficult to involve psychologists in the actual research. The field of CI research is gradually becoming more internationalized – though not necessarily more interdisciplinary – and now reaches far beyond Europe. Integration and diversification made such domains as sign language interpreting, legal interpreting, and healthcare interpreting important areas of study alongside conference interpretation.

By 2004 the field of interpreting studies had become extremely broad, and in the past 10 years we have seen even more consolidation and integration in research. This has allowed us to take stock of our current knowledge about interpreting in the very recently published Routledge Encyclopedia of Interpreting Studies, edited by Mr. Pöchhacker himself – a very highly recommended tome.

Participants also discussed a variety of very practical topics: are there any exercises you can do to improve your memory? Hmm, not really, it all seems to be about prioritizing information correctly, and our memory capacity is pretty much hardwired in the brain and limited by default. Interpreters may, however, get the most out of their finite memory capacity by using certain techniques: chunking, note-taking, and visualization. Strategies in simultaneous interpretation: these certainly must be taught with a caveat that the combination of strategies you use is very language specific and that knowledge of strategies should be internalized; their use is automated by turning declarative knowledge into procedural knowledge. Don´t forget that proper preparation is a strategy as well, like any other!

A significant amount of time was devoted to discussing quality in interpretation and the results of various major papers, such as the pioneering survey by Buhler (1986) and a recent replication among more than 700 AIIC members by Zwischenberger (2010). It seems that these papers mostly agree as to which qualities are significant when CI is evaluated – from the interpreters’; as well as the customers’; perspectives.

All these discussions were facilitated by the brilliant presenter: eloquent, intelligent, and a true expert in the topics – a rare treat indeed.

by Cyril FLEROV.

Special thanks to ISCAP, and Marco FURTADO for the invitation!

 Routledge Encyclopedia of Interpreting Studies , edited by Franz PÖCHHACKER, Routledge 2015.


Intonation in simultaneous interpreting


“Intonation is not a luxury. It’s a crucial part of communicating well. Getting it wrong in languages with little or no verb conjugation or noun declension (like English) can lead to being understood less well.  The moral of the story… make an effort to speak normally and with normal intonation patterns when in the booth. Record yourself onto a dictaphone to check how you’re doing”.                                                                                                                                                     Andrew GILLIES

The extract below is taken from: Intonation in the production of and perception of simultaneous interpretation. Shlesinger, Miriam. In Lambert and Moser-Mercer (Eds.). Bridging the Gap. Empirical Research in Simultaneous Interpretation. 1994 Benjamins.

2. Procedure and Apparatus

Ten excerpts were taken at random from the recorded, real-time output of professional interpreters in actual conference settings. Each excerpt was approximately 90 seconds long (15-20 typed lines). Six were in Hebrew (interpreted from English); four were in English (interpreted from Hebrew). Two of the English excerpts were the output of non-native speakers, whose Hebrew (native-language) interpreting output is also included in the corpus; i.e., the ten passages were the output of eight professional interpreters.

2.1. Production: Isolating the Salient Features

Repeated listening to the interpreted output revealed a set of features which seemed to differ markedly from those of spontaneous discourse. To validate the intuitive judgements on intonation in the interpreted passages, elicitation of the same passage by the same speakers in a non-interpreting setting was called for; i.e., ideally, it would have been useful to obtain the same texts from the same informants. Since it was not feasible to elicit these in the form of spontaneous speech, a second-best option was chosen: the passages were transcribed, and each interpreter was asked to read “his/her” passage aloud. It should be noted that a minimum of three years had elapsed between the actual interpretation and the experiment in Question; only two of the ten interpreters recognized the passage – and this only as a result of marked lexical cues. Thus, it may safely be assumed that that the reading, for all intents and purposes, was prima vista, was in no way expected to reveal those features which typify intonational interpretation.

2.2. Perception: Effect of Interpretational Intonation on Comprehension and on Recall

Once the features characteristic of simultaneous interpreting production had been pinpointed, their effect on perception could be assessed. Towards this end, recordings of three passages were played to two groups of subjects (eight in Group A and seven in Group B), matched for fluency in the languages concerned, and for familiarity with interpreting.

Both groups of judges listened to recordings of the same three passages. Group A listened to the interpreted version, whereas Group B heard the read­aloud one. Since the text, the speaker (interpreter/reader) and the format (a recording) were identical for each passage, it was assumed that the sole distinguishing factor would be the intonation, and that by comparing the test results of the two groups, it would be possible to establish the differential effect of interpretational intonation.

After each recording had been played, three questions on each of the three passages were presented in written form to each of the two groups of judges. (The same nine questions were presented to both groups.) The nine questions were meant to determine the effect of the mode of delivery. The passages did not lend themselves to inferential questions, but rather to a straightforward test of recall and comprehension, given that they averaged no more than fifteen lines and were presented out of context.

3. Results

3.1. Production

The salient features of interpretational intonation, described in the analysis below, have been grouped into four broad categories: (1) tonality – the distribution of an utterance into distinctive contours, or information units; (2) tonicity – which syllable carries maximum pitch prominence in the tone group; (3) tone – the means of marking the opposition between certain and uncertain polarity. If polarity is certain, the pitch of the tonic falls; if uncertain, it rises (Halliday 1967); (4) prosody – duration and speed.

All but one of the features described below – acceleration – was found in the output of at least four different interpreters; i.e., only one of the three features was possibly idiosyncratic. Moreover, although languages (and: even dialects) do differ in various aspects of intonation (Ladd 1990; Cutler 1987; Rameh > 1985), the features which came to the fore in the present study’ seemed to cut across (at least these two) languages.

The data below refer to occurrences of the given feature in the interpreted passage only; i.e., whenever the feature appeared in the read-aloud mode as well, it was not counted. It should be noted that each of the interpreted texts in the corpus was longer in duration than its read-aloud counterpart; i.e., the interpretation was slower (took more time) than the reading.

Passage 2 and passage 6 were produced by interpreters who, although working into English, are native speakers of Hebrew. The same two interpreters also produced the Hebrew passages 1 and 7, respectively. The data below do not reveal a significant pattern of differences between the two passages in the case of either interpreter, though further study is needed to determine whether directionality does in fact play a role in interpretational intonation.

3.1.1. Tonality (Chunking, Pauses, Division into Tone Groups). The range of grammatical structures which pauses tend to separate is relatively small and constant (Crystal 1969). Functional pauses serve to divide discourse into tone groups and organize it into information units (Halliday 1985; El-Menoufy 1988). Nonfunctional pauses caused by hesitations, on the other hand, tend to lower the congruence between chunking and syntax, since the ensuing junctures are nongrammatical.

The data below would seem to indicate that pauses within grammatical structures are by far the most salient feature of tonality in interpretation; i.e., interpreters are prone to introduce a disproportionate number of pauses in “unnatural” positions, which are liable to impede understanding (Alexieva 1987).

As for pauses at the clause or sentence boundary, while the interpreted passages did generally include pauses at sentence boundaries (in conformity with the original), these tended to be tentative rather than final, and were often coextensive with a low-rise intonation (pitch movement 3). Tentative pauses are frequently used in the middle of a primary contour, usually serving a parenthetic function (Ladd 1975; Pike 1945); thus, a high incidence of such pauses in nonparenthetical position is anomalous. Moreover, since the tentative pause correlates with an attitude of uncertainty, the cumulative pragmatic effect is bound to be altered. As in other instances of introducing an element which runs counter to the listener’s expectations, understanding is likely to be affected.

3.2. Perception

A test was devised to determine the extent of comprehension and recall by each of the two groups of subjects. The same test was administered to both groups. It consisted of three questions on each of three passages (a total of nine questions). The total number of correct answers in Group A (8 subjects) was 17 out of a possible 72 (21 %) and in Group B (7 subjects) 26 out of a possible 63 (41 %). The difference between the proportions of correct answers in the sample was 20%; i.e., the proportion of correct answers in the second group was approximately double that of the first.”


Renée HAFERKAMP is a graduate from Brussels and Geneva University (Philosophie et Lettres). She  is a former director general of the European Commission, and has participated in all the important milestones of the European Union, from the period of Paul-Henri Spaak and Jean Monnet to Jacques Delors and José Manuel Durao Barroso. As an advisor to the European Commission, she organized panel discussions with professors and students on the developments of the European Union at Harvard, NYU, BU, Tufts, Princeton  and others. Several important figures are among the speakers including Bill Clinton, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, José Manuel Durao Barroso, Pascal Lamy, Mario Monti, Javier Solana, Jean-Claude Trichet, Catherine Ashton, Olli Rehn, Peter Sutherland and Herman Van Rompuy. At present, as senior advisor to the European Parliament, she works with Yale students to prepare their European Conference.

SCICtrain 3

This year was a very special year for the annual SCIC Universities Conference, as we were celebrating its 20th edition!  The title of the conference was

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The conference aimed to address the fact that both the worlds of interpreting and teaching are going through big changes, and that we therefore need to keep up with the (new, modern) times. Besides the big 20th birthday cake and celebrations, there were presentations from SCIC representatives as well as from trainers from around Europe and one from a colleague from DG INTE. The focus of these presentations was how we can best make use of blended learning to help students to become successful professional interpreters; one in particular focussed on how SCICtrain can be used as a teaching tool to supplement our traditional on-site assistance.

SCICtrain was launched in 2014 as a virtual video library to provide students and others interested in a career in interpreting with practical examples of conference interpreting. We wanted to give a clear and simple explanation of the full extent of the intellectual process at work when interpreting, without concealing the complexity and demanding requirements of the job. SCICtrain is part of our SCICcloud Project – a virtual store of information on our Virtual Classes and other e-learning material, such as the Speech Repository and Podcasts. We see it as an important element in our reflections on future e-learning projects, as currently being discussed by our e-learning think tank, and as announced at the conference.

Thanks to the expertise of our ACI colleague, Lourdes de Rioja, we are now able to unveil the 3rd edition of SCICtrain. A further 35 video clips have been added, bringing the total number up to over 100 (116 to be exact). A lot of time, effort and resources have gone into making this impressive library which includes a whole range of different kinds of clips: for example ‘talking-heads’ on what interpreting is all about, or on the importance of being able to prioritize information or manage stress; interviews about what it is really like to freelance for SCIC; mock tests to show students what to expect and of course demonstrations of professional-level consecutive and simultaneous interpretation.

New languages have been added (there are demonstrations of English into Portuguese in both modes and English into Dutch in both modes), as well as further videos about interpreting into a B- language. The structure of the library has also changed slightly, so you will now find the following categories:

– About SCICtrain and SCIC (6 videos)

– What is interpretation? (6 videos)

– Learning to interpret (12 videos)

– Consecutive interpretation (5 ‘theory-based’ videos and 27 ‘demonstration’ videos)

– Simultaneous interpretation (3 ‘theory-based’ videos and 27 ‘demonstration’ videos)

– Retour/B-language (5 ‘theory-based’ videos and 12 ‘demonstration’ videos)

– Tests (4 videos)

– Working as an interpreter (8 videos)

We hope that with the new videos and the new structure, SCICtrain will be even more useful for both trainers and students.

Many thanks to all the SCIC interpreters who have been involved with the project, and to Lourdes de Rioja.