• Continental Interpreting

Booth Etiquette for Conference Interpreters

You might have heard about it. Perhaps you’re a pro at it.

For years, our clients have trusted us with handling conference interpreting services with efficiency and professionalism.

Throughout the course of our experience, we have gathered exclusive knowledge from clients, technicians, project managers, and interpreters on qualities perceived to be of most importance when it comes to booth etiquette.

Here are 5 booth etiquette tips.

Teamwork. Meetings and events are so much smoother when interpreters practice good camaraderie. What does this look like? It looks like being friendly to staff, clients, and any other event attendees. It also includes communicating your style and coordinating turns for interpreting with your booth partner.

Organization. Clutter within the booth can not only looks messy, it can distract your partner and be perceived as unprofessional. Further, any lack in organization can cause noise that can be picked up by your microphone (e.g. rustling papers).

Sound. Being mindful of any extraneous sounds before interpretation begins is key in order to eliminate distractions that can affect the sound that is delivered (e.g. silencing cell phones so they don’t ring or vibrate on the table). Also, establish with the technician how they will communicate with you while in the booth should an issue or concern arise.  

Timeliness. It’s essential to prepare and be at the inside the booth before actual interpretation begins. A 15-minute courtesy arrival is the industry norm, but check to see if you can arrive earlier if you would like to take your time getting prepped or familiar with the equipment. This is perceived as professional and can ensure a smooth start.

Hygiene. Although this might seem like a no-brainer, both clients and interpreters have provided feedback on poor hygiene and distracting perfumes. This is not only courteous to your interpreting partner, it also ensures making a better impression to all parties involved.

Check out this guide from AIIC for other conference interpreting insights. Or watch a video with AIIC interpreter interviews.

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