FAQ about interpreting

We do not charge half daily rates or hourly rates because when you book interpreters, you book them for a whole day. Conference interpreters receive a daily remuneration since they cannot work anywhere else when they have to work at a conference of shorter duration. This enables the organiser to call interpreters one hour earlier for briefing purposes or keep them on a standby basis after the event for a press conference that may be needed. Should interpreters accept hourly rates, they cannot but reject similar requests from customers. Also the calculation of an hourly rate is complicated as it is unclear when the chronometer should start running. Should it start when interpreters leave their home to come to your event? Should the interpreter’s preparation time be included since preparation for the different types of conferences may take several days and not just a few hours of study. Should the time spent to reach the venue also be calculated in the remuneration?

According to the code of ethics of the Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters an interpreters can work on his/her own in consecutive interpreting for up to 3 working hours. After 3 hours 2 interpreters are needed.

According to the code of ethics of the Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters interpreters work in pairs in simultaneous mode for up to 7.5 hours on a daily basis. For conferences with work timetables over 7.5 hours 3 interpreters are needed.

Because in both cases two interpreters (and thus two full daily remunerations) are needed in simultaneous mode to guarantee high quality. It is besides impossible for an interpreter to work on his/her own in a booth for 4 hours. Simultaneous interpreting requires maximum self-concentration and it has been scientifically proven that after 30 minutes of simultaneous interpreting the interpreter becomes tired and loses his/her concentration and is no longer able to control what he/she says. This is besides the reason why interpreters alternate every half an hour in the microphone. Finally, conference interpreters do not work by the hour but receive a daily remuneration since they cannot work elsewhere if they work at a conference (of even a short duration) on the same day.

Interpreting is the interpreters’ intellectual property. It can only be recorded provided there is a preliminary special agreement – mentioned in the offer / agreement – with the interpreters’ agency and interpreters have provided their consent in this connection. Extra charges may apply.

Interpreters are not obliged to provide interpreting for movies unless they have the script of the movie beforehand and the sound of the movie is connected to the simultaneous interpreting system in the booth.

Because a person that just speaks the language is not able to do the job. As in all professions, also in interpreting, besides being proficient in the languages used, special training in conference interpreting as well as experience are needed.

This would not be a very good idea because you risk providing a poor result for the conference or seminar participants or even condemn your event to failure. P&A Interpreters work in an interpreting booth only accompanied by experienced professional interpreters with credentials.

Of course they can, provided you provide them with detailed information on the event you organize and send them all available presentations/speeches beforehand. Interpreters need to prepare themselves for your meeting and may contact you before the conference with possible questions.

The agenda of the conference is necessary even at the preliminary state of the offer. It provides an idea about the number of interpreters and language combinations required as well as the interpreter we will have to hire based on the subject matter of the event. The agenda is also important for the interpreters during their preparation for the conference (key words and main topics). During the event the agenda is also helpful in relation to the speakers’ names and titles.

Conference interpreters are called upon to interpret a wide range of issues: from urology to pesticides and from printing techniques to constitutional law. It is important that interpreters have adequately prepared themselves, studied and understood the basic notions as well as know the specific terminology of the sector. Therefore organizers can considerably help interpreters by providing them with timely information and by sending them the agenda and available documents in due time.

If an interpreter is not able to come to the event for some unexpected or unforeseeable reason, P&A Interpreters is obliged to find you a substitute with similar, if not identical, qualifications.

No, there are not. We often have to call interpreters from abroad for some specific “exotic” language combinations. In that case we have to pay their air tickets, the cost of their accommodation and full board, DSA (daily subsistence allowance) (per diem) and their remuneration according to the standards applicable in the country where they are based and registered. According to their flight schedule travel day compensation may also apply.

In remote simultaneous interpreting interpreters always work in pairs. According to the Code of Ethics of the Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters 4-hour work including breaks of a duration of 20-30 minutes is to be considered full day.