Staff interpreter: A permanent member of staff within the EU institutions. In order to become a staff interpreter you need to pass an open competition, which are organised annually by EPSO, the European Personnel Selection Office.
Freelance interpreter: A self-employed interpreter who is not employed continuously by the EU institutions but is hired to do specific assignments. In order to become a freelancer you need to pass a freelance accreditation test, which take place throughout the year.
Conference interpreter: An interpreter who works in international conferences and meetings. This is in contrast to other types of interpreting such as:
See here for more information on the different types of interpretation.
- Community interpreting
- Court interpreting
- Business interpreting
Active language: A language into which the interpreter works from his or her other languages, usually (but not always) his or her native language. See language regime and language combination for more information.
Passive language: A language that an interpreter understands and from which he or she works. See language regime and language combination for more details.
A, B, C languages: An AIIC (see below) nomenclature whereby an A language is the mother tongue or mother-tongue equivalent.
A B language is the language into which an interpreter is able to work from his/her A language. Some interpreters only work into their B language in consecutive interpreting.
Finally, a C language is passive: one of which an interpreter has perfect understanding but will only work from, never into (although he/she may speak it very well).
AIIC: The International Association of Conference Interpreters.
AD5/AD7: Staff members are given a grade according to their level of expertise. The grading system for administrators (AD) ranges from 5 to 16.
New staff interpreters usually enter at either AD5, which is graduate level, requiring no professional experience, or AD7, which for interpreters requires at least 4 years' graduate-level professional experience after obtaining their first degree or diploma. To find out which grade is for you please use our flowchart or visit EPSO's website.
Dummy booth: A dummy or mute booth is a real interpreting booth in a meeting room, which is not being used by the interpreters during that meeting, and in which student interpreters may sit and listen to the meeting, or practise their interpreting in a realistic environment without turning on the microphone.