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What is Cheval ?

An interpreter working alternatively in two booths in the same meeting.

A cheval (French for horse) interpreter "sits astride" two booths in a meeting. Normally, there are at least two interpreters present for each language, but if a simultaneous meeting works in only two languages, you can save one interpreter by employing a cheval, an interpreter who is able to interpret into both languages, and who moves between the booths according to need.

Normally, interpreters work into their mother tongue. Some interpreters know a second language well enough to be able to work into that language (second active or " B-language") from their mother tongue. This is called " retour" interpreting.The French word for return is universally employed. A small number of interpreters know their second active language so well that they are able to interpret into that language from all the languages in their language combination.