Chairing a successful meeting with interpretation
Every team of interpreters is assigned a team leader. He/she will contact you before the start of the meeting to confirm the languages available and outline other relevant information on working conditions/timetable.
- When you open proceedings, please announce which languages delegates may speak and those to which they may listen. Try to give some indication of your estimated timetable for the day and outline your plans for the agenda.
- In some cases, you may find it useful to give a very brief background summary at the beginning of each point and summing up at the end will also help clarifying conclusions and save time later.
- After each speaker, pause briefly before giving the floor to the next delegate, as there may be a slight delay for some language versions, especially in meetings with a large number of languages.
- The documents/agenda are usually provided in the interpreters' booths but if any new documents are presented in the course of the meeting, please try to ensure that interpreters have received a copy before you discuss them.
- Please remember to ask delegates to switch off their mobile phones and to keep earphones away from microphones when they take the floor in order to avoid interference with the sound system.
- DG interpretation has prepared general tips for speakers which you may wish to print [213 KB] and distribute in the meeting.
For reasons of good staff management, quality of service and individual well-being there have to be rules. With the number of meetings involved there has to be a cut-off point for the vast majority of meetings, but if given advance notice, DG interpretation can provide interpreters for late meetings.
The basics on working hours:
- The morning session must not exceed 4 hours from the official starting time. (Please note : if your meeting is foreseen to last only through the morning, you may not be able to run on beyond 13.00, as the interpreters for your half day meeting may be expected to work at another one at 14.30.)
- The lunch break must be at least 90 minutes long. (Interpreters have to eat, get a breath of fresh air if possible and often change location if assigned to a different afternoon meeting).
- All meetings must finish at 18.30 unless DG interpretation has been notified in advance.
- In any event no team of interpreters is supposed to work for more than 10 hours a day.